The ViewPoint Center is located in Syracuse, Utah. On the address a facility mentioned in this block named Island View RTC was located. Bad feedback from patients and parents made the operation of this facility difficult so it shut down and this new facility was started employing many of the employees who worked at the previous facility.
Was it all an effort to escape the poor reviews on the Internet and the newspaper articles about the suicide of one of the teenagers? Many believe so.
The treatment approach seem to have been changed very little.
Also the poor reviews and bad feedback continues to this day. One of these sounded:
I flew my daughter from the East Coast to participate in ViewPoint’s program with a belief they would compassionately and expertly assess her mental health in order to make recommendations for optimal future care. I do not recommend their program.
I withdrew her from ViewPoint during the third week, though wish she had never been admitted.
We hired a consultant in an effort to match her to a residential program, one that would address depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation in a gentle and structured manner. Having a short deadline as she was coming from an emergency department, we had little time to locate a solid program who had space and was not constricted by covid regulations.
Pre-admission, I was advised by our consultant that ViewPoint typically did not have “behavior kids” and that most patients were depressed, anxious with suicidal ideation. His perception fell far from reality, as confirmed by physical fights that erupted among patients as well as counselors confirming to me that they often DO have “behavior kids” and that the consultant was misinformed.
My daughter has panic attacks, feeling unable to breathe, terrified. She felt trapped at ViewPoint and began hitting her forehead on the walls when the emotions consumed her, choosing this release over panic attacks – which were more frightening to her. She chose pain and anger over fearfulness and temporary suffocation of a panic attack. Several of these episodes occurred and no one advised me. I was also not advised that she was physically carried into a concrete isolation room and left for hours so that she could “cool off”.
During the three weeks of admission, she was never once allowed outside. At ViewPoint, it is a “privilege” the kids must earn. Under whose directorship are children deprived of sunshine and outside air? Even inmates are allowed the basic right of being human.
It is not an exaggeration that children for whom safety is a concern are put on a cot in the hallway, saturated in typical fluorescent lights of a hallway, to sleep because “they do not have the staff to otherwise watch them.” Again, this treatment was imposed on my daughter without informing me of their actions.
The longer she was there, the more worried she became that her attacks of being overwhelmed would create a negative stigma of her being a “bad kid” and her question was, “Then, how will they treat me?”.
My daughter continues her journey with medication, DBT therapy, psychiatric care, social support and academic structure from the safety of home. In addition to the challenges of depression and anxiety, her therapy now also includes a focus on PTSD of her residential psychiatric experience. She has nightmares and flashbacks.
ViewPoint likely falls within their legal rights of behaving in this manner. Or do they? Where is the line? Their actions would rightly precipitate removal of children from their program if their actions were shared with parents. I can tell you that I received only a trickle of information during the supervised 15 minute video call that I had with her once a week.
ViewPoint crossed the line of primum non nocere. First do no harm.
It does sound like a review which could have been written when the facility was named Island View. It does not sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.
- A well said review by a mother about the ViewPoint Center in Syracuse, Utah (Reddit r/TroubledTeens)
- Staff list for ViewPoint Center in Syracuse, UT (HEAL-online)
New Alternatives Home was 2 group homes located in California. One was located on Victoria Place in Costa Mesa and another in Orange. At the Costa Mesa place a psychiatrist named Burnell Gordon Forgey had been hired to work with a boy. Little known to the public he had opened his home for James Lee Crummel who later ended up on the death row before he committed suicide. Forgey had also worked for the CEDU chain of boarding schools where researchers now link the disappearance of several boys to this couple having access to the campuses.
In relationship with New Alternatives Home the authorities charged Forgey for having lured a 16 year old boy, he worked with to the home and drugged the boy. Taking advantage of the boys helpless state, they performed various sexual acts with their victim. Both were arrested and charged with various crimes.
The full extend of the pairs crimes were never fully exposed due to the advanced age of Forqey and the suicide of Crummel but being the victims of such crimes cannot be fun as a teenager.
- Trial of accused child molester delayed again (Orange Coast Pilot)
- Other Possible Molest Victims of Psychiatrist Are Being Sought (LA Times)
- Trial Is Ordered in Molestation Case (LA Times)
Asheville Academy for Girls is located on 126 Camp Elliot Rd, Black Mountain, North Carolina. This address used to house Stone Mountain School run back then by Aspen Education Group. The campus was shared with Solstice East.
The target group is younger teenager girls aged below 15 at enrollment.
Some testimonies on Google state what kind of environment the girls are placed in:
If you are reading this, and you are having trouble with your daughter, I just want to let you know that, what your daughter is going through is not forever and while it may be difficult and you are unsure what to do as a parent, the best thing you truly can do is be there for your kid and not expect some program to try and fix your child’s problems. As a young adult woman now.. the problems I faced as a 12-13 year old girl surpassed as I got older and I got through the cruel phases of puberty that all women go through in their lives.
It’s been roughly 5 years since I attended this therapeutic school program. I was sent here in continuation from another treatment center as a way to slowly integrate into a normal school system. This school is set in a beautiful environment, the house where Solstice and AAG was in was very nice and whilst being there, it was going under remodeling so I can only imagine what it is like now.
