Few things can be as overwhelming and frustrating as mental illness – or finding effective treatments. At Skyland Trail, we get it. Which is why we take a different approach to helping adults with mental health issues.
Located in Atlanta, Skyland Trail is a nationally recognized nonprofit mental health treatment organization serving adults ages 18 and older.
We’re not a hospital or lock-down institution, we’re a voluntary treatment community of clients finding new ways to overcome the
limitations of their illness and reclaim their lives.
But success is built on a two-way commitment – we’re committed to our patients and we ask our patients to commit to our approach. Each client has to put in the time and effort needed to make real and sustainable progress.
We’re serious about healing and we’re passionate about the community we serve.
Who We Treat
We’re focused on people with complex mental health issues, helping them understand that they are more than their diagnoses
dictate – helping them grow, recover and reset to a new normal.
We treat adults ages 18 and older with a primary psychiatric diagnosis - a mood or thought disorder like bipolar illness, major depression, or schizophrenia, or an anxiety disorder. Most clients have co-occurring diagnoses including alcohol or substance abuse, borderline personality disorder, or secondary anxiety disorders.
Because of our onsite primary care clinic, we can support those who have medical health needs in addition to psychiatric needs.
While our clients are largely from Georgia and the southeast we have many clients from across the U.S. and a few from around the world.
A Comprehensive Continuum of Care
Many clients enter our residential psychiatric treatment program after leaving a hospital or other acute facility. On average, our clients complete our treatment program in four to six months and then return to the community to live independently.
We offer a unique continuum of care with deliberate step-downs and reintegration points. Clients begin in our residential treatment or day treatment program. Our longer length of stay allows clients to gradually move through our levels of care as their symptoms and skills improve.
A Whole Person Approach
We treat each individual, individually, tailoring an approach that includes a broad mix of evidence-based one-on-one and group therapies that help prepare our clients for reintegration into their lives.
Our holistic treatment model integrates strategies to help clients improve mental health, physical wellness, and relationships with family and friends.
- In addition to helping our clients through effective medications and evidence-based psychotherapy, we offer art, music, horticultural and recreation therapies; pastoral counseling; and family therapy.
- In classroom-like settings, we educate clients about their mental illness and teach strategies they can use to cope with stress and prevent relapse.
- Our vocational services program helps clients prepare to return to school or enter the workforce.
- We are one of only a few programs in the country to integrate medical care and mental health treatment.
Learn more about our evidence-based treatment model >
Skyland Trail began with the determination of Atlanta business leader Charles B. West. Through a friend's experience, he learned of a void in mental illness treatment. In the early 1980s the dominant treatment model in Atlanta was hospitalization. There were no residential psychiatric treatment programs with the goal of reintegrating back into the community.
Nearing retirement from the family business, West Lumber Company, he turned his energies to the new cause, and in 1982 he established The George West Mental Health Foundation, named for his father. He recruited a committed board of directors, and they studied programs and innovations across the nation that looked beyond short-term stabilization to long-term recovery. The first facility opened in 1989, a treatment residence called Skyland Trail, and this name quickly became the foundation’s identity.
Learn more about our history >