WABASH, Ind. (WANE) — Lydia is wrapping up her last few weeks at Compass Rose Academy after almost ten months of staying at the faith-based mental health facility in Wabash.

The 16-year-old said she struggled with maintaining healthy relationships before the residential treatment center took her in to make her feel loved and experience growth during the critical teenage years.

Mike Haarer, the vice president and executive director of Compass Rose, cut the red ribbon at a ceremony Friday celebrating a new facility at Compass Rose Academy, a safe haven for teen girls struggling with mental health.

Haarer launched the vision nearly a decade ago. The academy is a therapeutic residential program for families in crisis. Teen girls that are admitted spend their time on campus growing mentally and spiritually through a “Clinical and Christian approach,” according to the website.

  • Compass Rose Academy
  • Mike Haarer, vice president and executive director of Compass Rose Academy, cuts the ribbon in celebration of the new facility.
  • Inside a facility at Compass Rose Academy
  • Residential treatment with a peaceful view.
  • Christian and Clinical

The academy is associated with White’s Residential & Family Services, a resource that has been available to families for more than 160 years. Among the services are residential treatments for teen boys and girls, foster care and adoption. A full list of family resources can be found on the website.

“The people who have opened their arms to me and have welcomed me have really impacted my life,” Lydia said.

Teens started school four days ago in new classrooms for a fresh start to the academic year, and new housing at Compass Rose has impacted the campus atmosphere.

The academy’s new facility means a better sense of community, Lydia said, and the open-air setting helps her stay at peace because she has dealt with claustrophobia in the past.

“This new campus is essential to provide the care and healing that our girls need,” said Dave Haist, the president of the board of directors at Compass Rose.

“Programs like these… are the greatest of Hoosier hospitality,” said State Senator Andy Zay, who was also in attendance at the ceremony.

Fort Wayne design-builder Michael Kinder & Sons led the planning and construction of the project.

The Facebook Live recording of the ceremony can be viewed on the Compass Rose Academy page.