Compass Program for Young Adults

What to Expect

The Compass Program for Young Adults (Compass) offers a safe, structured and supervised environment in a hospital setting for young adults ages 18-30. Each patient’s comprehensive, specialized treatment plan is designed by experienced, highly skilled clinical treatment team.
Length of treatment in Compass depends on several factors, including symptom severity and progress toward goals. The average length of stay is six to eight weeks.

Life in the Program

The environment of Menninger’s Compass Program is comfortable, yet controlled and secure. Treatment team offices are located on the unit, so the patient has opportunities to interact with the care team during the day.
Menninger practices what is called milieu therapy, which means that the total environment is part of the healing process. While the program is structured, unscheduled time helps teach time management and provides a chance to socialize with peers, perform therapy homework, relax with a hobby or participate in activities like games and movies. The leisure time offsets the intense therapeutic work and offers real-life situations for practicing newly learned interpersonal and symptom management skills.
Personal electronic devices such as cell phones, smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktops are not permitted. MP3 players with FM radio and headphones are provided. Mail is delivered each weekday.


Compass blends well-appointed bedrooms and common areas that encourage socializing. On-unit laundry and nutrition centers are available for patient use. Patients are responsible for tidying their own rooms.
Compass has private rooms, which are handicapped accessible. Semi-private rooms offer private bathrooms and separate closets. All rooms feature built-in desks, upholstered club chairs, an array of lighting options, and full-size beds with soft and firm mattress options. Compass also features a secure outdoor terrace with seating, landscaping and a view to the evening stars.
Common areas elsewhere on campus include gardens with outdoor seating, a labyrinth, a main dining room, saltwater pool, gymnasium and walking paths. These areas are accessible according to each individual’s schedule.
Patients may socialize in common areas and not in one another’s bedrooms. Patients generally eat together in the main dining room with Compass staff.

Atmosphere and Dress

At Menninger, the patients and staff function together as a community. Patients lead a weekly meeting to welcome new patients and staff, say goodbye to those leaving and discuss issues of interest. Each day patients and staff meet to plan the activities for evenings and weekends.
Patients are encouraged to dress comfortably. Staff members dress in business and business casual attire.
Members of the entire treatment team interact with patients both formally in treatment and informally throughout the day. Staff members are available on the unit around the clock for questions and support.

Customized Treatment

During the first week to 10 days at Menninger, a patient’s needs are assessed. They also begin participating in treatment while an individualized schedule is finalized. Patients are expected to take personal responsibility for their treatment and are involved in every phase, from planning to discharge.
See a typical daily program schedule and discover what the first days with Compass are like.
I've been able to thrive with tools and lessons that Menninger taught me. — Samantha, a former Compass patient

Supervision by Staff

Supervision levels change during a stay and are designed to help each person accomplish treatment goals while ensuring their safety. Typically, patients earn privileges to participate in individual and group activities with progressively less supervision as progress is made.