We had been to Sedona in the past and thought of it as a natural healing environment. So we were pleased that, after our daughter completed wilderness training, our education consultant recommended Red Mountain (RMS).
To begin with, the website impressed us, and when we talked with Stacey in Admissions, she gave an excellent description of the Red Mountain program.
Our daughter did her own research, though, and she made the final decision. Not surprisingly, when she arrived at RMS, she was really frustrated about having to start another program. Two of the case managers promptly picked up on her frustration. They sat with her and said, “We know how you feel. This is not easy. But you should know that you can leave whenever you want to. No one is forcing you to stay.”
She thought, “Wow, this is really up to me,” and something clicked. She realized it was her choice, and that the hard work ahead of her could pay off. After that, just about every encounter was positive. So many members of the staff have gone through the RMS program, and they can relate to the students’ struggles because of it. That is a huge benefit of Red Mountain.
Our daughter also learned a lot about the benefits of self-care—from meditation to therapy sessions to outdoor hikes. The directors are incredibly supportive and passionate about their work, and our daughter developed a really nice connection with Maureen.
As parents, we could be as engaged as we wanted to be. However, we felt she was in a safe place, and that giving her space to work the program and trust her judgment made the most sense. We liked connecting with her therapist over the phone and we were able to visit a couple of times.
For families considering RMS, we would give the same advice that we received early on, which is to “trust the process.” There really is a method behind everything RMS does, and it works. Independence increases over time, and students reach milestones at a pace that works with their individual needs and objectives. We were comforted by the fact that students cannot graduate from RMS unless they have a job, a place to live, and a therapist (the “scaffolding” for higher success in a new environment).
At her graduation, we heard something from the Red Mountain team that we will never forget: “You can reach out to us at any time. This community is for life.”