In the throes of my existential 20-something crisis, my time in therapy uncovered a more objective perspective on my family system, awareness of the nature of grief and loss, and awakening to general life truths that aided in my individuation process.

– Natalie S., Skyland Trail alumni

Cognition and First Episode

Our Cognition and First Episode recovery community provides residential treatment and day treatment services for college-age young adults and teens ages 18 to 26 who struggle with psychosis either due to a thought disorder, such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, or due to a mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder, with psychotic features.  

Many young adults with mental illness come to us in the midst of their first episode of psychosis. Many of our young adult clients also are dealing with a co-occurring substance abuse issue. While some have visibly struggled through middle or high school, others may have been successful academically and socially with no obvious symptoms. 

Our mental health residential treatment program for young adults with psychosis is a safe next step for individuals leaving the hospital or an inpatient mental health facility who are not yet ready to return home or live independently. 

We're not a hospital or locked institution. We're a voluntary treatment community of clients finding new ways to overcome the limitations of their illness and reclaim their lives. Our four to six month length of stay gives clients the time and space they need to grow, recover, and reset for a healthier future.

Young Adults: Psychiatric Treatment

Psychiatrist Dr. Mary Burns talks about our specialized young adult mental health treatment program.
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Young adults often encounter their first episode of mental illness as they move out on their own, away from their parents and the support systems they relied on in middle and high school. They experience more stress in a world with more consequences. They may experiment with drugs or alcohol for the first time, or neglect a good sleep routine. 

Coupled with a genetic predisposition – or diathesis – for developing illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, these stress factors may trigger emergence of hallucinations, delusions, or other psychotic symptoms. Young adults experiencing psychosis may hear voices no one else can hear, or see things no one else can see. Or, they may believe they have been assigned a special job or mission.

At Skyland Trail, our psychiatrists, therapists and counselors who lead the Cognition and First Episode community have the specialized skills needed to connect with young adults and get them talking. They help clients understand and reduce symptoms, express their thoughts and feelings in healthy ways, practice independent living skills (including medication adherence) and find effective ways to interact with peers and build relationships. 

Through individual and group therapy sessions, clients work to take responsibility for their problems, learn new coping skills and develop greater confidence in moving toward adulthood. Many therapeutic goals are focused on family roles.

Our unique campus-like environment is ideal for young adults and college-age teens. They learn about their mental illness in classroom-like settings and then participate in a weekly schedule of clinically structured activities. Activities include art, music and horticultural therapy; exercise and team sports; nutrition, cooking and wellness education; and vocational services to take steps to return to school or enter the workforce.

Rollins Campus Young Adult Residential Treatment

Skyland Trail Young Adult Campus

The Rollins Campus is a new, 35,000 sq ft residential psychiatric treatment facility for young adults ages 18 to 25 with 32 private bedrooms and bathrooms, and 24/7 nursing staff support.
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Skyland Trail also is unique in our approach to family involvement. We believe families are integral to our clients' recovery. With clients' permission, we facilitate open communication with client families throughout the treatment program. And we offer several services focused on the family including a weekly family education and support group and family therapy sessions. 

Our staff adolescent psychiatrist and certified family psychologist use their expertise to help family systems adapt to clients' changing roles and needs. Moreover, ongoing research into family structures and dynamics informs clinical engagement of loved ones.

Watch Video: Changing Families

Hear how our programs for clients and their families helped one family reset, recover, and reclaim their lives.
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Graduates of the treatment program at Skyland Trail are able to return to their communities with a stronger sense of who they are and the kind of life they want to develop for themselves. 

They have tested strategies and skills that they can rely on to help cope with the stress they will encounter in the "real world." We help connect them to professionals in the community who can continue to provide support as they pursue their personal, education, or career goals.

Watch Video: Victoria's Journey

Victoria found hope and recovery at Skyland Trail after struggling with borderline personality disorder & PTSD for many years.
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On Our Blog: Recovery is Possible

Read how young adult Wyatt faced his first episode of bipolar illness. "The one-on-one sessions with my counselor made a big difference. I had never talked about my feelings in therapy – it felt awesome."
Wyatt's story >

Read about young adult, West and the changes he has made after treatment at Skyland Trail. "Tomorrow is no longer a terrifying unknown; it's now just the day after today. I wake up to face the day knowing I can handle whatever hardships it may bring and be happy with myself."
Read West's story >

Read about the change that Kyle and his family experienced after treatment at Skyland Trail. "We are definitely much more honest and open [in my family]. I do not hesitate to bring up my concerns. And my parents are much better in tune with how I am doing without having to worry as much."
Kyle's story >