Adolescent Parent Gives Back with Employer Matching Gift

Because of Skyland Trail, my son is alive today.

When my teenage son began to struggle with his mental health, we had a difficult time locating a residential treatment center that provided private bedrooms and bathrooms, which was an important consideration for us because he is transgender. As we searched for places that provided these accommodations, we found Skyland Trail and were immediately impressed by its stellar reputation.

It was also important to me, as a mother, that Skyland Trail value family involvement in their clients’ care. My son’s therapist and psychiatrist were great about communicating and letting us know what was going on throughout his treatment, and their guidance and advice became one of my family’s greatest sources of strength and support. It was very clear to us that Skyland Trail genuinely cares about its clients.

About three weeks into the program, I began to notice a significant shift in my son: his body language was different, he looked happy, and he was more engaged. I credit this to the hard work he put in with his therapist and the DBT skills that he was learning. I think he had a “light bulb moment” where he realized that he was not the only person going through these same feelings and emotions—he no longer felt alone. He could finally open up and talk to people who understood what he was going through.

Unfortunately, our insurance only provided 12 days of treatment coverage, and there was no way that I could have afforded to keep my son in treatment for the length of time that he needed if it weren’t for the financial assistance that we received from Skyland Trail. Our experience really was life-changing, and it’s hard for me not to get emotional when I think about the impact that it had on us as a family.

Because of Skyland Trail, my son is alive today. He is excited about going back to school and participating in life again. Our communication as a family has changed, and I am grateful for the improvements we gained because of this process.

When I think about my son and other adolescents his age, I am mindful of the alarming statistics and the increasing mental health needs of this generation. My advice to anyone who is just beginning this mental health journey with their loved ones: take heart. Know that this is no one’s fault, and the first step is reaching out and asking for help. There is hope. Embrace the opportunity to take a deep breath when your loved one enters into treatment.

As parents, we do what we can to equip our children with all the skills and tools that they need to navigate their lives. In times of crisis, we sometimes don’t know where to turn. Skyland Trail was exactly what we needed.

This is one of the many reasons why I have chosen to give back to Skyland Trail as a grateful family. This year, I gave $90 in honor of the 90 days that my son spent in treatment, and I used my employer’s matching gift program to double my gift. So many companies now have matching gift programs as part of their social impact initiatives, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity. It’s free money, and it’s easy to do!

– Dierdre, a parent of an adolescent treatment program graduate.