2019 Annual Report

Together we’re changing the face of mental health.

As a friend of Skyland Trail, you know that mental health affects people of all ages. You know that recovery is possible. And you know that access to effective treatment can change the face of mental health… and change lives.

Mental illnesses are treatable medical problems that can affect all of us. Changing the face of mental health requires all of us working together to eliminate stigma and improve access to treatment. We could not inspire such transformations without you, and we are grateful for your support.

2019 Year in Review

2019 was a year of growth and change at Skyland Trail. We expanded our treatment services to adolescents ages 14 to 17. And we continued to serve as a national model for effective and respectful psychiatric treatment of adults ages 18 and older.

2019 Client Community

pie chart showing age at admission in 2019
pie chart showing patient gender in 2019
pie chart showing patient primary diagnosis in 2019
pie chart showing patient complexity in 2019

Hope for the Future:
Shane's Story

"The most important thing Skyland Trail has taught me is how to take care of myself and how not to be dependent on others to make me feel better. That’s what I always did. Now I know how to do for myself...What I have now that I didn’t have only a few months ago, is hope. I have hope for the future. One day at a time. One task at a time. I do believe now that I have a life worth living."

2019 Client Outcomes

Annual Report BASIS 32 Graph

88% of all patients
experienced a statistically significant improvement in functionality, symptoms and social relationships 1

Annual Report BHS Graph

89% of all patients experienced a statistically significant improvement in hope 2

Annual Report MAI Graph

92% of patients leave treatment with a positive attitude about taking psychiatric medication 3

(1) The 32-item Behavior and Symptom Identification Scale (BASIS-32): ©McLean University, Affiliate of Harvard Medical School. (2) Beck Hopelessness Scale: Beck AT, Weissman A, Lester D, Trexler L. (1074). The measurement of pessimism: The Hopelessness Scale. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42(6), 861-865. (3) Medication Attitude Inventory: Hogan TP, Awad AG, & Eastwood R. (1983). A self-report scale predictive of drug compliance in schizophrenics: reliability and discriminative validity. Psychological Medicine, 13, 177-183. (4) Overall JE, Gorham DR. The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Psychological Reports. 1962; 10:799-812. (5) Montgomery, S.A. & Åsberg, M. (1979). A new depression scale designed to be sensitive to change. British Journal of Psychiatry, 134, 382-389. (6) Young RC, Biggs JT, Ziegler VE, Meyer DA: A rating scale for mania: reliability, validity and sensitivity. British Journal of Psychiatry, 133:429-435, 1978. (7) Hamilton M: The assessment of anxiety states by rating. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 32:50-55,1959.

J. Rex Fuqua Campus Opens: Adolescent Clients Begin Treatment

The J. Rex Fuqua Campus offers specialized residential psychiatric treatment for adolescents ages 14 to 17 struggling with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Teen clients began admitting to the residential treatment program in November 2019. The campus was dedicated in honor of Rex Fuqua to recognize his vision, leadership, and contributions to make the adolescent campus and program possible.

A multidisciplinary treatment team includes psychiatrists, psychologists, masters level therapists, certified educators, nurse practitioners and registered nurses, and experts in experiential therapies like art, music, nature, and recreation. Certified educators work with adolescents throughout treatment to help them continue to make academic progress and learn skills to support future academic achievement.

Through group and individual therapy, teens learn healthy coping skills to navigate school and family and peer relationships. Family members participate in family therapy sessions and psychoeducation classes to help them make important changes to family dynamics to support long-term health.

Adolescent clients typically participate in the short-term residential treatment program for about six to eight weeks before returning home to their families. A day treatment and intensive outpatient program for adolescents allow clients and families to continue individual and family therapy activities with shorter schedules and less intense support.

“Skyland Trail’s adolescent treatment program will fill an urgent need in our region for evidence-based, high-quality residential mental health treatment for teens. For many years, Skyland Trail has had a national reputation as a world-class mental health treatment organization for adults. This new adolescent program will bring that same level of professional expertise and compassionate care to teens and their families, right when they need help the most.”

Rex Fuqua

Community Celebrates
Grand Opening

On October 10, Skyland Trail celebrated the grand opening of the J. Rex Fuqua Campus for adolescents. Skyland Trail leadership joined nearly 200 mental health professionals and guests for a ribbon cutting program followed by tours of the campus.

Corporate Donor Spotlight

“Invesco is committed to helping improve the communities in which we operate and in which our employees live and work across the globe. We’re proud to support world-class mental health treatment organizations like Skyland Trail, which has been helping people with mental illness thrive for more than 30 years. The compassion and dedication of the Skyland Trail team is impressive, and plays an important role in providing a path to wellness for their clients.”


Martin L. Flanagan, CFA, CPA
President & CEO, Invesco LTD

Invesco was a platinum sponsor of Benefits of Laughter 2019

Martin Flanagan CEO of Invesco

Why We Give

By Elizabeth Klump

"Michael and I have been fortunate to attend Benefits of Laughter as guests for several years. Before we knew much about the programs at Skyland Trail, we developed an appreciation for the many friends and members of our community who strongly support its mission. Through continued involvement, we learned more about the impact of mental illness as well as Skyland Trail’s work to help individuals and families who are struggling. We were motivated to become a part of the solution.

