Elevations RTC (2014-present) Syracuse, UT

Residential Treatment Center

History and Background Information

Elevation RTC is a Family Help & Wellness behavior-modification program opened in 2014. It is marketed as a co-ed Residential Treatment Center for teenagers aged 13-17.6 (according to NATSAP) who are “struggling with a wide range of issues, whether it be mental, behavioral or academic issues.” The program has a maximum enrollment of between 50-60 teens, and the average length of stay is reported to be between 8 and 10 months, although it may be substantially longer if the teenager is deemed resistant. The tuition is reported to be as much as $16,000 per month, or $192,000 per year. Elevations reports that it enrolls all genders, including non-binary teenagers.

The program is located at 2650 W 2700 S, Syracuse, UT 84075, which is the former location of Island View RTC, a confirmedly abusive behavior-modification program owned by Aspen Education Group. It is located right next door to another Family Help & Wellness program, Viewpoint Center, which was originally the Aspen Institute for Behavioral Assessment when it was owned by Aspen Education Group.

Elevations RTC is the re-brand of Island View RTC. They are the exact same program operating under different names. In 2014, Aspen Education Group sold Island View to Family Help & Wellness following several lawsuits filed against IV alleging various claims of abuse and neglect. With this, Island view was “closed”, which in reality meant that its name was changed to Elevations and it was immediately reopened. However, it is important to note that this change in ownership is entirely superficial, as Family Help & Wellness is a company created by former employees and executives of Aspen Education Group in order to rebrand their more notorious programs. In fact, the Founder and CEO of Family Help & Wellness, Tim Dupell, formerly worked as the CFO and Vice President of Aspen Education Group. Beisdes the name, nothing else about the program’s actual structure was changed in the slightest. In fact, 39 of the 48 employees listed on Elevations’ website had previously worked for Island View.

Founders and Notable Staff

Judi Jacques is the current Executive Director of Elevations RTC. She previously worked at Island View RTC for nearly 20 years, filling various roles such as the Academic Director and the Assistant Executive Director.

Jennifer Wilde is the current Executive Clinical Director os Elevations RTC. She began working at Island View RTC in 1999, before leaving to work at Second Nature Wilderness. She has also worked as the Clinical Director at Willow Creek School. She returned to Island View in 2012 as the Clinical Director.

Jordan Kilpatrick is the current Clinical Director of Elevations RTC. He previously worked as a Therpist at Provo Canyon School, which is information that was published on Elevation’s website. However, following the release of Paris Hilton’s documentary and the negative press associated with Provo Canyon School, they have removed this connection from Kilpatrick’s bio.

Kirk Simon works as a Psychiatrist at Elevations. He has also worked as the Co-Medical Director of Elevations when it first opened. He has worked at Island View RTC since 2009, where he served as Medical Director, and at the Aspen Institute for Behavioral Assessment as a Psychiatrist. He currently works as the Psychiatrist at Solstice RTC in Utah, which is a program founded by former Island View staff.

It has been reported that immediately following Island View’s “closure” and re-branding as Elevations, 39 of the 48 employees listed on Elevations’ website had previously worked for Island View.

Program Structure

Elevations RTC encourages the use of teen “transport” services to escort the teenagers to the program. This practice is extremely controversial and has been known to cause PTSD in survivors of this practice.

Like other behavior-modification programs, Elevations uses a level-system consisting of 5 levels. These levels are reported to be the exact same as those used at Island View RTC. These levels are:

