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The Troubled Teen Industry / Reviews for Solstice in Layton, Utah
« on: August 20, 2023, 03:33:02 AM »
Found som random views of this program:

Quote from: Savanna P. on Yelp
Please read the Yelp reviews, they can and have taken down reviews that do not go against Google review guidelines!
I left this program with better social skills but only because I was learning what to say and what not to say in order to not be punished and to eventually leave.
People were put on safety for eating a skittle off the ground.
I was screamed at and abused by a staff, that turned out to be a convicted arsonist (records are available if you call the local police station), because I didn't hear her saying to let a therapist get French fries before me when it was my turn to get food. It was so bad that I hid under a table, and it was then that she started threatening to take my level.
I was held for way too long because they wanted my mom's money.
I was berated  for loving  Harry Potter (most staff were Mormon)
Others had to use me as a stepping stool to get out of the program.
My therapist told my transgender friend that he was just a confused lesbian because he was assaulted.
Said transgender friend walked away from a conversation with staff and as a result was unnecessarily tackled to the ground and restrained by four staff.
One of my friends was on com block for a month. Which basically means they forbade her to speak for a whole month.

I was put on safety for running out of the bathroom located inside my room with a towel wrapped around me and pants on to get a shirt I forgot (I was about to be late and people were punished for not having woke up, gotten 100% ready for the day, cleaned their room and getting out of the room within 25 minutes of another resident waking us up (said resident was assigned to wake up ten minutes early to wake everyone else up and they also would keep track of the time for everybody else)) when Kim from admissions who was horrible to us started shouting, "SAFETY! SAFETY! SAFETY!" at me, if this gives you an idea of how much staff abused safety phase. Within three days of my graduation I was having nightmares and would literally wake up screaming, my mother as my witness.
One male staff was super creepy.
They made workouts unsafe.
A group was called by the before mentioned arsonist staff to tell people to not talkto me because I wanted attention.
We weren't allowed to speak to our parents for an extended period of time when we first got there, so that Solstice could use that time to make our parents think that we would say and even make up anything to get to go home.

Quote from: Sophie R. on Yelp
0 stars. abuse. neglect. i have severe ptsd from my time at solstice and i resent my parents for life for what i went thru. if you love your child, dont fucking send them away to some bull shit abusive compound in the middle of utah. fuck you if you have ever sent your child away. what a way to bail on parenting. go ahead and give up then. fuck you solstice and fuck you to the "parents" who send their children away. may you rot in hell.

Quote from: Jesse G. on Yelp
Your child will be brutally emotionally abused daily. I was there for 11 months and 4 years later my PTSD from Solstice is still so severe I have an incredibly hard time functioning as an adult. They take away every right, treat you like a criminal who deserves nothing, and constantly tell you you are a bad kid who deserves to be punished for every mistake. I promise you if your child needs this level of help they are already suffering enough, they do not need to be punished farther. This will ruin their childhood. This will drive a wedge between you and your child for the rest of their life when they get out and realize how bad it really was and that you sent them there. Please listen to the people who actually lived through it not parents. Any time parents visit they treat us completely differently. This is cruel child abuse that no one deserves. They should not be in business after they have ruined so many peoples young lives. They delete many past residents google reviews which speak volumes.

Quote from: Adrian H.  on Yelp
This place is absolutely awful. Do not send your kid here. Or anywhere in Utah for that matter. Sending a kid away to a program like this can do more damage than good, especially if the program blatantly ignored abuse and the laws. I have first hand experienced awful treatment and care that ended up with me regressing fully into the person I was before my previous programs. This place should honestly be shut down. They isolate gay kids, there's always an inappropriate staff and student relationship, and refused to respect and support my religion. They have done so many harmful things and legitimate refused to listen to listen to me ask for help. Everyone that I have met up with since, has suffered a great deal because of this place. I still wake up shaking from nightmares. If any parent needs to talk to someone about where to go, they can always reach out and contact me.

