2020 Annual Report


In New Ways

While many forces pushed us apart in 2020, the "new normal" also pulled us together in new ways.

The mental health treatment community found new ways to connect, share and serve. And, importantly, people like you continued to support mental health treatment through charitable giving. Despite the uncertainty, corporations, foundations, and individuals recognized the critical need to ensure access to life-saving mental health treatment.

We are seeing unprecedented demand for our treatment services. Thank you to everyone who kept us strong in 2020 and ready to meet the needs of 2021.

2020 Year in Review

Even without the pandemic, 2020 was a milestone year for Skyland Trail as we welcomed teens and grew our residential adolescent treatment program that opened in October 2019. Of course there was a pandemic, and in addition to growing the adolescent program, we also transitioned our adult day treatment program to a virtual platform – in just one week – and reengineered our residential programs to ensure the health and safety of clients and staff on campus.

  • Adult Residential Treatment

    Admissions to our adult residential treatment program increased 6% over 2019. While some programs temporarily halted admissions due to the pandemic, Skyland Trail was able to safely remain open, in large part due to private rooms, a campus dedicated as a precautionary facility, and our on-site Glenn Family Wellness Clinic and medical team.

  • Adolescent Treatment

    We welcomed 57 adolescents to the residential treatment program. The adolescent program also was fully licensed by the state and certified by The Joint Commission.  Contracts were approved with three insurance carriers – Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Cigna – which increased access to care for families covered by these plans.

  • Virtual Education

    While many events were canceled – from workshops to national conferences – Skyland Trail experts found creative ways to connect with new audiences, participating in 22 virtual events reaching at least 1,165 individuals. Events included the annual Dorothy C. Fuqua Lecture Series focused on protecting mental health during a pandemic for everyone from children to executives.

  • Financial Aid

    Skyland Trail awarded $2.5 million in financial aid in 2020, a 41% increase over 2019. More than 45% of clients enrolled in residential or day treatment services were awarded financial aid to cover a portion of their treatment.

2020 Client Community

2020 Age at admission 16% Ages 14-17 52% Ages 18-25 14% Ages 26-35 9% Ages 36-45 5% Ages 46-55 >3% Ages 55+
Adolescent Program Primary Psychiatric Diagnoses Confirmed at Admission 77% Major Depression 5% Bipolar Illness 7% Anxiety Disorders 11% Other
Adolescent Program Gender at Admission 62% Female 22% Male 16% gender neutral or non-binary
Adult Programs Primary Psychiatric Diagnoses Confirmed at Admission 54% Major Depression 23% Bipolar Illness 5% Anxiety Disorders 11% Psychotic Disorders 7% Other
Adult Programs Gender 54% Female 46% Male 2% gender neutral or non-binary

Alumni Client Story: Sparkle

Despite traveling the world, Sparkle struggled to stay grounded. Skyland Trail helped her learn the skills she needed to work toward a healthy future and is almost ready for her next adventure.

2020 Skyland Trail Donors

View a list of annual donors, contributors to special events, and honor and memorial gifts.

2020 Skyland Trail Donors

View a list of annual donors, contributors to special events, and honor and memorial gifts.

Why We Give

By Sharmila and Sreeni Prabhu

"We were introduced to Skyland Trail by our friends Mark and Betsy West. We didn’t know much about the organization before meeting them. They had invited us to Benefits of Laughter. Needless to say, we had an amazing evening - enjoying the company of our friends, sharing a lot of laughs and helping a great cause! That was close to eight years ago. We have contributed every year since then.

We have chosen to support an organization that focuses on mental health in hopes to help change the negative connotations, misconceptions, and stigma that go along with it. We believe this can be done by being actively involved with Skyland Trail. We’re hoping that, when our communities can go back to some normalcy, we can continue on our social gatherings and raise awareness on this topic."

Sharmila Sreeni Prabhu Crop

Corporate Donor Spotlight

"Promoting and supporting employee wellbeing is part of GPC’s company culture. We provide programs to our associates that focus on every aspect of total wellbeing, including mental health and emotional wellbeing, which is particularly important in these challenging times. We understand that this support makes a real difference in our employees’ lives and makes us a stronger business.

Also part of our culture is our desire to be responsible corporate citizens, making a positive contribution to the communities around us. That’s why we sponsor an important community facility like Skyland Trail. Skyland Trail’s focus on mental wellness aligns with our values and mission—to help make a positive difference in people’s lives and strengthen the communities where our employees and neighbors live."


