Skyland Trail Receives National Recognition from American Psychiatric Association

Special Presidential Commendation Presented for Innovative Treatment Programs

Skyland Trail, an Atlanta-based nonprofit psychiatric treatment organization for adults with mental illness, was recognized with a Special Presidential Commendation at the Convocation of Distinguished Fellows during the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting in New York on Monday, May 5. The commendation was presented by APA president, Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman.

“For 25 years, Skyland Trail has demonstrated an effective model of integrated care that helps adults learn to live successfully with a mental illness,” says Lieberman. “At a time when our country is re-evaluating how we can best support individuals with mental illness, Skyland Trail provides an excellent example of what can be achieved through evidence-based, comprehensive treatment.”

Skyland Trail received the APA Gold Award in 2004 and receives this second APA recognition, a Special Commendation, on the 25th anniversary of the organization. Beth Finnerty, president and CEO of Skyland Trail, and chief medical officer, Dr. Ray Kotwicki, were present to receive the commendation.

Skyland Trail opened its doors in 1989 serving just four clients with a treatment model that was groundbreaking in Georgia and still new to much of the country. The mission of the organization is to help adults with mental illnesses like bipolar illness, major depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders, learn to successfully manage their illnesses and return to the community to live productive, meaningful lives.

A comprehensive treatment model integrates strategies to help adults improve mental health, physical wellness, spiritual strength and relationships with family and friends. Services include psychiatric assessment, group and individual therapy, primary medical care, vocational services, pastoral counseling, social skills coaching, and art, horticultural and music therapy. 

“To receive this recognition from the APA for our innovative and effective treatment model that – after 25 years – has helped thousands of adults achieve recovery is truly amazing,” says Finnerty. “We are so proud to represent Atlanta, and thankful for the support we have received from the Atlanta community that has helped us grow to meet the needs of adults and families struggling with mental illness.”