  • Orientation: When a resident arrives at Elevations, they are placed on Orientation. This level typically lasts around 2 weeks. On this level, residents are given almost no privileges. This level was also used as punishment for when a child broke a rule.
  • Explorer: This level typically lasts a few weeks to a few months. The expectations are relatively low. The residents are given privileges such as free time, sleeping an hour later on weekends, and using an ipod (in dorm only).
  • Apply: This level typically lasts anywhere between a few months, several months, or sometimes the rest of people’s stay. The expectations are moderate. The residents are given privileges such as weekly outing (required), tv, etc.
  • Impact: This level typically lasts anywhere a month to several months, but often the rest of a teen’s stay. There are high expectations; residents must “cue” peers and set a good example. Nny rule breaking will be treated severely, probably with loss of level. These residents can also be punished for their peers breaking rules. They are expected to essentially act as a junior staff. They are given privileges such as being outside without staff supervision.
  • Test: This level typically lasts a few weeks, a month, or a few months, often rest of stay. There are reportedly impossibly high expectations placed on these residents. It is extremely easy to lose this level, as they must essentially act perfect, with no rule breaking. They must “cue” peers often, and they will be punished for peers breaking rules often. They are often assigned team roles such as “team leader” giving them even more responsibility and opportunity to be punished, as they are considered responsible for team’s behavior. These residents reportedly do as much as or more work than staff, and are expected to act almost as a therapist with peers. The expectations for this level are so high that even the most perfect person is in constant fear of losing it. It is reported that one teenager almost lost it because he was talking in his sleep, and he was actually forced to apologize to the team in group for talking in his sleep. These residents are given privileges such as being allowed to take your ipod anywhere, including cafeteria, school, and the gym.
  • There is also a level called Community Break which is used as punishment. While on Community Break, students may not communicate with peers (Communication Restrictions, also known as CMR) or make phone calls. At night, they are required to sleep in the hallway under the fluorescent lights. Students may be on Community Break for considerable amounts of time, often with other restrictions or sanctions.

Communication with the outside world is extremely limited. Residents are allowed one phone call per week (when on lower-levels) which are always monitored by staff and/or peers. If a resident says anythign that is seen as “manipulative”, they risk losing their phone call privileges and having the call cut short. All incoming and outgoing mail is read and censored by staff. This type of environment makes it impossible for residents to report abuse and neglect.

Rules and Punishments

The residents at Elevations are forced to adhere to a strict set of rules. According to survivors, there rules include:

  • Do not be late
  • Rooms must be spotless
  • No “name dropping” (Example: X staff/resident said…)
  • Staff are allowed to make up any rule they wanted at any time
  • No talking back
  • 20 minutes to thoroughly clean their rooms, bathrooms, and common areas (including vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, wiping down surfaces, everything neat and organized, sinks spotless with no water marks, etc.)
  • No contact with residents of the opposite sex, including eye contact

If a resident breaks a rule, they are punished severely. These punishments reportedly include solitary confinement, violent restraints, loss of “privileges”, and loss of levels.

There is also a punishment called the “Yellow Zone”, which was also used by Island View. Students in the Yellow Zone had to sit silently in a white plastic lawn chair at a desk in a hallway for hours — or days. They could not go to class or see their peers. A staff member stood guard, making sure the children didn’t speak. Time in the Yellow Zone could be doled out for misbehavior as minor as putting one’s feet on furniture, talking without permission, physical contact with another student, “excessive eye contact” or showing skin. Teens could be put in the Yellow Zone for at least 18 hours, and up to 72 hours. Staff would put on Richard Simmons’ “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” for the kids’ occasional exercise. At night, staff pulled a thin mattress into the hallway. Yellow Zone inmates slept under the fluorescent lights. “This is not a time for the resident to check out of the program and relax … or catch up on their sleep,” the handbook explains. “The resident is to remain in staff’s line of vision at all times. This includes bedtime, where the resident will be situated in the hallway and monitored throughout the night by staff.”

In addition to the Yellow Zone, teenagers can be put into a “Time Out Room” as punishment, which is a form of solitary confinement. These rooms are small white chambers, approximately 4 by 4 feet, each with a large metal door. Teenagers can spend anywhere from a few hours to several months in isolation, for infractions as small as throwing their glasses on the ground or breaking down and crying. But the state didn’t consider time in the rooms to be solitary confinement because — even though staff kept guard — the doors to the rooms remained unlocked, explained John Ortiz, who has been a site inspector with the department for the last eight years. However, despite the doors not being locked, they are guarded by staff and residents are not allowed to leave for any reason, even to use the bathroom. In fact, survivors report being forced to urinate on themselves while in Isolation when the staff refused to let them out to use the restroom.

