Cary DeYoung Scholarship
Honoring Cary: A Scholarship for Healing and Hope

In the wake of profound grief comes a beacon of hope—the Cary DeYoung Wellness Journey Scholarship for current PCH clients. Born from the heartache of losing their son Cary just before his 22nd birthday, Neal and Suzy DeYoung have embarked on a mission to transform their sorrow into a source of support for others battling mental health challenges. Cary's journey through life was marked by vibrant curiosity, resilience in the face of adversity, and an unyielding quest for peace amidst mental illness. Despite his struggles, Cary's spirit remained undiminished, a testament to his strength and the care he received at PCH Treatment Center, which he hailed as unparalleled. Inspired by Cary's experience, the DeYoung family has established a scholarship at PCH, aiming to extend a lifeline to individuals like Cary. This initiative not only honors Cary's memory but also embodies the DeYoungs' profound commitment to advancing mental health support, ensuring that Cary's light continues to guide others toward healing and hope.

Cary photo on beach
Cary’s Story

Shortly before his 21st birthday, our son, Cary Michael DeYoung arrived at PCH Treatment Center. Cary was no stranger to treatment centers and had been to some of the finest, including Menningers in Houston, Skyland Trail in Atlanta and McClean in Boston. Not long into Cary’s stay at PCH he remarked that he felt that PCH was “the best treatment center I’ve experienced.” We would come to feel the same way and this is why we have chosen to offer a scholarship to PCH in Cary’s name in hopes of helping others like Cary who are experiencing mental health struggles.

Cary was a beam of light. As a child he was typically wearing a big smile. He was also mischievous, wildly curious, thrill seeking, deeply loving and an amazing conversationalist; especially with adults. Cary also experienced deep hardships both as a child and as a teenager.

At age seven, a year after we moved from New York City to Newtown, CT. Cary endured a serious accident. While trick-or-treating on Halloween of 2004, Cary’s flowing costume got too close to a candle on our neighbor’s porch and went up in flames. Cary received third degree burns on his hand and lower face. He was on life support for two days followed by excruciating skin grafts. While the medical treatment Cary received was excellent, we knew next to nothing about the impact of trauma. In fact, the word trauma was rarely if ever used outside of professional settings. Despite returning to first grade having to wear a compression shield on his lower face and a compression glove on his hand, Cary and life at home got back to as “normal” as possible.

While Cary returned to being a happy little boy for many years, his trauma - coupled with other issues Cary was facing as he grew such as learning difficulties, anxiety and probably mental illness as well – were brewing under the surface. Symptoms outwardly surfaced in the form of serious depression and emotional difficulties when Cary entered his teen years.

In 2012, during freshman year of high school Cary, along with many of his peers, underwent another trauma when they spent three hours in lockdown in a small crawl space of their high school during the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings. Cary would go on to work for a foundation created by one of the families who lost their six-year-old daughter in the shooting; becoming a close friend and mentee of the father, Dr. Jeremy Richman. Dr. Richman, a neuroscientist, was working to educate others on mental/brain health. When Dr. Richman died by suicide in 2019, it was a devastating loss for Cary.

Cary worked tirelessly as a teenager and young adult to overcome what he described as his “despair.” He believed that while his trauma may have exacerbated his despair, at the root he was suffering from mental illness. “Mom,” he would say, “I’ve had enough therapy...this is mental illness.” Nonetheless, Cary remained engaged with his friends and family, maintained good grades, traveled, volunteered in the community and worked with some sound therapists.

Cary tried numerous treatments to ease his pain. These included, EMDR, Brainspotting, Neurofeedback, Acupuncture, TMS, Somatic Therapy, Floatation Tanks, Yoga, Medical Marijuana, Transcendental Meditation, Ketamine, DBT, CBT and ACT (“Acceptance and Commitment) therapies, Holotropic Breathwork, an Ayahuasca Retreat in Peru and numerous medications. He also received a variety of diagnoses.

PCH recognized and treated Cary as a whole person with a unique and complex story. He felt “seen” and he felt “heard.” Cary also made valuable connections at PCH – both among the staff and the clients - and we are grateful a number of them remain in our lives. Cary wasn’t always an easy patient. He liked to be in charge of his care and his strong opinions would sometimes conflict with the professionals. PCH worked with Cary to meet his needs while also maintaining boundaries to keep him as safe as possible.

Cary left PCH in December of 2019 and spent the beginning months of the pandemic living with friends in Nashville. He moved back to LA in June of 2020 where close friends, the beach and music lifted him to a place of peace he had not felt for a long time. Cary passed away in July of 2020 from “the combined effects of the medications he had been prescribed.” Cary’s death was ruled accidental.

When contemplating how we could best honor Cary, it did not take long to land upon PCH as a vehicle through which to offer some help. Cary would approve. We are grateful to the staff at PCH for the care and compassion they offered Cary. It is clear now more than ever that our society desperately needs to evolve in terms of its perspective on and treatment of mental illness; an evolution PCH helps to accomplish. We sincerely hope we can help someone find, through PCH, a path to healing, peace and connection that they, like Cary, deserve.

For more on Cary’s story, visit 

With love,

Neal and Suzy DeYoung

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Cary DeYoung Scholarship

PCH will consider awarding Financial Assistance to families who demonstrate financial hardship and clinical need on a case-by-case basis.

Please help fund the Cary DeYoung Scholarship by making a contribution to help a deserving family in need

Wellness Journey Solution at PCH
PCH Continued Caring

PCH maintains that one of the most important aspects of a successful treatment plan is a successful wellness journey plan. Clients leaving intensive day treatment for a lower level of care may benefit from supportive services to ensure the smoothest transition possible. Whether in combination or alone, companion services can provide clients in transition with much valued structure and support.

Life Transition Solutions

Clients enter treatment with the hope of getting an understanding of their specific emotional issues and diagnoses. Clients often do well within a structured environment or in residential care, where there is support around activities of daily living and other life skills. At discharge, the client has often improved emotionally to the point of being able to live independently. In our experience we have found that many clients benefit from extra assistance when making this transition to independent living. Life Skills Companions focus on helping the client achieve personal competence goals, which enhance the client’s overall development. Life Skills Companions can assist in many areas of focus that may include, but are not limited to the following:

Time Management
Use of public transportation
Daily/Weekly Scheduling and Planning
Organizational skills
Preparation for employment
Connection to volunteer Opportunities
Social skills
Recreation for leisure
Menu planning
Preparing meals
Anxiety Management
Traveling companionship
Sober companionship