Serenity Program

Residential Mental Health Support For Highly Complex Needs

Craigwood’s Serenity program provides highly individualized services for young people facing the most complex mental health and behavioural challenges. Youth in this program most often require continuous one-to-one staffing or more. These youth have often been unsuccessful with previous placements or are currently at an acute stage requiring a low stimulation safe environment and significant support. They have unique needs that can be met only through an intensive, highly resourced residential environment.

Clinical Overview

The Serenity program is designed to meet the adolescent development, unique mental health, multiple diagnoses and life experiences of each youth. The program operates through trauma-informed, relationship-oriented and resiliency perspectives. A sense of intrapersonal, environment and interpersonal safety are key areas of focus that permeate the program as the youth work through past experiences and build new skills for success.

A multi-disciplinary team will be assigned to work with each youth and family. Team members would include the program supervisor, the primary case worker assigned, a social worker, teacher, youth and family, and others as the need indicates.

With a low number of clients at any one time, and a high level of staff, Serenity provides the most personal approach to safe and supportive clinical care, with opportunities for significantly challenged youth to integrate into the larger campus activities as appropriate and at their own pace.

Our rural campus provides a therapeutic group living environment supported by Nurse Practitioner services, individual and/or family psychotherapy, our on-site school plus social, recreation and leisure opportunities.

This unique, collaborative program serves both male and female youth referred from local, regional, provincial or out-of-province agencies. Typically, these services are funded through consultation and agreements with Children’s Aid Societies or a multi-complex special needs funding organization.

While the Serenity program for each resident is uniquely tailored to his or her personal needs, its goals will generally include:

  • Increase competencies
  • Offer safety and stability
  • End the multiple placements/moves experienced by the youth
  • Facilitate growth toward self-regulation, health and self-responsibility

…and ultimately prepare the youth to transition into a less intrusive setting.

Therapeutic groups and services at Serenity are tailored to the unique needs of each youth and typically include:

  • Anger and Emotional Regulation and Interpersonal Problem-Solving
  • Life and Social Skills
  • Cognitive and Behavioural Intervention
  • Clinical Supports from a Master’s level clinician

As required:

  • Healthy Sexuality and Lifestyles
  • Substance Abuse
  • Women’s health issue
  • Impact of trauma
  • Exploitation and Human Trafficking

Let’s get SMART!

“SMART” goals at Serenity are:

S – specific                  (Is it clear to you and others who are helping you?)
M – measurable         (Can we evaluate this daily, weekly?)
A – attainable             (Is it something that you can achieve?)
R – realistic                 (Does it “fit” for you and where you want to go?)
T – timely                    (Is there a specific time frame that you can achieve this in?)


Admissions to this program are assessed on a case-by-case basis. At the time of referral, a specialized team is created to meet the unique client needs and level of support required. Referrals are usually from Children’s Aid Societies or a multi-complex special needs funding organization. Family members are involved in the treatment process as indicated. Youth over 18 with complex special needs will be considered.

  • 2-bed program
  • Youth age 12 – 21
  • Voluntary* admission
  • Ailsa Craig campus

Craigwood’s approach to building the foundation for the lasting success of our clients

* Voluntary admission: Admission to these programs requires consent of both the youth and their legal guardian. Please see our policies and framework regarding the Rights of the Child.