Military service members face unique challenges in everyday life compared to other Americans — and so do their families.
Meridell Achievement Center provides help for the adolescents of military service members, ages 11-17, who have had issues with:
Our goal is to help children and adolescents of military service members successfully return to their next stage of life through treatment that meets their unique and specific needs.
The Residential Behavioral and Neurobehavioral Programs includes a mix of traditional and alternative therapies and treatments such as:
Meridell Achievement Center opened in 1961 in Austin, Texas. We began with small programs for local special needs children and adolescents who needed daycare and 24-hour residential treatment.
Today we are a 134-bed, co-ed medical model residential treatment center with full time psychiatric providers. We specialize in neurobehavioral and behavioral services for children and teens ages 11-17 and offer a battery psychological and neuropsychological tests for treatment planning. Our 63-acre campus is in Liberty Hill, Texas, an Austin suburb with an easy commute to the city center and international airport.
“I don’t know if you will remember Duncan, but he was at Meridell from June 2019 to November of 2019. Since then, he has made tremendous progress. His last suicide attempt was in Feb of 2020. My husband, Jon, went on medical leave to be at home with him (with me), bought a weight bench so they could start workouts together… and then Covid shut everything down. Covid was the best thing for our family! We were ALL home. We went camping, found an abandoned puppy (Felix!) that became Duncan’s best friend. His grades went up and his anxiety (mostly) went down during distance learning.
We still had hiccups (holes in walls, threats of suicide), but we continued to make progress in therapy, adjusting meds, depending on a lot of church and family support.
In August – November of 2020, we enrolled Duncan back in public school for his sophomore year, Duncan started to really regress in his anxiety (almost ALL related to school), so we w/drew him from public school, researched other educational options in December, and started homeschooling with a co-op in January. I think I had the biggest adjustment to make there (public school teacher for 20+ years!)
Fast forward to 2022. Now he is THRIVING. He is working in his 2nd summer in student camp ministry at a local Baptist Camp, where he is: lifeguarding, serving in the kitchen, in their “snack shack”, making snow cones, supervising campers in ALL their activities, mowing (lots and lots of mowing), cleaning dorms, etc…. Last year he lost 20 lbs working at summer camp! This week at camp, a really good friend of mine was there with her 4th and 5th grade girls and overheard Duncan helping a girl paddle her canoe out of the weeds; he told her, “Think about how you got there and then slowly do the opposite thing. Work backwards. You can do hard things.” My friend teared up because she knows Duncan’s history and sees how God is using this for His glory.
He did really well in his homeschool lessons and activities this past year, took his SAT’s and did well on those, got his driver’s license, continued in his therapies, We’ve gone down/or dropped many meds and he still seems stable (we changed psychologist and found one willing to try SLOWLY titrating Duncan down on meds to find his “balance point”). So he no longer feels like a “medicated zombie”.
Duncan started working out religiously (remember that weight bench bought in 2019? He outgrew it; we had to buy another one! He is 6’5″ tall!) So gradually our home gym has been built up through all of his birthday and Christmas gifts. He lifts weights almost daily, we joined a gym, he plays basketball with a friend group, rides a bike. He’s lost about 80 lbs in one year!!!
He started up guitar lessons again, is involved with ALL the youth activities at church, runs around with a GREAT core friend group that supports each other.
I wanted to thank you, and the staff at Meridell, for interceding with us at the biggest crises our family has ever faced. It was an AWFUL time for us, and we were often hopeless. Please encourage your families and teens that there is life to be had AFTER Meridell. I’ve included pictures of the amazing kid we have now. Thanks for helping me get my happy boy back.”
R. Faith Morrow, M.S.
Campus Math Specialist & Interventionist
College Street Elementary, Lindale, TX