What Parents Have To Say About Moonridge Academy

"I was thinking yesterday about all the women at Moonridge who stepped in to care for *** during the months that she was away from home. I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you for sharing love and caring to my daughter on Mother's Days when I was not able to hold her and hug her. Please thank all the staff who fell in live with *** and kept her safe until she wad able to come home. Especially Karolyn.  *** is doing great. She has a BFF at school, is getting mostly A's & B's in her classes (mostly), is as close to her brother as ever, smiles and laughs a lot, talks on the phone with *** at least a couple of times a month and writes, draws and sings all the time. From a grateful mother, thank you."   - SL

"Moonridge Academy saved our daughter's life. Our family was in crisis and for months had been on an emotional roller coaster with our daughter. Most of the ride was heading straight downhill. We experienced everything: threats of suicide, depression, poor grades, increasing stress over not knowing about her birth mother, attempted running away and an "I just don't care" attitude towards life. Needless to say, my wife and I were at our wits end.

Nothing we had experienced, read or heard about being a parent had prepared us for the ride we were on with our daughter. She was in trouble, she was in pain and we knew we could no longer try to deal with this situation alone. Our daughter was literally dying a little bit more with each passing day right in front of our eyes. We did not have the training, we did not have the skills and we were running out of time. We felt helpless and desperate.

We decided that the first step was to send our daughter to a wilderness course. She was there for 11 weeks and during this time, her mother and I were very hopeful she would be able to come directly home. What we discovered was that while wilderness helped her appreciate some of the things she had in regular life, it did very little to work on the inside stuff that was leading to her low self-esteem and self-destructive behavior. It became very evident that she did not have the skills even after wilderness to make it.

Our Ed. Consultant highly recommended Moonridge Academy due to our daughter's age.  My wife and I visited Moonridge and after an hour, we were absolutely convinced we did not need to visit any other treatment centers. The structure of the program combined with the intelligence and caring nature of the staff convinced us that our daughter could learn new skills and receive the best care in a safe, structured environment.

The day we enrolled our daughter in Moonridge and dropped her off, we missed her tremendously but knew she was safe and we hoped she was going to get the help she needed. What we loved about Moonridge is that the girl is required to explore herself from the inside out while completing an 8 Level program in a very structured, no-nonsense yet loving environment. The individual and group therapy are key components to helping the girl understand herself and her motivations. The special group sessions focused on adoption-related issues were especially helpful to our daughter.

We also appreciated the fact that we were required to work too. It was made very clear to us from the beginning that what we were involved with at Moonridge was a family program, not a "send the girl away to get fixed" program. While the level work is incredibly time consuming, it is also very valuable to ensure that the three of us learned together and stayed on the same page. As the three of us progressed in the program, my wife and I came to realize that we needed to change certain parenting approaches and methods we were using. We experienced many ups and downs, starts, stops and stalls during our daughter's Moonridge experience, but the resulting change in our family made it all worthwhile.

We are very proud to write that our daughter graduated from Moonridge in February and today, she is home and has a maturity and ability to handle life's little and not so little stresses in a way that we could only dream of 2 years ago. She is fully reengaged with our family, doing well in school, working a part-time job, performing some volunteer work and is fun to be around. She has also chosen to remain in contact with the other Moonridge girls. She will always be an at-risk girl, but day-by-day we see her getting stronger as she uses the tools and skills she learned at Moonridge.

Thank you Moonridge for all that you have done for our daughter and our family."    R. and V. M., California

"Prior to finding Moonridge Academy, I had tried every service available in my local area to help my 13 year-old daughter with the issues created by her depression. She did individual therapy, group therapy, family based services, medication and an intensive partial program. Although these programs helped for short periods of time, none of them made a lasting effect on turning around her depressed state until she attended the program at Moonridge Academy.

At the time I found Moonridge, my daughter had totally withdrawn from all forms of social interactions. She had quit school although she had been evaluated as an academically gifted student. However, the depression interfered so much with her life that she could not get out of bed each day. Her days and nights were mixed up. She slept all day and was up most of the night in her bedroom. She would not participate in any interactions with her immediate or extended family except for me. And those interactions were very limited and difficult. Life was becoming a nightmare.

