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The Green Chimneys Residential Program from a Parent's Perspective

March 22, 2018

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March 30, 2016


I am the mother of a beautiful, smart 12-year-old boy who suffers from mental illness. I have never had a problem saying that but I did have a problem hearing comments from friends and family about what I had to do. I know their intentions were good but they just did not understand. I did not think anyone understood.

I believed love could conquer all. I believed I could fix my son. I believed I had to do it alone. After all, no one understood. The doctors, therapists, hospital workers, teachers, counselors and friends and family did not understand my son. I was alone.

The years passed. There were multiple schools, hospitalizations, medications and behavioral plans that did not work. There were holes in our walls, broken windows, threats and violent behavior. With what I felt was no other option, I found myself driving to Green Chimneys.

Like many of the parents who have children at Green Chimneys, I did not want to be here. I wanted my son to be in our local school district. I wanted him playing sports, joining Boy Scouts, having friends and being a regular kid. But he is not and now I needed to find the best place for him.

My initial meeting with Admissions was really good. I had a nice tour of the beautiful campus. I met staff and teachers and I could tell right away they were dedicated. I was very impressed and was happy when my son was accepted into the day program. I felt we had found our answer. Unfortunately it was not that easy.

I met with Admissions again and we discussed residential. I was devastated. I felt I had failed and Matt would hate me. I shared my feelings. The admissions supervisor was kind, compassionate and understanding; she helped me to understand the program and once again I left my meeting feeling like this could be an answer.

Six months later and my son is doing great. He smiles, he speaks of friends, he is doing beautifully in school. He is proud of himself. He understands why he is there. He is driven to do well. Matt recently told me his goal. "I want to stay here at Green Chimneys this year in residential and next year I want to try the day program." When I asked why he said "It is a good place, everyone cares and they understand me."

We have taken advantage of the excellent training and assistance offered in helping our son. We attend the monthly Sunday Parent Training Sessions. We attended the Parents Retreat, Holiday Party and look forward to these events when we can meet other parents and spend time with staff. These events are very informative and have helped us with home visits and have really helped us to understand our son.

My husband and I cannot believe how Green Chimneys has changed our lives. We have met such wonderful people who are so dedicated. I often refer to "Matt's Team" when I speak of Green Chimneys to friends and family. They have surrounded him with care. They have provided us with hope. We are grateful to everyone.

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