Cameron and Josh
I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, but Josh and I feel very strongly that our daughter’s time spent at Skyland Trail literally saved her life. We will forever be grateful for the ways in which the Lord used each and every staff member at Skyland Trail to accomplish just that.
When we arrived at the Skyland Trail adolescent program in late July, our 17-year-old daughter was in the darkest, scariest place that a parent can imagine for their child. And quite honestly, no parent ever imagines that this experience will be a part of their story or their child’s story. When you reach the point of considering residential treatment for your child, you are doing so out of desperation because you have tried absolutely everything and nothing has worked. I can’t possibly explain how badly we did not want to make this choice for her or for us.
Our daughter had lost all ability to keep fighting the depression that had consumed her. She was exhausted, hopeless, and completely broken down. When we brought her back home in late September, her depression and anxiety were significantly reduced, and most importantly, she had regained hope for the future.
The present day is certainly not without challenges, and there is still work to be done in therapy, but the difference is that the staff at Skyland Trail taught our daughter invaluable skills that she needed to help her manage the negative emotions that were ruling her entire world. Family therapy was EXTREMELY instrumental in our daughter’s recovery and our learning how to best support her in making a path forward.
Our family therapist at Skyland Trail taught us how to walk along beside her in her struggles and helped us better understand where her thought processes originated and how to help her redirect her thoughts without invalidating her feelings. She taught our daughter to better communicate with us and helped us to improve our understanding of the intensity of her emotions. She was amazing at facilitating an improved connection between us and our daughter, something that had become fractured as she fell deeper into her depression. Trusting our daughter to a group of total strangers was the absolute hardest thing we have ever done in our 17 years of parenting, but our family therapist is the reason that we did not crumble under that stress.
The Adolescent Family Education Program was top notch. The seminars were in line with what the kids were learning and helped us to improve our understanding of what they were being taught. The parent support groups that followed allowed us to see that we were not the only parents walking this tough road with our kids.
The biggest change we have seen in our daughter would revolve around her safety and communication. While she still is not without her struggles, and some days are better than others, we are confident that she can manage the bad days without resorting to harmful behavior. This didn’t seem possible before her time at Skyland Trail.
As for communication, we would not be where we are today with our daughter without the facilitation provided by family therapy. It was not immediate upon her return home, but we certainly attribute her ability to begin to communicate her thoughts and feelings with us to the training she received.
Finally, we just can not express just how grateful we are for the financial assistance provided to us. We were devastated when we realized that our insurance did not cover residential treatment. While that news did not deter us from our path to get our daughter the help she needed, we were looking into liquidating part of our retirement to make it possible. The financial strain of a lengthy stay in residential treatment is one that you just don’t plan for in your budget!
As a parent, you pray that you would never have to forego providing something your children need because you simply cannot afford it….especially when their health, safety, and/or general well being is at stake. While the out-of-pocket expenses without insurance were still difficult, it became more manageable thanks to the generous financial assistance our family received. We are so appreciative of Skyland Trail and its staff for the work they did with our daughter and our family, and would recommend the program without hesitation to anyone who has a child battling overwhelming anxiety, depression, and suicidality. Thank you simply doesn’t quite seem adequate!