Northeast GA Residents Go to Capitol Hill to Discuss Youth and Mental Health Issues

Martin, GA — Northeast Georgia (Martin) residents, Allison and Joshua Wallace, both program representatives for Shepherd’s Hill Academy, Martin, Georgia, went to Capitol Hill to meet with staff members from the office of Sen. David Perdue (R- GA), as part of a 16-member delegation from the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP). NATSAP is the North American resource for programs and professionals assisting young people with emotional and behavioral difficulties.

“We discussed the important role of therapeutic treatment programs in society today and how these programs benefit at-risk adolescents and young adults confronting serious and life-threatening mental health issues,” said Allison Wallace. “We emphasized the stringent credentials required of those facilities that are NATSAP-member programs.”

The 16-member NATSAP delegation discussed its desire to promote legislation that improves the credentialing process–not just for NATSAP-member programs–but also for all therapeutic schools and programs in North America.

“With mental health issues making headlines today, talking to our Capitol Hill representatives and sharing our personal stories helps make it real to those in Washington,” said Joshua Wallace “It’s also important for us to convey NATSAP’s desire to work with congressional leaders on improved, mutually-beneficial, effective legislation to help our adolescent and young adults and their families who are addressing behavioral health issues.”

NATSAP and its members work year-round on communicating with national and state legislators culminating in the annual NATSAP Capitol Hill Day.

We talk to our legislators to explain how NATSAP programs help fill the gap of mental health programs for adolescents and young adults that are not being met by publically- funded programs,” ” said Megan Stokes, Executive Director of NATSAP.

All NATSAP member programs that treat children under 18 are overseen by state therapeutic licensure or accredited by major mental health bodies, and, in some cases, both.

Many NATSAP members are Research Designated Programs meaning they have demonstrated that they examine their practices in a meaningful way. The RDP process involves applying to the NATSAP Research Committee for the RDP designation, and after their qualifications are examined by the Research Committee, those NATSAP members who meet the RDP stringent requirements earn the NATSAP RDP designation.

For more information about NATSAP or the RDP designation, visit

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About the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP)

Founded in 1999, NATSAP is the North American resource for programs and professionals assisting young people with emotional and behavioral difficulties. NATSAP members include therapeutic schools, residential treatment programs, wilderness therapy programs, young adult programs, and home-based residential programs. NATSAP members are independently operated and owned. NATSAP does not provide placement services.

About Shepherd’s Hill Academy

Founded in 2001, Shepherd’s Hill Academy is a faith-based Residential Therapeutic Boarding School for teens in crisis. Shepherd’s Hill serves teen boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 17 years old, offering hope and healing through empirically-based therapeutic methods. SHA offers a fully accredited on-site junior and senior high school, master’s level therapeutic team providing individual, group, family and equine therapy sessions, and an unplugged wilderness living environment. Learn more at or schedule a tour by calling (706) 703-4188 ext. 223.