I’m really passionate about fighting the stigma of mental illness. So I was pleased when, in my work in the private banking business, I saw people investing in Skyland Trail – a mental health organization. It was nice to see that the community was open to talking about the issue and supporting it through philanthropy. When I learned more about Skyland Trail from Robby Wynne, I took steps to get more involved and eventually was invited to join the Advisory Board.
I’ve now seen “behind the scenes” at Skyland Trail – how all the programs, dedicated staff, and community support work together to help clients recover. It’s very energizing and rewarding to be involved with an organization like Skyland Trail.
As a society, we’ve made progress toward reducing mental health stigma, but we’re still not where we need to be. People should have an avenue to talk about the realities of living with these conditions and strategies for maintaining mental health without feeling guilty or embarrassed about it.
When I was growing up in Savannah, mental illness was not openly discussed ….. in fact, it was often times treated as a learning disability! As in many cities at that time, people did not understand mental illness and did not know how to talk about the impact it had on their lives or their loved ones’ lives. I am so thankful that organizations like Skyland Trail are breaking the taboo surrounding mental illness so that more individuals feel empowered to receive life-changing treatment and so families know how best to support their loved ones who are dealing with mental illness.
I am fortunate that I received help for my depression and panic disorder when I went to college…and through your support of organizations like Skyland Trail, we can ensure that other adolescents and adults receive the care they need to reach their full potential.
You can’t turn back time, but I often think, if I had had access to treatment when I was younger, what difference would that have made for me? When I learned about plans for the Skyland Trail adolescent campus, that really resonated with me. I firmly believe this program will change lives. I’m proud to be a part of it.