Leaving my son was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in a long time. It helps a lot to know he is doing well.
Nexus-Mille Lacs Parent
Our Approach to Treatment

Nexus residential programs are designed to keep your family engaged throughout the treatment process—and to ensure you’re wrapped with all the support you need during this difficult time. While we’re helping your child build skills and stability in their lives, we’ll also help the rest of your family deal with the impact of trauma and mental health issues.

Learn more about Nexus Residential Treatment.

Our Treatment Center
A peaceful retreat in northern Minnesota

Established in 1991, Nexus-Mille Lacs Family Healing is located approximately 75 miles north of the Twin Cities, on a beautiful, 40-acre wooded lot, just outside the town of Onamia, Minnesota.

Programs for Males
(Ages 10-19)

Sexually Problematic Behaviors Program

We specialize in working with kids who demonstrate sexually problematic behaviors. Our treatment program is based on the most current research and national standards and our focus is on treating the whole child, not just a single issue. We’re committed to breaking the cycle of sexual harm so healing can begin.

What are sexually problematic behaviors?

Sexually problematic behaviors include harmful sexual acts against another person, sexual acts that show signs of becoming harmful, and other forms of acting out sexually.

Effective treatment for sexually problematic behaviors requires a safe, non-judgmental approach, based on empathy, genuineness, and warmth. Concern for those who have been harmed—and their need for respect, healing, empowerment, and ongoing safety—is both the driving force and guiding principle behind our successful treatment of youth with sexually problematic behaviors.

Our treatment has a three-pronged approach:

  1. Individualize for every child. Every kid we work with is unique. They each have different reasons for demonstrating sexually problematic behaviors, so they each have a different treatment plan that’s individually tailored to their needs and their family’s needs.

  2. Partner for success. We work together closely with the child’s family , treatment staff, and any others involved in monitoring the child’s success.

  3. Care for the whole person. In order to change harmfully sexual behaviors we address the needs and concerns of the whole child. Our holistic approach takes into account each child’s unique personality, temperament, culture, community, and environment. We address any related mental-health concerns, personal trauma, abuse by others (emotional, physical, or sexual), delays (intellectual, developmental, or educational), social-interaction problems, family stresses, relationship problems, medical concerns, substance-abuse behaviors, and other special needs.

Based on each child’s individual and family needs, we use some or all of the following treatment approaches:

  • Psychological and Psychiatric Assessments
  • Clinical Evaluations
  • Therapy – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Counseling – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psycho-Education – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psychiatric Oversight (to include Medication Management)
  • Experiential Therapy – Sensory, Movement, Sand, Animal Interactions, and Play
  • Research-Based Techniques for Trauma Healing – EMDR (Eye Movement De-Sensitization Reprocessing) and/or TF-CBT (Trauma Focused – Cognitive Based Therapy)
  • Daily Activity and Recreation
  • Vocational Skill Development
  • Education/School (at the appropriate grade and functional level)
  • Referrals – for Substance Abuse Treatment and/or Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapies

Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Program

For kids who struggle with their emotions, behaviors, and/or mental health, we’re passionate about providing the support they need to heal, grow, and thrive—and we’re highly experienced at doing so.

What are emotional, behavioral, and mental health issues?

When a child’s behavior becomes unmanageable—even with high levels of adult intervention, and even when the child is provided love, structure, and protection—that child is most likely experiencing emotional, behavioral, or mental health issues.

We are experts in working with kids who have ongoing emotional and/or behavioral manifestations, like aggression, self-harm, social withdrawal, emotional outbursts, inappropriate social interactions, inability to self-regulate/self-soothe, and suicidal tendencies.

We treat a wide range of diagnoses, including depression, anxiety, ADHD/ADD, bipolar/manic disorder, PTSD, conduct/oppositional defiant disorder, attachment disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, and more.

Based on each child’s individual and family needs, we use some or all of the following treatment approaches: • Psychological and Psychiatric Assessments

  • Clinical Evaluations
  • Therapy – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Counseling – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psycho-Education – Individual, Family, and GroupPsychiatric Oversight (to include Medication Management)
  • Experiential Therapy – Sensory, Movement, Sand, Animal Interactions, and Play
  • Research-Based Techniques for Trauma Healing – EMDR (Eye Movement De- Sensitization Reprocessing) and/or TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused – Cognitive Based Therapy)
  • Daily Activity and Recreation
  • Vocational Skill Development
  • Education/School (at the appropriate grade and functional level)
  • Referrals – for Substance Abuse Treatment and/or Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapies

Intellectually/Developmentally Delayed and Special Needs Program

When a child is struggling with delays, it can be hard to know how to help. At Nexus, we create a safe space for kids to grow and advance, while gaining the skills and support they need.