The biggest problem with this program I can share is, the lack of understanding between the staff and the students. The program was set in a level system where you can earn privileges as you increased in rank. You proceed in your rank by taking accountability, showing respect, leadership, progressing in therapy, and doing assignments, etc. I got to the 3rd highest rank within the program. In this program I felt trapped and I felt very lost. Music was and is my life but for the majority of my time there, my music listening was restricted to 30 minutes per weekend. Staff also put restrictions as to what the students can and cant listen to or read so being my 13 year old self, this only caused me to rebel and look for ways to sneak in my books, and my cds. Music regardless of genre and style or content, is extremely helpful in therapy and I was quite baffled as to how that was considered a privilege? It was the hardest thing about attending AAG. AAG put a new wave of defiance in me with all of the restrictions they put upon the students. No student is one and the same, what one girl may find helpful, maybe different for another. Therapy is personal.
The actual therapy wasn’t very good, I couldn’t relate with my therapist at all and I found that my therapist often rarely worked with me. I would have to send requests but even then, she wouldn’t acknowledge them sometimes. I did Ptsd based therapy but I wasn’t even sure that was the problem, the main problem was that I had no liberty and the only way I could escape or free myself from this institution was look to books and religion. I’d also work with a doctor who would prescribe me medication without my fathers discretion. I can’t even remember all the different kinds of pills they put me on, now today my digestion is messed up from it all, young girls from the ages of 10-14 shouldn’t be taking 60 mgs of prozac or prescribed 20mg of ritalin. Its terrible for their health and any reasonable adult should know that this stuff is not good for developing bodies. I had no say, it was a “doctor knows best” deal, and most typically doctor dont always know best.
I found myself more depressed in AAG than I was before in my everyday life . I was suicidal, I missed my father, and more importantly I felt so disassociated with reality, reality isn’t accountability groups and “I feel statements”, reality is knowing your situation, and learning to make a mistake and take that mistake and learn from it. This school should’ve preached love instead of making these poor girls feel bad about themselves in front of their parents. What those girls wanted was someone to understand them through this confusing and difficult time, and all we truly had was each other. Sisterhood is very real in this place, I am still friends with the girls I met 6 years ago at AAG. They have all grown to be great strong young women.
This isn’t trying to hurt the school, this is just some of the things I experienced while I was here. For some it might be a good fit, but for me, it really was a nightmare.Madeline McKenzie
*to clarify, this is about my experience with AAG, not solstice* My own PTSD regarding my traumatizing experience at this school years ago, has kept me from doing anything as simple as writing this review, in terms of speaking out. Somehow years later, I’m still so fearful of this place that I am afraid to speak out against it, and tell my story. But they don’t have any control over me anymore, they cannot punish me for writing an honest review.
In my and many other’s opinion, this school manipulates parents. Both in getting them to send their kids here, and getting them to stay. If you say anything negative about the school to your parents, they tell them that you are not “accepting” of the fact that you are here, and they make you stay longer. In the years following my stay here, my parents have recognized the many manipulation tactics they used, and have apologized to me for falling for them. Even if you have toured the school, and have had students tell you they are fine and dandy….. trust me. I was one of the students they paraded around during tours. I felt trapped into assuring parents that this school was safe, and was helping me. I feel guilty about that to this day, but I was emotionally trapped and had no choice (at 14 years old).
I witnessed a number of restraints that didn’t need to happen, people being taken to “the basement” for hours or even DAYS, with nothing to do except sit and get even more upset, as punishment. I witnessed a certain therapist scream at a student who was suffering, and the same therapist made fun of me while I was disassociating.
And while we are talking about staff, there were at least two staff members who worked at the school when i went there who, now that I am older, i believe may have been acting inappropriately towards students. in what exact capacity I’m not sure, but personally I know of one former staff member who would tell me and other students about her sex life in order to get us to do our chores, etc.
We were also forced to read “impact letters” from our parents, which stated explicitly why we were sent there, to a large group of other preteens. We could not skip words, and often had peers reading over your shoulder to make sure you weren’t leaving anything out. What purpose it served to be forced to read your parents words in front of the other girls, aside from shame and humiliation, I have no clue. Aside from my own impact letter, it was so uncomfortable for me to have to listen to other girls’ reading theirs, knowing how traumatizing it was. It was also just terribly awkward.
I have many other stories to tell, and I will one day. If anyone in charge this school is reading this, just know that I understand that some of you are well meaning. i get that. But in my opinion, at least a couple of years ago, you are/were not doing it right. This is not the nurturing environment you advertise it to be.
To use the words you so loved to throw in my face when I was there… me choosing to write this review, and in the future, tell my story, is my version of “advocation” and “authenticity”. I WILL advocate for the bettering of institutions like yours, as well as for the people who have been hurt by them. And I WILL be authentic, and eventually, unafraid, in honestly talking about my time here, in hopes to raise awareness and to help myself heal.anonymous reviewer
It does not sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.
