Two young ladies of Orchard Place reading - at Orchard Place Des Moines

“There’s so much more life to live. The fact that we had amazing staff to fall back on was a game changer for me.”


“We really didn’t think she’d make it to her 17th birthday,” shared Jessie Stott. Her daughter, Allison, at a young age had been through a traumatic experience and became suicidal.

“We were spending a lot of time trying to keep her alive. It got to a point where we realized we were going to need more help than what we could provide.”

After looking around at different facilities across the state, Jessie confidently put her trust in that Orchard Place was the best match for Ally.

“Honestly, I thought there was nothing that could help her. In the end, I thought we were going to lose her,” she said. But Ally was on a mission to make a change in her life. With focus and determination to make the best out of her situation, Orchard Place staff was her key to self-improvement.

When Ally first arrived at Orchard Place, she was in a tough spot, struggling with self-harm and facing multiple suicide attempts. Reflecting on those days, Ally shared that being on Campus round the clock was not easy.

“The staff at Orchard Place really made a difference in making my stay easier,” Ally shared excitedly! “I’m still in communication with some of the staff. They’ve made a life changing impact on me!” One of Ally’s mentors, Alison Burris an MS tLMHC at Orchard Place, said, “I am incredibly proud of how hard Ally worked in order to break through the shell that her trauma had built around her so that she could confidently put all her strengths to use and feel hopeful about her future again.” Burris said it was visibly apparent that Ally was struggling with significant trauma and emotional distress when she came to Campus. “She wasn’t afraid to voice her grievances with being in treatment, and it was evident that this was not the place she wanted to be at 16-years-old. However, over the course of several months, Ally and her family put in an exponential amount of work to help reduce trauma and depressive symptoms, increase communication and support between one another, and give rise to profound successes at home and in school.”

With guidance and hard work, Ally said she was able to find the positives in life. “I heard this a lot, ‘It does get better.’ I know it’s cliché to say because in the moment you’re thinking it’s not getting better, but it really does,” she said. “There’s so much more life to live. The fact that we had amazing staff to fall back on was a game changer for me.”

Watch Ally speak her truth on her journey to overcoming mental health challenges: