STEP Family Support Group

Education and Peer Support for Families of Clients in Adult Mental Health Treatment Programs

Families play a vital role in the recovery of a loved one, yet taking care of a relative who has a serious mental illness can place considerable strain on the primary care givers and other family members. Recognizing the important role and needs of families, Skyland Trail offers the family Support, Training and Education Program (STEP).

STEP is for families of adult clients. Learn more about the Adolescent Family Program for families of adolescent clients here.

The group provides family members with the knowledge, skills and support needed to cope effectively with the unique challenges associated with caring for someone with a mental illness.

During the first hour, a mental health professional provides education and training to the group. The second hour is a support group in which families discuss what they have learned, dilemmas they confront or feelings they experience.

six family members participating in STEP family education and support group


STEP is open to family members and important friends of adult clients enrolled in a Skyland Trail mental health treatment program. Families of Skyland Trail graduates and alumni may also attend. STEP is offered to Skyland Trail families free of charge and is made possible in part by charitable donations from the community.

STEP is for families of adult clients. Learn more about the Adolescent Family Program for families of adolescent clients here.

When & Where

STEP meets on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Eastern. Family STEP is offered through Zoom only.


Please contact STEP Facilitator, Shelley Danser at or 678-686-5956 for more information about STEP.

Upcoming STEP Dates & Topics

May 2, 2024
No STEP, we hope to see you at Arts in the Garden on May 3, 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.!

May 9, 2024
Enabling with Emily Giattina, LCSW

May 16, 2024
Support Group Only

May 23, 2024
Sleep and Other Lifestyle Factors to Improve Your Healthspan with Marsha Seidelman, M.D.

May 30, 2024
Supporting Your Family Member’s Vocational Plans with Doug Hurd, MSW, CFSW

June 6, 2024
Navigating Your Feelings: A father's perspective with Sam Ajizian, MD

People in Your Shoes

Listen as families describe their experiences with STEP.

"You have gotten him here, and he is safe. Now rest and let Skyland do its work.' That was the kind reassurance we received from other parents and family members on our first night at STEP." 

Ellen's Story >>
ellen g and tim m parents of a Skyland Trail graduate