Another common form of punishment at Elevations is what is called “Individual Focus” or “Team Focus”. This is a form of isolation in which students are made to sit silently in a white plastic lawn chair at a desk for hours — or days. During this time, students are often not allowed to go to class and cannot communicate with their peers. Elevations also utilizes a de-escalation or time-out room, a small white chamber, approximately 4 by 4 feet, with a large metal door, where students are isolated for hours away from the student community. Restraints are a necessary part of what Elevations does.

Abuse Allegations

Island View RTC has had many reported allegations of abuse, including two lawsuits in 2014, all of which contributed to its “closure” and re-branding as Elevations RTC. One lawsuit filed in 2014 alleged that a 15-year-old resident at Island View, who had been sent there by Dr. Phil, suffered severe nerve damage as a result of a staff member attempting to pull the girl off of her bed. The suit claims that the girl apparently refused to obey staff members who told her to get off of her bed. When staff members tried to pull her off, her right arm “was badly and perhaps irreparably broken, and its main nerve severely damaged.” Only a few months after this lawsuit was filed, Island View reopened as Elevations.

Elevations RTC is widely reported by survivors as an abusive program. Allegations of abuse and neglect at Elevations include:

  • Maintaining a “prison-like” environment
  • Solitary confinement used often as punishment, lasting anywhere from hours to several months
  • Violent physical restraints are common, and used for situations that were not dangerous and could easily have been deescalated. It is reported that residents could get restrained for infractions as small as having a button break off of their shirt and refusing to give staff the button.
  • It is reported that staff would intentionally escalate situations so that they could restrain kids, often following them when they walked away to calm down.
  • The facility reportedly also does not buy enough food for residents to eat substantial meals.

A lawsuit was filed against Elevations RTC in 2018, after a staff member allegedly violentely grabbed a 15-year-old resident and slammed her into the ground during a restraint. This resulted in the girl suffering a traumatic brain injury, fractured skull, and other permanent injuries. Despite the girl showing obvious signs of brain injury (including nausea, vomiting, and double vision), the staff at Elevations refused to seek medical help for the girl for approximately 6 days. Elevations RTC also failed to document this incident until after the girl had been taken to the hospital and diagnosed. This lawsuit was settled sometime in 2018 but it is unclear what the outcome was. Additional Information: Photo 1 and Photo 2 of excerpts from the lawsuit.

Survivor/Parent Testimonials

12/26/2020: (SURVIVOR) “In September 2020, a staff member at Elevations allegedly suplexed a child onto his head rendering him unconscious because he threw a domino. That child is lucky to be alive. Just months earlier, staff members at another residential facility caused Cornelius Frederick to lose his life after restraining him for tossing a sandwich at another resident. I surmise Elevations will probably tell parents that the suplex incident is an isolated incident and that they did the right thing by terminating the staff member involved. But Elevations is not transparent. In fact, it’s clear they’re paying a reputation management company to post made up reviews. You’ll see that reviewers Robert M. and Wilbert M. Harris are posing as parents who had children at Elevations. In some reviews, these men mention having husbands and in others they have wives or girlfriends (makes no sense). They’re also inappropriate reviewers because they’re promoting gentleman’s clubs and bails bondsmen. That is how low Elevations will go. Parents, think twice before you believe a thing Elevations staff tell you. Elevations appears to be more concerned about covering up abuse allegations than it is about providing quality care for your child. Good leadership would listen and make changes, and would be transparent. Not here. Notably, it’s unethical and illegal for a medical provider such as Elevations to be paying for fake reviews, as is it to comment on reviews acknowledging that a patient received your services.” – Amy (Google Reviews)