Quote from: Hollis H. on Yelp
I went to Solstice in 2012 and let me tell you, it was a mess. I am not someone who is bitter about my time there, nor do I write this to get back at the hell they caused me. I am writing this because parents and young women need to know the harsh reality of what it was like to be at Solstice. I don't even know where to begin...for starers, my therapist was terrible. Her name was Melissa and she is the main root of my trauma from Solstice. I will never forget the day she told me that my mother was never going to be stable and that I would always be as sick her. I cannot explain the amount of dread my whole body experienced when meeting with Melissa. When I explained my distrust with her, I was immediately silenced. Because I was the patient and she was the therapist. Therefore nothing I said had validity unless it was what THEY wanted to hear. I am graduating college with a double major and a minor with a 3.7 GPA. I am not a dumb girl. I know the rights and the wrongs and I know what a healthy patient-therapist relationship looks like. No one had that with Melissa.
Another instance I witnessed a terrible restraint that brought me to tears. A young girl was restrained because she was sitting on the floor. yes, she was refusing to move but I assure you this girl was simply being defiant... she was no danger to anyone. Sadly, this provided a perfect opportunity for staff to once again abuse their power. Three male staff grabbed her to try and take her away only to end up wrestling and pinning her to the ground. The girl struggled and had a panic attack to which the staff laughed and continued to restrain her. Imagine this violence against your daughter.
Lastly, I will NEVER forget when Melissa and I looked at my blog where I had a photo of myself when I was struggling with anorexia and Melissa laughed because I "just looked bizarre". She did not have any compassion for me, and apparently no knowledge on how to deal with eating disorders.
I witnessed countless girls get verbally abused by staff who would later lie when the RT tried to bring it up. I know that I grew fearful for ever slipping up, for ever losing control. The whole place was a game and you just had to learn the hard way how to play it right. Everyone threw everyone under the bus. No one was honest. I don't know a single girl that was there during my time that had a good experience. Adult staff that worked there that had quit were willing to put forth testimonies about the injustices. If that doesn't convince you I don't know what will.

email me with any questions or concerns, [email protected]

A bit about the lawsuit:


Two weeks into Wingate's program, Jacob and six other youths went hiking, accompanied by two Wingate staff members. Id. During the hike, the lead staff member temporarily left the group.  Id. The remaining staff member let the youth, at their request, climb a "seventy-foot-tall, snow-dusted rock formation." Id. at 591. The staff member provided no climbing gear, training, or physical assistance. Id. at 591-92. Jacob and three others reached the top, "but Jacob and at least one other boy found it much more difficult to climb back down." Id. at 592. While Jacob was struggling to descend the rock formation, the lead staff member rejoined the group. Id. "Neither staff member offered Jacob any physical assistance, but one of them advised Jacob to follow a certain route down. As Jacob tried to do so, he slipped on the snow and fell approximately twenty-five feet to the ground, landing on his left knee." Id. Jacob's knee shattered. Id. at 591.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Wingate wilderness - investigation thread
« on: August 18, 2023, 06:23:48 AM »
Some sources speak of their closure. It is not known if the program also closes Expanse Wilderness. They seems to have been affected by the lawsuit after a rock climbing accident.

Here are some testimonies from former victims found on Yelp:

Quote from: Becca O.
I went here while I was 15-16 for 3 months 2017-2018.  I will say that it is better than the abusive boarding schools, however you are not being told the truth as a parent. You only get therapy once a week for less than 30 minutes, they made us smile in pictures while we were covered in feces, dirt and throw up and if we refused, our therapist would tell us that we would have to stay out there longer. If we couldn't start a fire we would starve,  Often times kids would "double dragon" (throwing up and diarrhea) as we called it due to disgusting drinking water and malnutrition. If you were injured you wouldn't seek proper care. This is a universal experience at least in there adolescence program. Please be careful where you send your children. Especially in Utah, the laws are messed up.

