Skyland Trail Breaks Ground on Adolescent Campus

ATLANTA – Skyland Trail, a nationally recognized psychiatric treatment organization, recently began construction on an adolescent campus. Scheduled to open in 2019, the campus will be home to a treatment program for adolescents ages 14 to 17 with mood and anxiety disorders. Construction of the facility and development of the new treatment program is made possible by the Building Resilience, Changing Livescampaign, which has raised more than $20 million for the project.

On May 23, 2018, more than 75 guests gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony. Speakers at the ceremony included Richard Parker, chair of the Skyland Trail board of directors; Beth Finnerty, president and CEO; and Dorothy Jordan, executive director of the adolescent program. The campaign tri-chairs – Rex Fuqua, Rand Glenn Hagen, and Tom Johnson – also delivered remarks.

 “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,” says Rex Fuqua.

As part of the program, Finnerty recognized campaign committee members, including: Rev. Joanna Adams; Thomas D. Bell, Jr.; Duvall Fuqua; Allison Hill, JD, PhD; Jim Howard; William E. Huger, III; Clay Jackson; Amy Rollins Kreisler; Melissa Lowe; Lorri McClain; Ned Montag; Colleen Nunn; Richard Parker; and Nina Schwartz. Finnerty also acknowledged the leadership and contributions of the Skyland Trail board of directors.

Many guests in attendance were representatives of philanthropic organizations and individual contributors to the campaign. Founding donors of the Building Resilience, Changing Lives campaign include the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, The Realan Foundation, the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation, The Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation, The James M. Cox Foundation, The West Foundation, Jennifer and Tom Bell, Mary and John Brock, Susan and Jim Hannan, Beth and Tommy Holder, Edwina and Tom Johnson, Melanie and Rob Palumbo, and three anonymous friends of Skyland Trail.

The groundbreaking ceremony marked the beginning of construction on the adolescent campus, which will comprise a treatment facility, a residential hall, and therapeutic outdoor spaces.

Located in Chamblee, an existing 30,000 square-foot, two story office building will be renovated to meet the specialized treatment and education needs of adolescents. The renovated building will include individual and group therapy rooms, art and music therapy rooms, a media center and dedicated space for patients to complete their school work, a kitchen and dining area, and offices for clinical and administrative staff.

A two-story residential hall will be constructed adjacent to the treatment center. It will include 26 private patient rooms as well as a common living area, family room, kitchen, and nurses’ station. Outdoor spaces will be developed into a courtyard and gardens, as well as specialized areas for fitness and recreational activities.

The adolescent treatment program will expand the Skyland Trail continuum of care which currently includes psychiatric residential, day treatment, and outpatient programs for adults ages 18 and older.  The adolescent treatment program will be open to adolescents ages 14 to 17 in the Atlanta area as well as clients and families from outside of Georgia.

Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and 75 percent begin by age 24. In the U.S., 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 live with a mental health condition. Studies suggest that early diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders can improve long-term outcomes.