It took my daughter about 3 months after arriving at Moonridge to really let the MRA team know her true self before she could begin her recovery. As she worked through the levels of the program, I watched as she went through a transformation of self. The girl who had entered Moonridge with so many bad feelings about her self had grown more confident, actually liked her physical appearance and was more comfortable with her being. It was remarkable! I must say, as with all girls of the ages of 13 - 18, we still have moments of teenage angst. However, my daughter now has the skills to work through these times with a much healthier outcome than prior to her attending Moonridge Academy. And she has remained medication free since her graduation at Moonridge Academy. That is a great accomplishment for her and our family as well as a tribute to the successful treatment she received at Moonridge.

I am so thankful to the staff of Moonridge for their work in the program. Without it, my family would probably still be living our nightmare and my daughter's future would be grim. Gratefully, my daughter's future is much brighter and our quality of family life is much improved!"  C.M., Pennsylvania


"Things had become unmanageable in my life with my 13 year old. They had been deteriorating for a year when I sent her, at her request to live with her father. I hoped that he would be able to do what I hadn't. She left my home in Florida in June a year ago.

It was apparent to me from nearly the beginning that there was less control with her dad than there had been with me. The phone calls that I received were distressing at best. A series of out of control scenarios came in the form of late night calls and discussions between her dad and I about what our options were.

Finally at 2AM on a late November night, I got a call stating that my daughter had taken 2 bottles of over-the-counter pain medicine and she and my ex-husband were headed for the local emergency room. The next day I was on a plane to NYC, and at the beginning of the destination of what ended up being Moonridge Academy.

When I got to the hospital, my daughter had gotten out of intensive care and was on the pediatric ward with a 24-hour companion as she was in danger of suicide and running. She was wild by any standards, unwilling to talk and unrealistic about the seriousness of her situation.  There was little getting through to her and her father and I were totally unprepared to take her home, knowing that she had no intention of modifying her behavior.  I called a friend who is a therapist and got referrals of places that she had successfully sent other younger teenagers who were troubled and began the search for where to place our child.

Moonridge was the place that caught my eye first and then agreed upon by my ex-husband and our family who helped with the financial arrangements. We liked the use of equine therapy in addition to daily regular therapy and the non-denominational spiritual focus. We felt we needed at least 6 months for both our daughter to look at her life and make changes and for us as parents to do our own work. We realized that she hadn't gotten into this situation alone. It was definitely all of us who found ourselves here through misdirection and the mishandling of many years of her life, and we all needed to work to get her back.

Sending her was a very hard decision to make and our daughter was very opposed initially. She was devastated for the first month or so and so was I. She was angry with me primarily and I wondered if I would ever have a relationship with my daughter again.

As time went by and we began visiting on the parents' weekends, the changes in her were astounding. She began communicating and thinking in a new way.

She came home in June. She is still the same girl she was, a teenager with life challenges, but she has shown an integrity and sweetness that I had forgotten she possessed. I am indebted to Moonridge Academy and the staff there for giving me an opportunity to know my child and with the possibility of seeing her grow up into the amazing adult that I know she can be."

--Y. W., Florida

"It was difficult to acknowledge that my daughter needed help with life coping skills that I had been unable to give her. When life's choices and challenges lead our daughters to make decisions that are not healthy and positive it is necessary to get help. Moonridge Academy has been an extraordinary experience for my daughter. She has amazed herself with the understanding and perceptions that have evolved. The atmosphere is one of nurturing and care without the escapes and pretenses our teens use to avoid life.

My concerns that my daughter was not motivated, confident, or optimistic about her future and her self-harm led us to this program. The changes that she feels and the self-knowledge that she now has are very exciting for us both. I truly believe that this experience and the lessons my daughter has learned not only saved her life but also taught her skills and insights that will help her to lead a happier and more productive life. I can't imagine a better program for my daughter and our family- her future is open to great possibilities. I have not felt that way in a long time."

--K.F., California

"Just a long overdue note to let you know that our daughter is doing ever-so-well. I am amazed that I am actually enjoying my daughter's company for maybe the first time in many a year...She told me yesterday that she was in to building trust!!! What a concept! I am so very grateful. Thank you so very much. Whatever happened there was indeed a blessing."

--Y. W., Florida