Quote from: Jocelyn T.
Please do not send your child.  My son was neglected, abused, left dangerously dehydrated for days.  Was diagnosed with lithium toxicity and severe dehydration (dangerously low levels) and spent 10 days in ICU and hospital at a children's hospital. This was 3 weeks into the program. His feet filled with splinters and blister on top of callused blisters.  Now he has PTSD and on going medical monitoring.  This place is dangerous.  If you receive a call that your child was taken to the local hospital for whatever reason and are told NOT to come out I cannot stress enough you better get out there to make sure your child is getting the proper care.  I flew out to find my son in a bed laying in his urine, struggled to talk, walk, eat.......and all they wanted to do is hydrate him and put him back in the field.

Quote from: Gabriella B.
child abuse. if you're a parent thinking about sending your child here, please reconsider. this may irreparably damage your relationship with your child, as well as subject them to abuse and neglect. i contracted shingles here as an adolescent and was left untreated for 3 weeks. my therapist was homophobic. a past clinical director had been reportedly accused of sexual abuse and has been described as "cruel". many founders and notable staff have histories and connections with other, infamously abusive programs.

Quote from: Anna K.
This place doesn't deserve one star. It doesn't even deserve zero.
I went to Wingate when I was 16.
Staff joined in in making fun of me. A sex addict was the leader for our group of girls. He got mad at me for wearing a bra and underwear into a swimming hole because it turned him on. My group all took a staff members adderall. We were taken to the home of a man who had not had a background check. Staff talked about doing drugs. A group of boys took lsd together. I was made to carry 50lbs of weight at 75 lbs, even though you legally can't wear more than 30%. A girl had been there for 8 months even though there is a legal limit for how long you can stay. A boy broke his leg from falling off a cliff while watching us change. Staff brought in contraband. I mostly just experienced emotional abuse. Staff would tell me I was lying when I wasn't. They would tell the other campers that they were going to leave soon, then tell me that I would be here a while. The other campers stole all of my stuff and the staff allowed it because I was being difficult, and the other campers should have my stuff to make up for it. One staff member was called "jack off jake" for mastrubating in his sleeping bag. Our health was not taken seriously. For the whole time I was there, I was vomiting and pooping blood. I was not ever allowed to receive medical attention. This was a couple of years ago, and to this day, I have digestive issues.
The staff literally told us that the point of the program was to break us to get us to comply
This is only a small portion of everything wrong that has happened there.
I have been to many places and this was the worst. Please do not send your child here. They will not be safe.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Star guides - investigation thread
« on: August 10, 2023, 05:46:23 AM »
Due to a recent article, I will make this thread where I will collect some feedback to work with:

Quote from: Shelby Sticksel
I came back years later to see if anyone had had an experience even mildly in likeness that I did. Scrolling through the negative comments and seeing how demeaning Star Guides is in response is the epitome of my experience. ?We?re sorry your post care wasn?t the quality you deserve?
I attended star guides in 2016. A roughly 86 day stint. During my time I experienced a series troubling and neglectful events. Kena Frey on various occasions would come and ?therapies? the members of my group but at no point meet with me. Weeks i went without therapy to ?help me manage my need for ?control?. There are stories that are better left for a court room and not a Google review. In my time following i saw some of the best Clinical Psychologists in the country and into adulthood. Every time I?ve been evaluated there?s always a note that indicates Star Guides induced severe PTSD and panic disorder etc. There truly aren?t words for the negative impact this had on my life. No child in this kind of situation with the severity of the issues my peers had should be seen by anyone other than someone with a clinical psychology degree. Much less someone with a general masters. I now run a very successful business in the recovery space. Graduated from a top tier institution. However I?m not a success story of starguides. My parents and those around me would say i came back dark, distrusting, and traumatized. With even a larger mountain to overcome.  I?ll leave you with this. There are many many resources in the recovery space. I work with facilities everyday who work with kids of the same issues but in a way that doesn?t cut deeper. There are so many solutions and facilities who are actually looking at the science of recovery and creating challenging but healthy and safe places for recovery. I encourage all parents in this position to pursue not only care from qualified clinical psychologists but programs that promote safe healing not a military style break you down to build you up. In times of chaos or distress it?s easiest to make a rash decision.  Choosing to send your child off should be given a great deal of consideration and research. I know mine wish they had done more research. We could?ve avoided a lifetime of pain, because as we all know, the body keeps score.

