COVID-19 PROGRAM UPDATE
Residential Admissions to a Precautionary Facility
During this pandemic, instead of organizing our adult residential campuses by client age, all adult clients admit to the precautionary floor of South Campus and then transition to the residential floor of South Campus or Rollins Campus.
On the day prior to the scheduled admission appointment, all patients must receive a COVID-19 rapid antigen test. Clients must schedule a test with a testing site in the community that provides same-day results.
If test results of the first antigen test are negative, the client should return home or to local accommodations directly from the testing site. The client should have no close physical contact with any other individuals, including individuals in the same household before departing for the admission appointment the following day.
Adult residential clients receive a history & physical exam within 48 hours of the day of admission. As part of the exam, a swab will be taken to be submitted for a COVID-19 PCR test.
While waiting for PCR test results and medical clearance, clients are assigned to the precautionary floor and must remain isolated in their private rooms until medically cleared.
While on the precautionary floor, meals and medications will be delivered to the client’s private room. With approval, clients may leave their room to spend scheduled time individually in the gardens. Clients participate in individual and group therapy sessions remotely via zoom online video conferencing while in their rooms.
Typically, clients may expect to leave the precautionary floor on the Monday or Tuesday following the admission day. To leave the precautionary floor, clients must be medically cleared. A negative PCR test is required for medical clearance. Note that Skyland Trail sends samples for PCR tests out to a third party lab for processing. Lab processing times, though typically 2 to 3 days, may vary and may affect the length of a client’s stay on the precautionary floor.
When a negative PCR test result is received AND at least 72 hours have passed since the history & physical exam without the client developing any symptoms, Skyland Trail will administer a third COVID-19 test: an on-site rapid antigen test. Results of the on-site rapid antigen test will be available within an hour.
If results from the on-site rapid antigen test are negative, the client may be cleared to transition to the residential floor at South Campus or directly to Rollins Campus, depending on bed availability. Note that Skyland Trail is unable to conduct the on-site rapid antigen test or transition clients to a residential room on Saturdays or Sundays.
Clients at Rollins Campus meet in person for groups and individual primary counselor sessions while practicing physical distancing. Individual psychiatry sessions take place through zoom. All residential clients at South Campus and Rollins Campus reside in private rooms with private bathrooms.
Clients on the residential floor of South Campus are transported to Rollins Campus to participate in treatment Monday through Friday and to participate in LEAP on Saturday and Saturday. Clients on the residential floor of South Campus may transition to Rollins Campus as rooms become available.
*Clients who are traveling to Atlanta by plane must arrive in Atlanta, then quarantine in a hotel (or other local accommodations) for four days before the day of admission.
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The Rollins campus includes unique spaces to promote social interaction and engagement in treatment. Welcoming common areas include a family room, client lounge, and outdoor dining terrace. Each residential floor includes a media and game room, and a unique courtyard provides opportunities to participate in outdoor games, yoga, or simply read and enjoy nature.
A Healing Community
They meet other individuals who have similar experiences and who are working through similar questions: What does this diagnosis mean for my future? How do I relate to my friends and family? How do I ask for help when I need it? How do I make healthy choices so that I can be independent and live the life I want?
Structured, evidence-based therapeutic activities throughout the day help clients develop the skills they need to answer these questions. The relationships that clients develop with their peers and counselors help provide the inspiration and motivation to fully participate in treatment and start to use the skills to make progress toward recovery.
Steps Toward Independent Living
Our residential staff helps our clients take steps toward normalizing their daily routine and improving daily living skills. To restore healthy sleep patterns, we set expectations for lights out and wake up times. We also set expectations for personal hygiene and cleanliness of personal and community areas. During treatment hours on Monday through Friday 10AM-5PM, the residential wing is not accessible to clients, ensuring that clients are engaged in treatment and socializing with the community.
Morning, evening and weekend meals are prepared onsite by our dining services staff and served in a community dining room. A licensed nurse is onsite 24/7, and our staff administers medications. Clients are encouraged to work toward independently managing their medications.
Structured Daily Schedules
Each client receives an individualized recovery community and weekly schedule. Adult residential clients participate in individual and group therapy sessions Monday through Friday from 10AM to 4PM.
Some groups take place at the Rollins Campus. Some groups take place at the adjacent Charles B. West Campus.
In additional to individual and group talk therapy sessions, daily schedules include structured fitness and nutrition activities as well as hands-on expressive activities like art, music and horticultural therapy.
While we have suspended client community outings at this time, our residential and recreational therapy teams organize fun activities on campus - from art activities to "screen on the green" outdoor movies - to encourage social engagement with peers and provide structured schedules on evenings and weekends. All activities ensure that physical distancing can be practiced at all times.
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School and Work
The Skyland Trail residential treatment program is a full-time program; residential clients will need to suspend their commitments to a job or school.
The vocational services program offers many opportunities to help young adult clients prepare to return to school, enter the workforce, or find meaningful volunteer opportunities in their communities.
Expected Length of Stay
Clients typically stay in residential treatment for about eight weeks. Most clients then step down to our day treatment program where they continue to work toward independence for several weeks before transitioning to our intensive outpatient program for another two to six weeks.
The total average length of treatment for clients admitting to residential treatment is about 12 to 16 weeks (3-4 months). (Please note that clients in our DBT program enroll in a defined 90-day treatment program.)
Remember that everyone moves through treatment at his or her own pace. Skyland Trail is not a one-size-fits-all program. The length of stay in any level of care is tailored to the needs of each individual client.
Our unique program continuum also allows us to increase the level of care for a client who is struggling or needs extra support. Our multidisciplinary treatment team meets each week to discuss each client individually. The team considers each client's progress toward goals and remaining challenges and makes careful decisions about the level of support each client needs to achieve continued improvement.