Skyland Trail and Georgia Tech’s Clark Scholars Program Forge Collaborative Mental Health Initiative

Atlanta, GA — In an exciting collaboration that underscores the importance of holistic student well-being, Skyland Trail, a leading mental health treatment center, has joined forces with Georgia Tech’s Clark Scholars Program to provide essential mental health education and support to college students within that program free of charge. This innovative initiative, spearheaded by a Skyland Trail graduate and championed by the Clark Scholars Program, has made a significant impact on fostering open conversations and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.

The collaboration began with a visionary proposal put forth by Nate Tenorio, a graduate of Skyland Trail’s program, to bridge the gap. “At Skyland Trail, I learned invaluable skills that I believed could greatly benefit my peers at Georgia Tech. I approached the Clark Scholars Program with a proposal, envisioning a collaboration that could provide essential mental health education and support to students,” Nate shared.

The Clark Scholars Program, known for its commitment to fostering academic and personal growth among its cohort of students, embraced Nate’s proposal with enthusiasm. The program identified the need for targeted mental health education, particularly among students who might not have had previous exposure to such nuanced conversations.

The initiative kicked off with a series of five enrichment sessions led by Skyland Trail professionals, covering a range of topics, including identity and insight, grief and loss, self-esteem, and more. These sessions, designed to provide foundational knowledge and encourage open dialogue, fostered an environment where participants felt safe discussing their mental health experiences.

Nate observed, “The feedback we received from students was incredibly positive. Many participants noted a reduction in stigma around mental health conversations, and some even sought out mental health services after the sessions.”

Building on the success of the initial series, the collaboration is set to continue in the fall with a deeper focus on identity and insight. Skyland Trail and the Clark Scholars Program are collaborating to create a curriculum for a five-week program, during which students will engage in in-depth discussions and activities related to this theme. Additionally, a research component has been introduced to gather data on the program’s effectiveness and impact on student’s knowledge and attitudes toward mental health.

“We believe that data-driven insights will further validate the importance of incorporating mental health education into the college experience,” Molly Mercer-Deadman, Director of Education at Skyland Trail said. “By partnering with Georgia Tech’s Clark Scholars Program, we hope to create a lasting impact on students’ well-being and contribute to a broader culture of understanding and support.”

The collaboration between Skyland Trail and Georgia Tech’s Clark Scholars Program has provided a safe space for crucial mental health discussions, building a foundation of knowledge and fostering open conversations. Beyond its immediate impact, this collaboration sets a powerful example of the transformative potential of compassionate partnerships in promoting mental well-being.