Quote from: K. Schlegel
Please do not send your children here. I spent seven months in this program and any "progress" I made was short-lived and came at a high price. My education was ruined. My mental health is worse than before, though since this program is only concerned with behavior, I suppose that's to be expected. I have all but lost the ability to show and feel things like love and affection, especially towards my parents. I have struggled to re-adjust to society and wonder if there just isn't a place for me anymore. In summary, the "help" this program provides has made my life significantly more difficult. And I can assure you I am not the only one. This, and many other Wilderness Therapy Programs, have damaged many lives. We deserve a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep in, a shower, a toilet, a daily change of clothes, education. We do not deserve to be watched while using the bathroom for any reason or made to perform physical labor. Living in this kind of environment can be crushing. Unfortunately, it's a feeling many will never be able to forget. I can only hope that a parent will read this and consider a different treatment option, or that someone who has been through a similar experience will read this and feel less alone.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Whetstone Academy - investigation thread
« on: July 31, 2023, 03:06:58 AM »
After the sexual lawsuit thing which is common in that line of business, we have decided to find testimonies before their marketing department makes them go away.

From Google:

Quote from: H Freeman
I cannot day I didn?t get anything from whetstone, but I also can?t say what I got was good. All positive things I improved on were by my own doing of being so bored by the actual lack of things to do. Anything fun we had was usually taken away and then dangled in front of us as a means of getting us to comply. Then there?s the education, if the price wasn?t bad enough, my family had to spend more money on summer school to catch me up to where I was before. I would recommend just sending your kids to wilderness instead, half the price for twice the effect

Quote from: Luke Baumgardner
The teachers and hands on staff are great but in the administration building are non trustworthy. They will lie to you. Do not recommend

Quote from: Harrison spear
This place is literally aweful all they want is your money the staff are fine it?s the management that sucks

From Course Hero:

Quote from: KidHeat13220
It was six in the morning at my old therapeutic boarding school, Whetstone academy. This place is up in the mountains of south carolina. I was advancing in the program and that's when you go to a "transition house" and after dinner you will go to sleep there and do chores to get you back into a normal living state. So the day before I go see my family for christmas break something wild happens. This is where I almost died.
5:35 pm our staff that takes us to the lake house arrives. My two friends Will and shepherd are staying in the lake house with me. I noticed weird facial expressions from them at the time I hadn't picked up what was going on. I later noticed that Josh was quiet. We all got in the car and Will told me that he thought that Josh was drunk. I was very unsettled at that point in time to hear that the person that was driving the car to the lake house down very dark and rocky roads was drunk.
We all looked at each other with scared looks and Will was getting pretty scared. I noticed that we were going way past the speed limit. Then BAM! The mirror on the passenger side of the car explodes off of the car, sparks fly and at that point I was laughing at what had just happened but at the same time I was about to soil myself. We continue on and Josh does not say a word about the mirror that was dangling off of the car. Will was starting to cry and we all thought we were going to die. Josh keeps driving, swerving back and forth from side to side, we somehow are not dead yet.
We were going down the road and we started driving on the wrong side of the road and we almost hit an oncoming car but luckily the car swerved off of the road to avoid us.We family  got to the Lake House and Josh tries to fix the mirror that was shattered and torn apart from the impact of the mailbox. After Josh unlocked the door to the Lake House he went straight for the bed and passed out. He was one hundred percent drunk. We stayed in the basement of the lakehouse. Upstairs is where the owner of the boarding school lives. I wanted to go and tell him what had just happened to us, but Will didn't want me to. I shoved him out of the way because I knew that we were in a life threatening situation.
 I knocked on the door of the upstairs of the house and the door swung open. It was hard to tell him what had happened to one of his employees but I managed to get it all out. He asked me where he was and I said that he was in the staff bedroom and passed out on the bed. He was glad that I had told him about the situation and he made us go to the other house owned by the boarding school to wait there until another staff member could arrive. We called our parents when we were over there and the owner called and emailed each of our parents. After Nick, our weekend staff member, had arrived we went back into the house and Josh was gone.
After that night I went home for Christmas break and had a whole story to tell my parents. You never know what could happen at any point in time in life. It could end in an instant like it almost did for me that very night.

