Investment Provides Capital to Support Next Phase of Growth for Adolescent Behavioral Health Services Provider

NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 19, 2020 – Veronis Suhler Stevenson (“VSS”), a private investment firm investing in the healthcare, information, business services and education industries, today announced that it has completed a structured capital investment in Ascent Behavioral Health (“Ascent” or “the Company”). 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 were not disclosed.

Founded in 1989, Ascent Behavioral Health operates adolescent behavioral 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,” said Jeffrey Stevenson, Managing Partner of VSS. “We look forward to partnering with the Ascent team, who bring decades of behavioral healthcare experience to the Company and remain firmly committed to expanding Ascent’s continuum of behavioral 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 percent of chronic mental illness developing by age 14 and 75 percent 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 percent annually for the last decade; 20 percent of juveniles between the age of 13 – 18 live with a mental health condition, 10 percent  have a behavior 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,” said 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,” said 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 behavioral health disorders.”

About VSS
VSS is a private investment firm that invests in the healthcare, information, business services  and education industries. Headquartered in New York, VSS provides capital for growth financing, recapitalizations, strategic acquisitions, and buyouts to lower middle market companies and management teams with the goal of building companies organically as well as through a focused add-on acquisition program. VSS makes privately-negotiated investments across the capital structure and invests in situations requiring control or non-control equity, mezzanine securities, and structured equity securities. For more information, please visit: www.vss.com.

About Ascent Behavioral Health
Ascent operates six unique residential programs in Utah that deliver behavioral health treatment to adolescents across a continuum of care, including wilderness therapy, residential treatment centers and a therapeutic boarding school. Founded in 1989, the Company has treated over 5,000 youths between the ages of 12 and 18 who have come from all over the world seeking care. The Company’s focus on clinical quality and experiential therapy effectively helps youth struggling with an array of behavioral health disorders including depression, anxiety and attachment disorders.