Skyland Trail New Website Showcases Adolescent Program

ATLANTA – Skyland Trail, a nationally recognized nonprofit mental health treatment organization that provides evidence-based treatment for individuals with a primary psychiatric diagnosis, recently launched a new website. The new website includes information about  the new adolescent residential treatment program for teens ages 14 to 17, including:

  • Admissions criteria
  • Referral information
  • Descriptions of evidence-based programming
  • Information about the new J. Rex Fuqua Campus, opening fall 2019

Additionally, the updated website provides an improved user experience on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

Visitors to skylandtrail.org will also find information on residential treatment and day treatment programs for adults ages 18 and older.  Potential  adult clients and their families will find information about:

  • adult psychiatric programs admission criteria
  • financial information
  • descriptions of levels of care, including residential treatment, day treatment, and intensive outpatient programs
  • an overview of integrated wellness programs, vocational services, and expressive therapies
  • client and family stories and treatment experiences

Mental health professionals and educational consultants will find information on how to refer to the adult and adolescent programs as well as information about professional workshops and mental health continuing education opportunities in Atlanta.

What is school refusal?

Do you remember how you felt when you first started attending school? How about when you transitioned to high school? If so, you likely remember some stress while adjusting to being away from family, making friends, settling into new routines, and achieving good grades.

For some students, that stress doesn’t go away quite so easily and may lead to a deeper struggle.

School refusal is a term used to describe the behaviors of children who regularly avoid going to school or who have difficulty staying in school when they do attend. School refusal, though, should not be confused with truancy.

“Truant students tend to hide their absences from their parents, and they do not experience anxiety or depression that is associated with coming to school,” says Dr. Heather Jones, psychologist at Rogers Behavioral Health.

Dr. Jones adds, “With school refusal, students are having difficulty being in school or staying in school because of pretty severe anxiety or depression, and other risk factors such as bullying, learning disorders, or substance use.”

How to identify school refusal behaviors

School refusal can be difficult to identify, as it can present differently based on the individual affected. However, there are six common signs of school refusal that can help you pinpoint students who may be struggling:

1. Habitually absent from school. School refusal involves chronic absence from school and difficulty returning after short breaks. “When we see that a child is refusing school multiple days per week, every week, or they just completely stop going to school, there’s typically something connected to that,” says Dr. David Jacobi, lead psychologist, child and adolescent CBT services at Rogers Behavioral Health.

2. Goes to school but has difficulty staying due to crying, clinging, or tantrums. Not all students struggling with school refusal have trouble going to school in the morning. Instead, they may experience outbursts during the day that impact their ability to learn and remain in class.

3. Becomes distressed during the school day and begs to go home. Some students show signs of school refusal when confronted with specific situations or triggers, such as a disappointing grade on an assignment, a big test, or tension with friends.

4. Frequently visits the nurse’s office. Spending more time in the nurse’s office than the classroom, despite no signs of illness, may be an indicator of school refusal.

5. Often complains of stomach aches, headaches, or other physical symptoms brought on by internal stress. These complaints are quite common and can even lead to unnecessary doctor appointments in an attempt to address the problem. Absences for valid medical reasons can also contribute to anxiety and depression and may lead to school refusal.

6. Avoids contact with classmates or teachers. Bullying and other social pressures can make a child wary of returning to school and interacting with others.

Understanding School Refusal podcast

Interested in learning more about school refusal? In Rogers Behavioral Health’s new “Understanding School Refusal” podcast series Rogers’ medical experts explain the many factors that contribute to school refusal, how to identify behaviors, the potential effects of accommodating those behaviors, and the most effective treatment options.

To listen to the podcast and view additional resources, visit the Understanding school refusal webpage.

CooperRiis names new President & CEO

Dr. Eric A. Levine to join mental health healing community in April

ASHEVILLE, N.C.CooperRiis, a residential mental health treatment community in western North Carolina, is pleased to announce the appointment of Eric A. Levine as its new President & CEO.

Levine is currently Executive Director of ClearView Communities, a 36-bed residential treatment program in Frederick, Maryland, for adults with serious and persistent mental health challenges. He replaces Michael Groat, Ph.D., who is departing for a new role as Chief Clinical Officer at Silver Hill Hospital, a private psychiatric hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut. Levine joins CooperRiis upon Groat’s departure April 15, 2019.

“With more than 30 years working in education and mental health, Eric brings vast experience helping individuals affected by the challenges of mental illness and disabilities move toward healthy and fulfilling lives,” said Donald R. Cooper, CooperRiis Board Chair & Co-Founder. “We are fortunate to have him joining our healing community and look forward to the positive impact he’ll have on our residents, their families, and our staff.”

Levine began his career as a special education teacher, later overseeing schools for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disabilities. In 2005, he founded Eric A. Levine and Associates, an educational consulting firm that helps children and their families in the Washington-Baltimore metro areas find appropriate services.

Levine earned a doctorate in Education Leadership (Ed.D.), an Ed.S. in Career Transition and Assessment, a master’s in Special Education from George Washington University, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for Community Integration and is a member of the Frederick County, Maryland, Board of Education Strategic Special Education Work Group.

“I’m a believer in programs that maintain possibility and hope as core values. CooperRiis is a place where people come to heal and learn new skills to help them better manage the challenges they’re experiencing so they can return to their lives,” said Levine. “I’m excited to be collaborating with the highly skilled and motivated staff of professionals at CooperRiis as we work toward improving the lives of individuals impeded by mental health challenges.”

About CooperRiis Healing Community

Founded by Donald R. Cooper and Lisbeth Riis Cooper, CooperRiis is a residential healing community in western North Carolina, with a rural campus on a 94-acre farm and an urban campus in the heart of Asheville. Since 2003, CooperRiis has been helping adults living with mental illness, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, major depression and anxiety, achieve their highest levels of functioning and fulfillment. A personalized recovery approach combines trusted clinical therapies, community work & service, education and integrative wellness practices.

Visit http://www.cooperriis.org or call 828.894.7140 for more about CooperRiis Healing Community and its approach to mental health treatment.