Will Stengel
President, Genuine Parts Company

Genuine Parts Company was a platinum sponsor of Benefits of Laughter 2020

Genuine Parts Company Logo

More Than a Diagnosis:
A Grateful Family Story

"My son is bright, funny, compassionate and kind. He's the person that everyone always enjoys talking to at a gathering as he's interested, attentive and fun. Yet during that week, we were unable to calm him or get him to believe that he would get relief from this terrible onslaught of emotions. He was bereft and kept saying that he couldn't live with these feelings he was having.

We immediately began searching for treatment options, and a good friend told us about Skyland Trail. We were so grateful he was admitted, and he soon was part of the Skyland Trail day treatment program for the next couple of months. The contrast and scope in care was beyond measure...

To demonstrate our many thanks to Skyland Trail, our family decided to give back by supporting Skyland Trail events like the Associates Luncheon and Benefits of Laughter. In addition to the financial contribution, I felt confident that, if I could invite people that I know to these events and introduce them to Skyland Trail, and share my son’s story, they too would become inspired, interested and supportive."

Planned Giving Spotlight

"When I first met with Beth Finnerty 30 years ago, I told her that I didn’t want mental illness to be something people whispered about. I had a longtime family friend whose daughter suffered from schizophrenia, and I saw how it totally affected the family. This is what inspired me to support Skyland Trail– so others did not have to go through the same experience. I am pleased to be a member of The Cypress Society, knowing that my gift will have a lasting impact and ensure the long-term sustainability of this special organization."

Beth Jones
Skyland Trail Emeritus Board

Photo: Beth Finnerty, Skyland Trail president and CEO, (left) with Beth Jones (right)

Beth Finnerty and Beth Jones

2020 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.

Skyland Trail awarded 41% more financial aid dollars in 2020 than in 2019.

of clients received financial aid awards

average award per recipient

total financial aid distributed

awarded since 1999

We cannot express just how grateful we are...

"I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, but Josh and I feel very strongly that our daughter’s time spent at Skyland Trail literally saved her life...

We just cannot express just how grateful we are for the financial assistance provided to us. We were devastated when we realized that our insurance did not cover residential treatment. While that news did not deter us from our path to get our daughter the help she needed, we were looking into liquidating part of our retirement to make it possible...

While the out-of-pocket expenses without insurance were still difficult, it became more manageable thanks to the generous financial assistance our family received. We are so appreciative of Skyland Trail and its staff for the work they did with our daughter and our family, and would recommend the program without hesitation to anyone who has a child battling overwhelming anxiety, depression, and suicidality.  Thank you simply doesn’t quite seem adequate!"

Parent of a Skyland Trail adolescent program graduate and financial aid recipient

Alumni Families From Near and Far Support Endowed Scholarship

In spring 2020, a group of 10 alumni families joined together with the goal of raising $100,000 to establish a financial aid endowment. Collectively, the 10 families contributed $50,000 and challenged other alumni families to match their gifts. In fall 2020, the Skyland Trail Board of Directors voted to contribute $25,000 to the scholarship fund. By the end of 2020, thanks to the generous contributions of 65 families, $150,000 was raised —50 percent more than the original goal of $100,000 — and the Alumni Family Endowed Scholarship was established.

The endowment will exist in perpetuity and will provide critical financial assistance to eligible patients, helping to ensure that future generations have access to quality mental health services. Donations in any amount are welcome throughout the year from Grateful Families.

Thank you to all who helped establish this important fund. Below, several alumni family members from across the country share why they chose to contribute and invest in the futures of other clients and families.

portrait of a woman

I hope that this scholarship will provide families with some measure of relief from the burden of the cost of treatment. I remember the many emotions that I felt when I first started looking into mental health treatment options for my son. It can be overwhelming, and I hope that families receiving financial aid from this fund will take heart in the knowledge that there is an entire community of alumni families, who have been where they are and who have come out on the other side with hope and the belief that recovery is possible. Today, my son is thriving and looking at graduate schools. We both credit Skyland Trail with helping provide him with the tools and skills that enabled him to pursue his goals for the future.

Lynda, alumni parent

mom with adult daughter hugging on the beach

We decided to support the new scholarship at Skyland Trail because we wanted clients to know that all they have to worry about right now is getting better – that they have the time and permission to focus on caring for themselves. We will always be grateful for the care and support Skyland Trail has provided to our family, and we hope others are able to find the same outcomes with the help of the scholarship.

