Skyland Trail Helps Family Along Mental Health Journey

My name is Kerri, and I am happy to share my stepson Quentin’s journey with mental health and the impact that Skyland Trail has had on him and our family.

To start, Q, his nickname, would tell you that he suffered from depression, anxiety, and agitation his entire life. And while the signs were there, his mom and dad just thought it was maturity issues and that he would grow out of it. He tried to mask how he felt growing up with his family.

Q, a graduate of the Skyland Trail adult residential treatment program, playing tennis.

Q and his mom were very close. He would say she was his best friend. They both had a love for the game of tennis. They spent many years on the road together, so that Q could play in tournaments across the southeast. She was so proud when Q got a full tennis scholarship to SCAD where he was also the team captain.

Unfortunately, as Q was starting at SCAD, his mom was also diagnosed with cancer. She passed away during Q’s sophomore year. Losing his mom was very hard for everyone, but it was really tough on Q. Over the course of the next few years he started on a slow, downward spiral with depression and thoughts of suicide.

The tipping point for us was when I was on a business trip to California. His dad called me in a panic to say Q had gone missing from college. He had left everything behind, and we had no way of contacting him. Days had gone by, and we were bracing for the possibility that he took his own life.

I flew home, and three days later we found him at his grandparents’ lake cabin wanting to disappear from the world. From there he dropped out of SCAD his junior year, moved home, and we started talking openly about his mental health and next steps.

That is where Skyland Trail came into our lives. I had a friend recommend Skyland Trail. My sister-in-law and I showed up in the lobby in desperation. As fate would have it, the head of admissions was in the lobby. She heard our story, and said, “I think Skyland Trail can help.’

A true miracle was underway within a week as Q enrolled at Skyland Trail for residential treatment.

Skyland Trail would go on to officially diagnose Q. They were able to teach him mindfulness and behavior therapy. He was surrounded by an amazing staff teaching him skills on how to manage his emotions to keep him safe. He also felt comfort knowing there were other young people struggling with the same thing he was, and he met some lifelong friends.

Today, Q continues to seek weekly therapy and leverage what he learned at Skyland Trail to help him day-to-day.

If I can offer any advice to anyone who is going through their own journey around mental health with yourself or a family member is that mental health is an ongoing process, so do not be discouraged.

Skyland Trail can help both your family and loved one manage the journey. Skyland Trail saved Q’s life, and we are so grateful for the impact they have had on our family.

a black and white image of a smiling family
Kerri (pictured bottom left), her stepson Q (pictured top right), and family.

Kerri shared her family’s story at the 2022 Skyland Trail Associates Spring Luncheon, which raised over $124,000 for mental health treatment programs at Skyland Trail.