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Why We Give

April 30, 2018


Skyland Trail was our family’s last resort to help our youngest daughter. We felt like we had tried everything and we did not know where else to go.

Our daughter’s diagnosis was elusive,and she had a mixture of related mental illnesses. We had tried private schools, therapy, medicine, and even an extended stay at a mental health facility. We never got an accurate diagnosis, and things were going downhill. Finally, our daughter decided she wanted and needed help.

I saw a Skyland Trail brochure in her therapist’s office. I don’t know what makes Skyland unique, other than Skyland was the only place that helped my daughter and our family. My daughter has been out of Skyland for a little over a year now, and the difference in her life has been dramatic.

We’ve learned that recovery is never a straight line, but her trajectory has been steadily heading up with minor dips in between. She is living independently, and her life management skills are steadily improving. Through Skyland Trail’s holistic programs that focused on healthy minds and bodies, she has lost a significant amount of weight, which has improved her physical health and given her a huge boost of much-needed confidence. My wife and I still play supporting roles, but we are no longer bouncing from one crisis to the next. We have learned to be patient with progress and to celebrate each small step forward. 

I am very reluctant to tell people what charitable causes one should devote their resources to, so I will only explain why we chose to give to Skyland Trail. Mental illness is beginning to make it into society’s consciousness but still has a long way to go. I think we are on the cusp of a more universal understanding that mental illness is not a weakness of character but a medical illness with many effective treatments available.

Until this broader understanding is reached, many individuals continue to suffer without access to good treatment options, and their families and communities suffer as well. Skyland Trail is leading the charge in effectively treating those of us with mental illness and raising awareness that, with treatment, individuals with a mental health diagnosis can live productive, meaningful lives.

That is why we decided to support Skyland Trail. Bottom line is: Skyland Trail got results, when no one else did. Our daughter has more work to do but she now has hope because she has experienced happiness.I believe she is on her way to a fulfilling life, and Skyland Trail was a huge component of this change.

This article appeared in the 2017 Annual Report.