12/26/2020: (SURVIVOR) “As a former resident, parents, no matter how bad it gets, there is a better option for your child than this. If you send them here, they will by drugged, brainwashed, abused, and will have their rights violated. They cannot tell you what’s really going on there. The program convinces parents that attempts to expose the cruelty and unconstitutionality are attempts at manipulation. They are manipulating you when they say this. You have sent your child to private prison! I am in my early to mid 30s, and literally still have nightmares of going back. The best thing you can do for the relationship with your child is to rescue them from this place immediately. Edit: you are being disingenuous with your reply. Elevations runs the same kind of harmful practices on its current prisoners that Island View did. Elevations has provided me recent Island View paperwork, and all the key players from Island View are still employed and profiting off child abuse.” – portneymk (Google Reviews)

11/20/2020: (SURVIVOR) “As a former resident of Elevations RTC i can tell you, please do not under any circumstances send your child here. I watched teenage girls get tackled and pinned down by large male staff on a regular basis. They created a lord of the flies environment where your stay was shortened the more you tore others down. We were in a constant state of anxiety and fear because rules were arbitrary and could change without notice. You can get put in solitary confinement or made to sit and stare at the wall for days on end for something as minor as looking at the opposite sex. Phone calls and letters were monitored so there was no way we could tell our parents or anyone else of the abuse going on. While I was there a therapist named Dan Stuart led a “co-ed” group where he forced us to lick whipped cream off of plates in front of him. This place does not provide therapy and healing, it provides torture and ptsd.” – Sarah (Yelp)

10/18/2020: (SURVIVOR) “Abusive and harmful. Not actually a school at all. Isolation rooms, IF, take downs, magnetic locking doors, little to no communication with the outside world, abusive especially to LGBTQ. Residents still have nightmares decades later. How many of us also have broken bones, damaged limbs, or fingers from this place? This is Island View with a new name.. Same methods. If you don’t use solitary confinement what did you do with the cinderblock room with the locking door that was slammed on my fingers while I was locked inside? I slept in there many nights. How dare you say you don’t use solitary? I was told by staff you never leave anyone in for more than 45 days because that requires some sort of document. Although one time you got that extension of 45 days for a boy coming in from wilderness. Each unit has a solitary confinement room at the end of the hall. Well, not sure about Copper team and the boy’s team in the other unit. I can send you a picture of my deformed fingers. It was nearly an amputation. They would drag you down the hall. After a take down. Pressing you into the floor. Sometimes bruising or breaking ribs. Hurting pressure points in your hand. Tearing your bra. Harming your wrist. Then they would toss you in that room. Closing the door as quickly as possible. Sometimes they do leave the door open. But not if the resident is trying to get out. Parents… Look for these rooms at the ends of the hallway in the main building. They might say it’s time out and the door is never closed. My body and I tell a different story. Many people needed surgery after injuries from staff. A former staff admitted that broken ribs were not abnormal. Good job abusing often already abused children. I would happily take a polygraph.” – Jennifer (Yelp)

10/17/2020: (SURVIVOR) “I am an alumni of the program. Their inability to provide a safe environment meant that students were not able to form healthy attachments and hit developmental milestones. Untrained staff regularly provided inappropriate interventions and on several occasions while I was here, physically harmed kids. The therapy is not therapeutic. I work with a trained therapist now and she is regularly aghast at my descriptions of things that happened here. It is highly confrontational and adversarial. I wouldn’t recommend this place to my enemies” – Rick (Yelp)