Over the years, we also have seen the effects of depression and anxiety on children of family members and close friends. One school counselor reports that 30 percent of the high school population currently seeks school counseling. One of every three adolescents will experience anxiety by age 18, and the potential for depression increases with anxiety present. There has been a true need for a top-rated mental health treatment program for young people in Atlanta. After touring the Skyland Trail campus and understanding their outstanding programming and vision, we felt privileged to be a part of the new J. Rex Fuqua Campus for adolescents.

There are so many wonderful causes in our city and elsewhere. We feel it is imperative to work with institutions that make a difference for our children and young adults in order to give them opportunities to thrive. They are the future, and ensuring continued research and development of methods to help address mental illness at a younger age can ensure healthier adults.

By directing a portion of our annual giving to Skyland Trail, our hope is to see more and more of our community find healing and hope through Skyland Trail’s incredible efforts to help those living with mental disorders like anxiety and depression."

Elizabeth Klump

Planned Giving Spotlight

"I have included Skyland Trail in my estate planning because I trust this organization to use every cent I donate to improve the lives of clients and their families. I’ve worked at Skyland Trail for more than 12 years. I’ve seen firsthand how hard this entire organization works to achieve the mission, and I know how crucial philanthropic support is to the clients and families we serve.

The stakes are so high; mental illness can easily result in catastrophic impact. I am impressed daily with the tenacity of our clients to keep at it: growing healthier, stronger, and more skillful. I feel grateful to have been a part of Skyland Trail professionally and, at this point, I feel personally connected to the mission.

I am confident that, one day, my planned gift will help people change their lives, and I am glad to have been able to join in with all of the other Cypress Society members in committing to support the future success of Skyland Trail."

Chris Cline, MSW, LCSW
Senior Vice President of Clinical Services and IT
Skyland Trail

Annual Report Cypress Society

2019 Financial Aid

While clients and families are responsible for a portion of their treatment costs, the Mark C. West Financial Aid Program helps fill the gap. Financial aid helps clients stay in treatment longer, giving them time to fully develop the skills needed to sustain recovery and prevent relapse after leaving Skyland Trail. Beyond the financial impact, financial aid awards relieve stress and help families focus on what is truly important – supporting their loved ones and helping their families heal.

of clients received financial aid awards

average award per recipient

total financial aid distributed

awarded since 1999

Annual Report Bryn Portrait

"Financial aid is really what kept me here. After around 30 days, my insurance didn’t help anymore. They wouldn’t cover for longer than a month. That’s when a lot of my therapy really started."

Bryn P.
Skyland Trail graduate and financial aid recipient

Taking the First Step:
A Grateful Family Story

After Troy graduated from Skyland Trail in 2019, he made a gift to support the Healthy Challenge program in recognition of the impact the program had on his recovery as well as his peers in treatment.

“Starting any type of exercise routine raises nagging thoughts like, ‘I can’t do that,’ ‘I’m not an athlete,’ or ‘What if I look goofy doing this,’” says Troy. “Healthy Challenge provides a safe, easy-going way to take that first and biggest step. I witnessed how much of a role Healthy Challenge and the fitness program played in the recovery of others—whether it was the joy of a partner workout that reminded them of working out with a lost family member, the confidence built in seeing improvements from week to week, or learning a new skill that was once considered impossible. It was because of those experiences that I chose to donate to the Healthy Challenge and fitness program at Skyland Trail.”

Annual Report Grateful Family

Giving Highlights


Powell Brown, a friend of Skyland Trail participating in the 2019 Race Across America, raised $1.15 million for Skyland Trail. This is the largest gift Skyland Trail has received to-date through an individual fundraising effort.

Annual Report Race


At the end of 2019, a $100,000 matching gift challenge made possible by a generous Skyland Trail donor inspired donations from 19 new alumni family donors and 11 new community donors. An additional 42 gifts came from donors who had not made a gift in the last three years. By matching individual gifts up to $5,000, this challenge gift helped raise a total of $153,450 for Skyland Trail.


A $5,000 gift from the Solstice Foundation is supporting the adolescent musical therapy program. The creative arts therapist is purchasing instruments for teens to play as part of their experiential therapeutic activities.

Annual Report Pavers


Skyland Trail raised $21,750 from 43 individuals and families through a unique opportunity at the new adolescent campus. Donors contributed gifts ranging from $250 to $1,000 to inscribe a message on one of the pavers that comprise the Edwina and Tom Johnson Entry Garden leading to the front door of the J. Rex Fuqua Campus for adolescents. Proceeds from the campaign benefit the adolescent treatment program for teens 14 to 17. Pavers are still available for engraving. Contact Sarah Buckley at sbuckley@ skylandtrail.org to learn more.

Annual Report Bird

Total giving in 2019 – an increase of 67% over 2018

Benefits of Laughter broke the $1 million mark, raising nearly $1.2 million

Number of new donors
in 2019

Amount grateful families contributed to the 2019 Annual Fund, a 31% increase over 2018

2019 Skyland Trail Donors

View our 2019 Annual Report for a list of annual donors, contributors to special events, and honor and memorial gifts.

2019 Skyland Trail Donors

View our 2019 Annual Report for a list of annual donors, contributors to special events, and honor and memorial gifts.

2019 Financial Highlights


Annual Report Revenue
Annual Report Program Revenue
Sources of Charitable Donations


Annual Report Program Expenses
Annual Report Financial Aid
Annual Report Grass