Leigh Scott, alumni parent
Madison Scott, alumna

Thank you Skyland Trail and all who work and volunteer to support these wonderful people who so desperately need help. We credit you with saving our son’s life – perhaps not his physical life, but definitely his life – the one that most of us take for granted each day – waking up and enjoying a day, being able to meet challenges without being completely derailed, simply being able to sleep and to get up each day.

We are contributing to the Alumni Family Endowed Scholarship in the hope that many alumni families will also contribute generously so that there are several scholarships available.

We were so blessed that our insurance paid for most of our son’s stay, and with your wonderful help he was able to turn around quickly. No one should be limited because they are not similarly blessed.

Ginny and Mark, alumni parents

US map with dots showing the location of alumni families who made gifts

Giving Highlights


Horticultural therapist Libba Shortridge in the greenhouse

Horticultural therapy is an important part of Skyland Trail's holistic treatment program. Led by Libba Shortridge, MA, HTR, clients learn how to use nature as a tool for recovery. The greenhouse on the Charles B. West Campus recently received a few upgrades thanks to charitable donations from the Skyland Associates, a women's auxiliary group. Improvements were made to the floor and roof, and new tables and stools were installed.


Thank you to the many board members, families, and donors who supported our staff and clients with words of encouragement and special treats. Your support reminded all of us that we are part of a special community.

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Virtual Benefits of Laughter Raises More Than $1 Million for Mental Health Treatment

In October, Skyland Trail hosted the first virtual Benefits of Laughter, which raised more than $1 million. While thanking supporters during the event, event chair Jenny Pruitt said, “Despite the circumstances this year, I am thrilled that we can still be together tonight sharing our passion for Skyland Trail. Your continued support gives Skyland Trail the necessary resources to help families in need now and in the future.”

Total giving in 2020

Households tuned into virtual fundraising events in 2020

Number of new donors
in 2020

Grateful families made a charitable gift, a 27% increase over 2019

2020 Financial Highlights


pie chart of revenue
pie chart showing breakdown of program revenue

LEAP and Vocational Services were not offered as outpatient or add-on programs in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 Sources of Charitable Donations 58% Individuals 31% Foundations 11% Corporations


pie chart with program expenses
2020 Distribution of Financial Aid by Program90% Residential Treatment 6% Day Treatment 3% Transitional Housing

2020 in Words and Photos

“Our daughter and family was struggling with our daughter’s mental health. She was unstable, needed continuous care, and extensive treatments. We felt hopeless. We began seeking a mental health facility that could provide proper care, help her maintain stability, and transition to independence. In a matter of months, Skyland's doctors, therapists, and staff have helped our daughter achieve mental health stability and independence. We cannot thank everyone enough, May God bless and keep all Skyland staff!”


"First rate program that goes above and beyond with first rate providers & staff to help with the education, meds management and support of our loved one to get back into the world and have a good life beyond the mental health issues with which they have to deal. We THANK YOU SKYLAND TRAIL more than we could ever express or put into words!!"


“In spite of the unusually difficult circumstances presented by the Covid19 virus, the staff took the right measures to protect my daughter while allowing her the ability to participate fully in the program and gain the skills she needed to be successful post program.”

JULY 2020

“The entire Skyland community is like a big family. From the moment your loved one arrives at Skyland, they are welcomed and embraced with open arms. The genuine care of all of the staff, doctors, and administrators supports and fosters each person's individual journey to wellness.”

JUNE 2020

“We will be forever grateful for the support, the guidance, and the tools provided by Skyland Trail. We have our son back. It's truly amazing. Skyland Trail changed our lives.”

MAY 2020

A photo of Trudy Farkas at her nurses station wearing a facemask during the COVID-19 pandemic

“Skyland Trail exceeded my expectations. Its programs and therapies were provided in an environment which enabled my daughter to gain knowledge about her mental illness as well as valuable skills to help her manage it. Being in a place with caring & professional therapeutic staff who encouraged & expected personal growth made a positive & impactful difference in my daughter. I am grateful and so is my daughter...from her many statements to me...for the opportunity to stay at Skyland. Seeking out long term mental health treatment was a daunting task ...finding a place like Skyland Trail affirmed my belief that a quality program exists.“


A photo of Trudy Farkas at her nurses station wearing a facemask during the COVID-19 pandemic

Thank You To Our 2020 Event Sponsors

Thank you for being part of our healing community!

Learn more about how to support our work.