10/9/2020: (SURVIVOR) “I come from a very personal place in this review, I’m not staff, a therapist, or a parent… But a kid that has spent 9 months in elevations so far. On the outside, this place seems amazing, we have T.V, we have a nice campus, the staff are supportive and kind, and there is a level system you can move up for more priveledges with good behavior and leadership. After my first 3 months, I started to become more involved and start working on myself to get better with my mental health. In my stay here I have already seen at least 7 staff leave. In one week 3 people quit. I fully believe that elevations care more about have enough staff than having good staff. There are staff that I have seen shadow other staff for maybe 3 days and start working right after. My personal experience with the staff is that when I first got here, there were a lot of stable staff, they were fair, consistent, and put other kids above others. The longer I stayed, the more kids on my team left, and when new kids came that maybe the staff didn’t like as much, they started quitting. The new staff are either passive and are too afraid to say no to kids, or passive-aggressive, pick favorites, and create problems rather than solve them. I struggle with defiance and acting out and when I struggled to get along with a staff he started to very literally ignore me, threaten to take my level whenever I did something wrong, make comments about how I was doing in my treatment, and made me do all caf jobs (wipe, sweep, mop) for a week for wearing pajamas to the caf because it’s out of dress code. Staff here have power-control problems and expect us to listen to feedback, but can given feedback themselves, they get defensive and justify actions. I am sick of being punished because I forget to do something like lift up the blinds in time when it’s my job or get a cleaning mark because I forgot to push in my chair. Elevations in too punishment-based. There is almost nothing in the program for positive reinforcement besides the level system. I also want to comment on the restraints, I agree that when a child is unwilling to stop being a safety hazard that kids need to put in holds, but the way they do it here is just cruel, I have seen a kid get thrown to the floor and have horrible rug burns on his face arms and legs after. When he was screaming because he was escalated the man was standing over him while he was in a hold about how what he did wasn’t allowed and how “this is what you get when you act like an asshole”. I truly think the staff here are corrupt along with the program.” – Madison (Yelp)

8/31/2013: (SURVIVOR) “I would like to start by saying elevations did help me with turning parts of my life around. However I want to shed some light on things that need to be put out there. I saw a post on some website that Judi Jacques denied that Elevations uses physical restraints and they use “behavior modification techniques”. Technically speaking she is correct. But to put this in some terms that everyone can understand she lied by omission. Elevations uses a program known as Positive Control Solutions which is a form of crisis intervention. PCS does involve physical holds (a form of restraint). The holds last 30 minutes unless the student is not calmed down at which point it would continue. When the student is placed in a physical hold, the are held with their face down on the ground, with one arm behind their back, the other arm out to their side, and their legs crossed. If the student resists they will go harder with how hard they are restraining the student. This means their is a risk for injuries to the shoulders and wrists. These holds are extremely painful. Currently I am in the process of writing a full review of Elevations RTC and the aspects of their program that they try to not reveal. I want to say that most of the replies on any review make the facility sound better than it is, and to do this they twist what they are saying or omit certain facts. Judi I know you will probably read this, and when you do I just want to say your facility helped, however your business motto and ethics are extremely flawed and you deserve to know people do have PTSD from your facilities operations” – John (Yelp)

8/23/2020: (SURVIVOR) “When I was 17 I spent 7 months at Elevations in 2016 and 2017, and I’ll still have a horrifying nightmare every few weeks where I’m either being dragged back, or never actually left in the first place. I’m a much different person now, and have grown from a boy into a young man since then. However, despite my distance and growth since my experience there, I still feel as sick to my stomach about it all as I did when I finally got out of there. Disclaimer: I acknowledge that things could have changed since my time at Elevations, but from the website and staff list, and literal Facebook page for kids with PTSD from Elevations, little seems to have changed. I could fill a memoir about the 7 months I spent at Elevations, and my current therapist has probably taken enough notes about that place to do so. For a bit of perspective: I was sent by my parents to Elevations for overwhelming anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. I quickly learned that despite that, many of the other students were there for much more aggressive behavioral issues. The energy of the dorms was one of rage and defiance. The peer to peer relationships were frail and unhealthy, as we frequently took place in “accountability groups” in which we were all told to literally call one another out in front of the entire group of other teens. A more intense version of this once came to literally writing out every single rule of the facility that either we ourselves had violated, or knew another student had violated. If everyone’s stories and claims of accountability didn’t match, we didn’t get to go outside, or talk, or have free time. This went on for 4 days. And once the therapists left these groups and staff wasn’t paying attention (which happened frequently) all of the underlying anger between students was ruthlessly thrown at each other. If you’ve taken away a persons access to their family, their home and most all levels of comfort, including the ability to walk around your place of living or get a snack when you’re hungry, they feel as though they have nothing left to lose. And so they act like it. I was literally called autistic more than I was called my name by other students, with little done to remedy the situation. In fact, other students including myself were supposed to be in charge or chastising the others on our ‘team’. If a 14 y/o is being awful to a 16 y/o, how is another literal child supposed to know how to resolve that? The pressure to have a positive peer culture was put almost solely on the students thrust into leadership roles by the treatment team, while those students were also required to maintain their spotless records, attend school, and try and manage their own internal issues and their issues at home. While at Elevations, fear was my most frequently felt emotion, followed closely behind by a deep longing for my family and friends. The sense of competition that was fostered by much of the policies at Elevations was very unhealthy. When you don’t want a kid to keep comparing himself to everyone around him, maybe don’t put up everyone’s standing in the program on the wall as if it were sports statistics. The medication doses I was put on while at Elevations is the most amount of any drug in my life, and by a heavy margin. And, despite not using actual restraints on students, it was not uncommon to witness a “takedown” which involved full grown adults holding children down on the ground in an uncomfortable and often painful way, basically forcing them to play uncle in order for them to be released. If a student did something bad enough, they could be put in a situation where they aren’t allowed to say a word out loud unless it’s in the 2 hours of family and individual therapy they had a week. Not during group therapy, not during free time. What did they do during that time? They sat at a metal school desk. Often during these periods even reading or putting your head down was prohibited. They had to write notes asking if they could use the bathroom. If like me, your child has a problem with getting wrapped up in their own head, these time-outs on crack could be really dangerous. Again, I could go on on and on about the completely unnecessary and harmful things that I was put through there, but the internet has plenty of other accounts of former students being traumatized here. The facility is built on a poor model, and fosters a poisonous falsehood of being fine or better or having calmed down in order to try and get the hell out of there. Bottom line: their motto is about demanding obedience. We were children who needed help, not dogs to be trained.” – O.W. (Yelp)