What does it mean to be intellectually or developmentally delayed and have special needs?

An intellectual delay or disability can occur for a youth who has an IQ of less than 70–75. This can mean they are a little slower than average to learn new information and will function below their current age.

A developmental delay is a long-term disability that can affect cognitive ability, physical functioning, or both. Brain damage can result in a developmental disability.

What’s the difference between an intellectual and a developmental delay?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two. Both can impact a child’s ability to process and comprehend information. Both can affect a child’s response rates—physically and/or emotionally. Both can slow the pace for learning new information and skills—and retaining it. And both can affect a child’s ability to acclimate to new environments.

The primary difference is that a developmental disability most likely also includes a physical disability, whereas an intellectual delay does not. Whatever the cause, we take care to assess, treat, and attend to the individual needs of each child.

Based on each child’s individual and family needs, we use some or all of the following treatment approaches:

  • Psychological and Psychiatric Assessments
  • Clinical Evaluations
  • Therapy – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Counseling – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psycho-Education – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psychiatric Oversight (to include Medication Management)
  • Experiential Therapy – Sensory, Movement, Sand, Animal Interactions, and Play
  • Research-Based Techniques for Trauma Healing – EMDR (Eye Movement De-Sensitization Reprocessing) and/or TF-CBT (Trauma Focused – Cognitive Based Therapy)
  • Daily Activity and Recreation
  • Vocational Skill Development
  • Education/School (at the appropriate grade and functional level)
  • Referrals – for Substance Abuse Treatment and/or Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapies
School/Vocational Training

Mille Lacs Academy School

(Grades 4–12)

Mille Lacs Academy School is our on-campus school that serves youth receiving treatment at Nexus-Mille Lacs Family Healing. The school serves grades 4 through 12 and is focused on meeting each student’s individual needs. With small classes and tailored educational plans, students are supported in advancing their education, meeting graduation and diploma standards, and achieving their highest level of learning. When an IEP identifies a need for increased educational guidance, our academic resource room is equipped to support each student's varying educational needs.

Our school is operated by the Onamia Public School System of Minnesota. Students' graduation and credit requirements are governed by the local school district.

Vocational Opportunities

Our youth at Nexus-Mille Lacs are provided a range of ways to build life and job skills, from cooking to woodworking. They also participate in Kids CARE, a work-opportunity program that provides lawn-care and snow-removal services in the local area—offering an opportunity to learn job skills and give back to the community.

Transition Support

New Trails Group Home

(Ages 14-19)

One of the first steps of transitioning out of our Residential Treatment program is often our Group Home program, which offers 24-hour staff supervision with individualized coaching and mentoring. This program provides a safe, supervised setting that supports youth as they practice and implement their new, positive skills.

The amount of staff coaching while in our Group Home is based on each youth’s unique needs and behaviors, as well as their demonstrated ability to make safe decisions. Youth continue to attend school or vocational training, and they’re encouraged to be involved in community-based extracurricular activities. We also help them connect with other programs offered in the community to meet their ongoing therapy, counseling, and medical health needs.

Most kids in our Group Homes have successfully completed another Nexus-based treatment program, but referrals for youth outside of our network will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Youth who qualify for this program have demonstrated self-controlled behavior, as well as the ability to successfully regulate their emotions.

After completing the Group Home program, youth are prepared for safe community living, and have strengthened their independent living skills.

Nexus-Mille Lacs Family Healing

407 130th Avenue South
Onamia, MN 55359
320-532-4005
Fax: 320-532-4898
Human Resources:: 320-532-4005
Contact Us
Admissions Information
Joe Rubado
320-630-3507
Completed referral forms can be faxed to 320-532-4898

Licensing & Accreditations

  • Accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA)
  • Licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, with certifications for mental health and restrictive procedures
  • Licensure and certification from the Minnesota Department of Corrections
  • Medicaid-eligible