- Datasheet about the program (Anti-Troubled Teen Industry Activism & Survivor Support)
- Asheville Academy for Girls – investigation thread (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)
- Asheville Academy for Girls – investigation thread (Fighting Institutional Child Abuse Network)
- Parent of Survivor, Asheville Academy for Girls 2018 (Survivors stories – BreakingCodeSilence)
- Asheville Academy for Girls (Reddit /r TroubledTeens)
- Asheville Academy For Girls (Reddit /r TroubledTeens)
- Asheville Academy For Girls ( AAG ) (Reddit /r TroubledTeens)
Peachford Hospital is a behavioral hospital located in Dunwoody, Georgia. Some sources mention a connection to Universal Health Services.
Media reports that the hospital is run in a very alternative way. An article talks about a child found in a freezer and a toe lost on another patient. The officials are not notified and when they do, the full extent of the incidents are not fully covered.
Some relatives question the treatment approach.
It cannot be fun to be there as a patient
- Patient found in freezer, child loses toe: 46 claims of abuse investigated at mental health facility (WSB TV)
- Mother outraged after son being treated in addiction hospital given drugs (WSB TV)
- Failure to Care (National Alliance of Professional Psychology Providers)
Hill Crest Behavioral Health Services established in 1925 is owned by Universal Health Services.
In the media the facility is mentioned when video tapes were leaked from the facility showing employees assaulting the young patients.
It could not be fun to be there as a teenager.
- Videos Show UHS Hospital Staff Assaulting Young Patients (Buzz Feed News)
- Shocking videos show staff viciously abusing patients at one of America’s largest for-profit psychiatric hospitals (The Daily Mail Online)
- Hill Crest Behavioral Health (Reddit Troubled Teen Wiki Database)
The wilderness program was started in 2014. According to survivors of the program, limitation of food was used as punishment. Shoes are confiscated as precaution against escape attempts. The program seems to involve themselves in custody wars so a child can be alienated against one of the parents.
It does not sound a fun place to be as a teenager.
- How I was abused at BlueFire Wilderness Therapy (Reddit Troubled Teen Message board)
- Bluefire wilderness program – Idaho – investigation thread (Fighting Institutional Child Abuse Network message board)
- Daughter , 13yo sent to Wilderness Camp BlueFire in Idaho without my consent , What to Do? (Reddit Troubled Teen Message board)
- Bluefire Wilderness program – Idaho (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)
- Staff list for Bluefire Wilderness program (HEAL-online)
Northwoods Academy is the Bibb County School District’s early childhood learning center opened in 2009. It services families with special-need children and the website of the school speaks about about a good environment for the children.
However an article from 2016 paints another picture about what is going on at the school. Violence against the students. It is not in line with what the website promises.
It cannot be fun to be there as a special-need student.
Established in 1933 the school is located in St. Petersborg in Florida offering both boarding and day school.
Searching for information about the school articles about sexual abuse and racism seem to set the agenda.
At these years we should be past the times where color matter. A School administration should be able to see if an employee oversteps his boundaries.
It cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.
- Admiral Farragut Academy faces lawsuits for bullying, racial harassment (Fox 13 News)
- Former Chester County teacher arrested on sex assault charges (6 ABC News)
- Former Church Farm School Teacher Sentenced for Sexual Abuse of Student (ChesCo)
- 2nd Bullying Lawsuit Filed Against Admiral Farragut Academy (Spectrum 9 News)
Trials Carolina opened in 2008. In 2014 a 17 year old boy died while on the run from the program. He broke a limb and froze to death. A article from WBTV speak about an abusive environment where people had to wear clothes they have stools in for days due to lack of proper toilet access, the employees only are given the minimum level of training and the issues the teenagers are sent to the program to be cured off, the employees are not equipped to handle.
In 2017 a 17-year-old survived running away from the wilderness program.
While this setup is the normal for most wilderness programs in operation, it still only result in the families losing money without getting the help they hire the wilderness program to cure.
It cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.
- ‘It’s beyond cruel’: Inside an N.C. wilderness therapy program for teens (WBTV News)
- Trails Carolina (Reddit Troubled Teen Wiki database)
- Autopsy: Missing teen died of hypothermia in Nantahala (Hendersonville Times-News)
- Trails Carolina: “Ugly Truth” Behind The Fancy Walls (Dirty Scam)
- Body Of Teen From Local Camp Found – Brevard NC (The Transylvania Times)
- UPDATE: Teen missing from Jackson County found safe in S.C. (ABC 13 News)
Riverside Academy in Wichita, Kansas is now closed. People who passed the building like in the 2010’s could read graffiti with the wording:
- “Burn this place.”
- “Youth were abused here … systematically.”
- “This is a bad place.”
Taking into account that the facility was run by Sequel Youth & Family Services which is a for-profit company which have been the center of a attention by authorities in several states, the statements could very well be true. We can see reports of children running away from the facility before it closed.
It could not have been fun to be there as a teenager.
- The bad place (Reveal News)
- ‘Youth were abused here’ (APM Reports)
- ‘Youth were abused here’: Investigating Sequel’s patterns of abuse of foster children (OPB News)
- US lawmakers request investigation into youth congregate care facilities, including one Oregon relied heavily on (OPB News)
- Wichita police: 2 missing boys found safe (Kake News)