4/29/2020: (SURVIVOR) “I never planned on writing a review of this facility after I left mainly because I wanted to put everything behind me and leave all my traumatic experiences in the past but after recently finding out another person I know has taken their own life after attending Elevations I feel It is my responsibility to tell the truth about what I have seen at Elevations to possibly save the lives of more kids in the future. I attended Elevations RTC from January to August in 2018 when I was 15 years old at the time. I was sent there because I was struggling with depression, I was failing out of school, and I was abusing drugs and alcohol, and I did not have a good relationship with my parents, I was going down a bad road and my parents felt it was their only option to send me to a residential treatment center which was one of the hardest decisions they have ever had to make. Unfortunately they happened to fall victim to the clinical director Judi Jacques’s deceiving marketing campaign which goes miles to cover up the history of “Island View” the program which was shut down in 2014 for “maintaining a prison like environment where physical and psychological torture were used against students. Judi knew very well the horrendous offenses that occurred at Island View given she worked there for more than 20 years and has done her best to cover up the atrocities she has been responsible for. She is a truly vile women and I don’t know how she sleeps at night knowing she has the blood on her hands of countless kids who were not given the care they were promised and they that were led to believe they didn’t deserve care or support. Elevations is so similar to Island view the booklet I was given on the operating procedures when I first arrived had “Island View” written across the top because the procedures were the exact same, the books in the library still have “Island View RTC” stamped across the bottom, and more than half of the staff members at Elevations previously worked at Island View. Elevations still uses the same restraint techniques and even solitary confinement (which has been banned in juvenile prisons since 2016) against their residents as punishment. I was even placed in solitary confinement for 48 hours for making an inappropriate joke, however I have seen residents spend up to weeks in solitary confinement and I specifically remember the look in one of my friends eyes when I snuck in a book for him (which was contraband for anybody in SC or IF as It was called at elevations) Seeing his blank stair into my eyes in gratitude is something I will live with my entire life with. I haven’t even touched the other topics I was planning on mentioning like the inadequate medical care, the harassment from staff, the constant sedation of residents, or many more topics but Im running out of room to type and so I just want to end it with the two things I gained from elevations amidst all the chaos to which I am thankful for, the first being I have some of the closest relationships I have ever made from elevations because experiencing these things together at such a young age forms a true brotherhood between people. I also learned throughout all the pain and negativity around me that I was destined for greater things than surrendering my life to drugs or alcohol and that is a lesson I carry with myself to this day, almost 2 years later.” – Carson (Yelp)

