Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS), a private investment firm investing in the healthcare, information, business services and education industries, has completed a structured capital investment in Ascent Behavioral Health (Ascent).Ascent provides wilderness therapy, residential treatment and therapeutic boarding school programs for adolescents with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and attachment disorder. Financial terms of the private transaction have not been disclosed.
Founded in 1989, Ascent Behavioral Health operates adolescent behavioural health programs throughout Utah. The Company was built by mission-driven founders on principles committed to clinical quality and superior outcomes based on its experiential therapeutic approach. Ascent takes pride in its expert staff and caregivers, top-quality real estate facilities and continued focus on clinical research.
“Ascent’s comprehensive programs are making a meaningful and significant difference in improving the quality of life of its patients and their families,” says Jeffrey Stevenson, Managing Partner of VSS.
“We look forward to partnering with the Ascent team, who bring decades of behavioural healthcare experience to the Company and remain firmly committed to expanding Ascent’s continuum of behavioural health programs into new markets where the demand for innovative programs to serve high-need patient populations is continuing to grow.”
VSS’ investment will be used to support the expansion of Ascent’s existing programs and potential acquisitions of complementary programs.
According to industry data, approximately 44 million adults experience mental illness in the US in a given year, with 50 per cent of chronic mental illness developing by age 14 and 75 per cent developing it by age 24. Mental illness is rising among juveniles at an alarming rate, driven in part by increased drug and alcohol usage, and increased screen time spent on mobile devices and social media. The number of youths with severe depression has increased over 5 per cent annually for the last decade; 20 per cent of juveniles between the age of 13 – 18 live with a mental health condition, 10 percent have a behaviour or conduct disorder, and 8 percent have an anxiety disorder.
“We are thrilled to have the support of partners with a proven track record of supporting growth, and who share our vision for providing unmatched clinical care,” says Steve Nadauld, Chief Executive Officer of Ascent. “VSS delivered a flexible capital solution that will enable us to continue building a robust, patient-centric platform and pursue the next chapter of our growth, while supporting the uniquely individual treatment needs of our local, national and international clients.”
“Ascent is a pioneer in providing the optimal blend of traditional evidenced-based therapies with its trademark experiential therapy and emphasis on family therapy, empowering adolescents to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives,” says Erik Prochnow, Senior Associate at VSS. “We’re excited to support Ascent’s expansion as the Company continues to deliver compassionate programs for effectively treating adolescent behavioural health disorders.”