It is located in Indiana and there are articles on Reddit and Project Unsilenced covering it.

Quote from: Benjamin Green, Google reviews
I have lived here for one year and months and highly recommend considering you options when coming to this facility. My experience was absolutely horrendous. I was not helped when coming to this facility in fact was set further behind and was given less opportunity. There were care specialists that were clearly biased and gave favoritism to other residents. Not only this, I was promised full confidentiality of all treatment information but I was not given this respect and this caused me more troubles. I was put down by other residents and I was not helped by the care specialists. I was discharged unsuccessfully because of failed polygraph in  which I was forced to take by the facility and what was worse is I had been truthful, but had been called a liar. These polygraphs have caused the fall of so many residents and in my entire 14 months of stay,  I saw only 1 person discharge by completion of the program. These residents are undergoing a tremendous amount of stress, I know because of the social awkwardness that I still have today.  The facility also does not have a welcoming setting, I felt I was in solitary confinement . These people will walk out with more mental problems and will likely discharge unsuccessfully. In my personal opinion, avoid this place at all costs. In the mist of all this, they did offer a great christian environment but may be a problem if there were one who was not christian. The care specialists generally liked to show christian movies and shows. One more thing, the school offered had no opportunity, most of the schooling was on computer and classes offered were chosen for you, generally an elective like basic skills or Indiana studies. So complicated classes such as algebra had to be self taught on a computer. Please consider all of your options when coming to this facility, because generally any other residental is better than here.

Quote from: dillon johnson, Google reviews
Fired a good staff member for completely bs reasons and treated them poorly with clear bias for certain members. Not very understanding of staff having to do what they can to keep things under control in high stress situations with zero help from other staff even if it doesn't 110% go the way management wants it to go.

Quote from: Fox-A-Million JiffyPaws, Google reviews
As someone who successfully discharged from the facility. I say, depending on the kind of environment you want your child in, this may, or may not be a good place. They may have good staff, but many staff who work here are power hungry when it comes to position. I would recommend somewhere else, but it is your choice.

News Items / Finally they close
« on: July 15, 2023, 03:35:55 AM »
Wow. Only 3 teenagers had to die before the state of Utah decided to do the obivious. Closing them down!

Teen treatment facility Diamond Ranch Academy closing after Utah denies license renewal (KSL News)

Some random articles about the clean-up related to the Agape School in Missouri

An employee was charged with three counts of Lewd or Lascivious Battery. He worked at an unnamed group home where lack of security and protocols allowed him to abuse minors aged down to the age of 13.

We do not know the name of the group home that had so a relaxed set of rules applying to the employees that such awful things could happen.

Florida Man Preyed on Minor Girls at Group Home, Traded ?Items of Value? to Sexually Abuse Victims as Young as 13: Sheriff (Law & Crime)
NEWS RELEASE (Flagler County Sheriffs Office - Pdf-file)

Rainbow House Inc. is located in Jonesboro. Georgia. The police seems to have arrested several employees (At least 4). The charges count inappropriate sexual conduct, child molestation, statutory rape, and sexual assault, sexual exploitation and failure to report the crimes. Not unusual in the group home business. Now the police have to look for more possible victims.

At least 4 employees arrested in sexual assault, cover-up at youth shelter; More victims discovered (Fox 5 Atlanta)
More child victims discovered in Rainbow House sexual abuse case (Atlanta News First)

Hillcrest Academy located Cincinnati, Ohio was in the news because an employee was arrested, charged with having sexual contact with a minor

Ex-Hillcrest Academy employee indicted for sexual contact with teen (Fox 19 now)

An employee from  Lava Heights Academy in Toquerville , Utah was arrested, charged with harged with various sexual offenses against teenage girls residents at the facility at the time of the alleged crime.

Staff member at southern Utah youth treatment center charged with rape, sexual abuse of students (FOX 13 news)

This are feedbacks from teenagers who were forced to stay there and also from some of their relatives. They were found on Google Reviews.

Quote from: Mazz Brassi
So, I was admitted to lava in August of 2018.
I was 13, depressed, and quite frankly minutes away from suicide at any given time. To say lava made my mental illness more aggravated is an understatement! The only redeeming quality was my last therapist, Heather. My autism went undiagnosed and ignored the entire time, I was witness to several violations of human rights. I urge that you don't send your child here, or any "troubled teen" facility. It is a money motivated trap and will only leave your child with more issues than they came in with

Quote from: Kalean Erickson
When my niece was in the care of this facility they would not let her call home to speak to her mother un supervised. Also on an outing my niece was assaulted by another student while not being watched with a boulder. It broke her nose, caused 3 brain bleeds, and she need stitches on her face. The staff failed my niece . When the incident happened the staff did not allow her to advocate for her medical rights. They didn?t provide photos of her injuries for her mother or the hospital. They slid the info under the rug. The student who threw the boulder was not held accountable for her actions. 2 days after the assault my niece wanted to go to the hospital because she was in pain, the staff chased her down and put her in a illegal physical hold and in the midst of it her head was injured more. I DO NOT SUPPORT THIS GROUP. This facility is a horrendous place to send a child.

Quote from: Clara Kahn
their thinking of sending me here saying its an all girls school but theres a review saying that this program helped a families son. Obviously fake reviews😂.. ALSO no hate to trans people but u shouldnt advertise on your website that they treat ?boys?.. this is a girls school and the reviews say otherwise which is sketch.

Quote from: Levi Hansen
At times there were good things happening at this school even though it was rare, that's why I'll add a star. However, this place seemed to be a more toxic environment for kids than a helpful one. It was an unorganized, mismanaged MESS. This is a huge money grab for the owners. The families pay a large amount of money for minimal outcome - most of the fun activities that were planned ended up being cancelled due to staffing shortage. My manager was lazy as hell and condescending to the kids, there was constantly short staff which was UNSAFE almost every day, the staff who are basically babysitting these kids all day are getting bottom dollar while owners cash it in. Overall just a terrible excuse for a business, especially when it's meant to help kids.

Quote from: Mekeda Maloney
I was here for about a week.their were nice staff but they were very low on staff and people were quiting left and right there was only one nurse and she was only there on the weekends. What really botherd was if one kid was acting up it would mess up the whole schdule it seemed the staff had very little over the giris. One thing i did notice were that there was a lot of good people working like the staff and teachers the facility its self looks very nice and the therapist did seem to care a lot but in my opinion it should b shut bc of how short they are on staff

An employee of Oasis Ascent located in MillCreek, Utah was arrested, charged with  sexually abusing a resident.

Mentor at Millcreek youth treatment facility charged with sexual abuse (KSL news)

Looking into the facility, this review was found on Google. It does not sound good.

Quote from: Michael Andersen
Oasis Ascent is just Discovery Academy under a new name. The same directors are in charge of it and I'm sure the same dysfunctional organizational structure is in place.

This place lost its academic accreditation in the summer of 2022 because they tried to claim that having teachers with licenses at one of their campuses counted as having licensed teachers at all of their campuses, even though the teachers in Provo would never actually meet the students in Cedar City, for example.

Watch out for this place; they lie like crazy.

Further sources:
Oasis Ascent (2021-present) Millcreek, UT (BreakingCodeSilence)

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