The Retreat at Sheppard Pratt Holds Successful 2012 Retreat Reunion

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Renowned Baltimore mental health facility reunites staff and former alumni during reunion.

The Retreat, a premiere, self-funded psychiatric setting operated by the nationally renowned Sheppard Pratt health system, recently held a third reunion to reconnect staff, former patients, family and friends. The first reunion was held in 2008, and has become a continual event due to an overwhelming initial success. This year’s reunion proved no different, generating strong turnout and positive feedback from a large number of alumni.

The reunion was held on Saturday, April 28, which also marked the ten-year anniversary of exceptional patient care at The Retreat. The reunion served as an opportunity for alumni and current staff to reconnect, while learning about current expansion and new services offered. Guests enjoyed talks from staff favorites as well as Retreat leadership, touching on cutting edge developments in diagnosis and treatment of depression. Other discussions revolved around the importance of a holding environment in psychotherapeutic treatment, as well as insight into family function. Retreat leaders discussed the significance of the role of The Retreat in the Sheppard Pratt system. During a lunch break, alumni and staff had the chance to reconnect, share stories of past experiences, and discuss memories from their stay.

Following the seminars, guests enjoyed a guided tour of Ruxton House, a newly launched residential program focused on rehabilitation. The Ruxton House opened in May, and is designed as a step-down extension of The Retreat that will focus on developing balance between ongoing treatment and life beyond treatment. Staff were excited to showcase these innovative advances in programs and services as they continually strive to develop cutting-edge treatments in patient care.

The day's activities were concluded with an open forum for former residents to share their experiences on The Retreat and how they used what they learned after leaving. Guests were met with overwhelming positivity as they heard how The Retreat shaped so many lives and guided many through their individual journeys. One alumna remarked, “as someone who had isolated for so long, resisted opening up to people, got so wrapped up in my own head that I couldn’t recognize other people’s struggles and allowed so many friendships to dissolve, I cherish the people I met at the Retreat. Just interacting with them was enlightening. I instinctively felt compassion towards everyone and eventually recognized it was mutual and I was worthy of that compassion.”

The reunion has become such a success that many former residents have expressed interest in developing an alumni association.

The Retreat’s reunion is another way that Sheppard Pratt continues to be an innovator in the psychiatric health services field. Continual reunions exemplify the strong effort The Retreat puts forth in developing pioneering treatment solutions and a state-of-the-art, welcoming environment.

About Sheppard Pratt:
Sheppard Pratt Health System is a nationally renowned mental health and special education system for treatment, professional training and research. It is consistently ranked among the top mental health hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report. Sheppard Pratt Health System is one of the first sites in the country offering Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to treat depression.

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Katie Riesenfeld
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