Residential mental health programs for youth in northern Indiana

Our programs treat youth with:

  • Psychiatric, emotional, developmental or behavioral challenges
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Sexually Harmful Behaviors

Programs are designed to support youth in developing healthy coping skills so they can return to and live successfully in their community. We serve youth between the ages of 12 and 18 at the time of referral.

Oaklawn Mishawaka campus

Oaklawn Mishawaka campus

Oaklawn Mishawaka campus

Inpatient and residential mental health for children and teens in Indiana

Oaklawn Mishawaka campus

Oaklawn Mishawaka campus

Oaklawn Mishawaka campus

Oaklawn Mishawaka campus

Oaklawn Mishawaka campus

Oaklawn Mishawaka campus

Oaklawn Mishawaka campus

Oaklawn Mishawaka campus

Oaklawn Mishawaka campus

Learn more about our programs


Oaklawn offers locked-secure and staff-secure programs to serve youth who face psychiatric, emotional, developmental or behavioral challenges. Listed below are common characteristics our programs address:

  • Complex mental health challenges
  • Trauma-induced behaviors
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Substance use
  • Runaway risk
  • Suicide ideation
  • Problems with authority
  • Poor boundaries
  • Inability to form healthy relationships
  • Inability to function in school
  • Involvement with court systems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Unsafe/unmanageable behaviors

All programs are designed to help youth develop positive emotional and behavioral responses to everyday life. In some cases, that includes learning how to manage a mental illness.

Specialty Programs

Two specialty units, open to youth assigned male at birth, address:

  • Sexually harmful behaviors and sexual addictions
  • Intellectual and developmental disabilities
Diagnostic and Evaluation

Oaklawn offers a 30-day diagnostic and evaluation assessment for youth. We assess in eight key areas: psychiatric, psychological, psychosocial, physical, family, independent living, substance use and clinical observation. Each assessment includes a review of records and social and emotional testing. The assessment team consists of a psychiatrist, a physician, psychologists, therapists and a case manager. At the conclusion of the assessment, recommendations for further treatment are provided along with a detailed report with the youth’s assessment results.

Program features

Our comprehensive programs are designed to help youth and their families/caregivers grow emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Multidimensional treatment

Treatment is comprised of:

  • Weekly individual therapy
  • Group therapy at least five times per week
  • Family therapy as indicated by treatment need

All treatment is individualized to fit the specific needs of each youth.

Evidence-based practices

Oaklawn uses evidence-based practices that are scientifically proven to work in treatment. These practices include:

  • Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
  • Positive Peer Culture (PPC)
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • The Matrix Model
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)

Oaklawn provides a trauma-informed community, including person-centered treatment and planning. 

Medical services

We offer a full range of medical services. Oaklawn psychiatrists see youth to perform evaluations, prescribe medication and answer questions, including any questions about side effects. Nurses provide medication management and address somatic complaints. They are on campus throughout the day and accessible 24/7. Additionally, Oaklawn has a physical health care office on-site, staffed with nurses and a board-certified family practice physician, who performs routine physicals and sees youth for acute illness.

Additionally, Oaklawn has a physical health care office on-site, staffed with nurses and a board-certified pediatrician, who performs routine physicals and sees youth for acute illness.

Family engagement

We put a premium on family engagement. Youth are more successful when caregivers are involved in and supportive of their treatment and when caregivers have the opportunity to address issues in the home that impact the youth. Family Resource Specialists help get and keep families involved throughout treatment and offer techniques that increase healthier interactions. This may include providing gas cards, arranging for Oaklawn transportation, locating siblings, parents and/or caregivers and scheduling families to participate in events, activities, visits and more.

Skills training and engagement

A skills trainer and care facilitator work individually with each youth to develop healthy coping skills, independent living skills, positive self-management and social skills. Furthermore, each youth benefits from vocational experiences, either through volunteer or job experience on our campus or in the community. Recreational therapy is also provided. Our 12-acre campus is equipped with gyms, a Gaga ball pit, a softball and soccer field and basketball courts, as well as playground equipment.

Public school

School is provided on campus by School City of Mishawaka. Each classroom has a licensed teacher and an aide. We also have an on-site guidance counselor, administrator, Title I teacher and a credit recovery service. Credits are transferable.

Affirming LGBTQ+ care

Oaklawn welcomes and empowers LGBTQ+ youth, creating a safe environment in which to heal and grow. Therapists are trained to help youth utilizing the Gender Quest curriculum, and youth have access to medical providers specializing in LGBTQ+ care. Most units accommodate youth by their gender assigned at birth or their identified gender, and we work with youth to determine the best placement for their treatment needs. Youth have the right to designate their own first name and pronouns, shower and dress privately and choose clothing typical of any gender.

Continuum of care

Oaklawn residential programs are unique in that we are part of a larger network of services through Oaklawn, the community mental health center for St. Joseph and Elkhart counties. This gives us the ability to provide a much stronger continuum of care and plan for success. We have access to therapists, psychiatrists, group counseling and a plethora of options in adolescent treatment. We find the ability to provide these services greatly improves the chance of success. Individualized aftercare is provided in the youth’s home community.

Pastoral care

Oaklawn’s foundation is built around the importance of treating the whole person, including spiritually. Youth will receive a spiritual assessment within two weeks of joining our program and will be given the opportunity to meet with our in-house chaplain throughout the program if they choose. They will also be offered the opportunity to attend religious services on and
off campus.

Make a referral

If you would like to make a referral for a youth you are working with, call us at 574-259-5667, ext. 222 or email us at

After hours referrals can be made by calling 574-533-1234.


We accept Community Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) referrals.

Unfortunately, we do not accept out-of-state referrals.

Share This