7/20/2018: (SURVIVOR) “I went to elevations in 2016-2017 and when you put a child in that position where they’re taken away from their families and they’re freedom is taken away of course the kids are going to comply so they can leave. I was a test (the highest level) for three straight months before I left. It’s called I learned how to act so I could leave. Kids have actually died here one I know from suicide the other from lack of medical attention both on the boys dorm. The good sucks and they used to not allow girl to get seconds because it’s too much. The exact words to me were “you don’t need that many carbs.” I’m 125 pounds who are you to tell me I can’t eat carbs if I want to? Some of the staff like to take advantage of their powers for sure and some staff just stand around and don’t do anything. I’ve seen girls be bullied and not get any consequences and I’ve also seen a girl get thrown to the ground for walking into another girls room (which isn’t allowed but she was new so she didn’t know). People have had permanent injuries from being physically hurt. Now let’s more on to the therapists, they’re counselors, not the same. The girl there who prescribed one of the girls teams medicine isn’t even a doctor she’s a nurse practitioner and she would put you on anything and everything. She had me on antipsychotics and sedatives and Judith you might remember me and the one who stirred up some stuff by simply refusing to take my meds anymore. I stoped cold turkey. Of course I got in trouble but this is my body and when I don’t need any of this medicine I’m not going to take it. The problem with this place is some of the staff members should not be here. Eric and Jen and all the team leaders are awesome. The staff do quit all the time because they don’t like working there. If your child is acting up, they’re growing up and you need to be a parent and do your job, not pass it on to someone else. Help them, talk to them figure out what’s causing it, don’t just send them away. It won’t work.” – Mary (Yelp)

5/8/2018: (SURVIVOR) “My “therapist” was not a truly licensed and was actually a social worker. They do lie about having qualified professional’s. Also they may place you child in a desk for 72 hours with no social contact, sleeping(expect for in hallway at night) or reading. if you child is not making the “desired progress” they may be placed on I.F. which is being in a room by your self all day t for and undetermined time i have personally seen it last over 3 months, talking to no one, having no personal items, and less one on one and group therapy. People have been Raped while in the care of this facility. this is ignoring lesser complaints like lack of hygiene bad food. all the staff who care leave because they don’t to see the blatant neglect and borderline border line abuse of this facility. not no mention the success rate is less than half when I was there.” – Mac (Yelp)

3/21/2017: (SURVIVOR) “Elevations RTC is an impersonal, unprofessional, and substandard institution. Kindness is the exception there, not the norm. In general, they keep students there for way too long, charge a fortune, and provide very poor therapeutic services and even worse customer service to parents. Their medical staff do not communicate effectively or often. Our therapist provided minimal to no insight and did not win affection or trust from my child who complained that he was often too busy for her and not really present or skilled. They are generally very slow to respond or follow up on anything and get defensive when you raise issues of concern or frustration, even at the highest administrative levels. Supposedly they have cleaned up their act regarding use of strong physical restraints/intervention when children act out, but this is not what my child reported back to me. Physical restraints are used frequently to address children’s defiance. They did not leave the impression that they were truly interested in the advancement of children’s mental health. It is clearly a lucrative business for them, more than anything else. There are much better, more compassionate, and sophisticated options in the world of residential treatment centers. Keep looking. Good luck!” – Gail (Yelp)

Related Media

Elevations RTC Website Homepage

HEAL Program Information – Elevations RTC

Elevations RTC – Wikipedia

Family sues Dr. Phil, Utah treatment center (Deseret News, 1/29/2014)

The Troubled Teen Industry has been a Disaster for Decades. And it’s still not Fixed. (The Huffington Post, 8/23/2016)

The Equinox: Rich Group Homes! (4/5/2020)

Utah Has Seen Abuse In ‘Troubled Teen’ Programs For Decades. Now, Momentum Slowly Builds For Change. (KUER, 12/17/2020)