In his work with widows and orphans nearly 100 years ago, Dr. Emory Brady noticed the psychological toll of loss on his clients. He founded a hospital—the first of its kind in Southern Colorado—offering psychiatric care to people who had experienced trauma and adversity. Cedar Springs Hospital has grown since that time, when the only staff members were Dr. Brady’s family. Today, it has 110 beds for men, women and adolescents, employing a staff of trained psychiatric professionals.
There are two residential treatment rehabilitation programs at Cedar Springs serving clients with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. New Choices accepts anyone while The Recovery Zone is a special track for the military. The hospital may have evolved, but its mission has remained the same: to help people with emotional and psychological recovery so they may lead better lives.
Accommodations and Food
Despite its invitingly outdoorsy name, Cedar Springs Hospital is actually just 10 minutes south of downtown Colorado Springs and across the street from a shopping center. Still, the mountains are only a few miles east, and clients are taken hiking there from time to time.
The main hospital building retains its original 1924 construction: a one-story, plain exterior and an interior with the quaint feel of a B&B. The campus has been expanded over the years to accommodate more clients, but it has a simple, cozy ambiance throughout, with wingback leather chairs and framed artwork on the walls. An adjoining building with several stories houses the residential clients, two to a room. They sleep on twin beds with utility linens, but they can bring a personal pillow if they prefer. Clients in the Recovery Zone program for military personnel sleep in their own 12-bed unit, away from the civilians. The facility is locked—a staff member needs to let clients in and out of their units and accompany them on outings. This is still a voluntary program, though, so clients may leave at any time, with the approval of the treatment team.
All meals are served buffet-style and eaten in the hospital cafeteria; coffee is available. Meal times are 6:35 am, 12:05 pm and 5:05 pm. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated in consultation with the staff nutritionist.
Treatment and Staff
Cedar Springs Hospital offers medical detox, with a team of psychiatrists, nurses and medical technicians available at all times. Clients aren’t required to participate in programming during detox—just to eat as well as they can, sleep as much as possible and to sweat it out.
New Choices and The Recovery Zone are both 21- to 28-day residential programs. Clients can arrange for a longer stay with their individual counselor, depending on their needs and treatment progress. New Choices has two tracks: one for substance abuse only and one for dual diagnosis clients, who work with an additional case manager and are under the care of a psychiatrist for medication prescription and management.
The Recovery Zone works with the Patriot Support Program, a group of military-specific facilities and programs born out of the increasing need for military personnel to receive behavioral health treatment for addiction, depression and post-traumatic stress. The Patriot Support Program aims to stabilize men and women in the military so they can lead healthy civilian lives. Military command is involved in any discharge planning for Recovery Zone clients.
The Recovery Zone and New Choices use many of the same treatment modalities. Clients in both programs are introduced to the 12-step model and participate in group therapy based on psychoeducation. Discussion-based groups focus on relapse prevention, adjusting to a sober life, anger management and life skills.
CBT, DBT, EMDR, equine therapy and a form of virtual reality therapy are all used to help clients process trauma. These therapies are offered in both individual and group contexts. Clients see their therapists at least twice a week for an individual session and once a week for a family session, if applicable. And for a little much-needed balance, clients in both programs also have time for recreation and physical fitness.
Cedar Springs Hospital also offers a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) substance abuse programs for clients who have a safe and sober living environment and who don’t need 24-hour care. Clients come in from 9 am to 3 pm during the week and participate in all groups and activities with residential clients, including lunch.
The facility has six board-certified psychiatrists and three board-certified primary care doctors on call at all times. All therapists are licensed and, in the substance abuse programs, tend to specialize in addiction and trauma.
Alternative therapies include EMDR, equine therapy and virtual reality-assisted cue therapy, a newer theory that allows clients to reenact virtually triggering situations so they can retrain their responses.
Cedar Springs Hospital also offers community outings each weekend, not limited to, but including, hiking, bowling, fishing, watching a movie or going to the zoo. There is a well-equipped gym on campus and outside are volleyball and basketball courts, as well as shuffleboard A rec room is outfitted with board games, tables with checkerboards on them and a TV. Unlike many treatment programs that don’t allow non-recovery literature, Cedar Springs Hospital invites clients to bring books and magazines.
Aside from its primary substance abuse treatment, Cedar Springs offers acute care for adults who have experienced psychotic breaks and suicidal ideation, a PTSD recovery program for veterans, a women’s program providing help for females struggling with mental health issues and one for children with behavioral issues.
Cedar Springs Hospital offers comprehensive treatment for substance abuse in the short term, though the partial hospitalization program could be used to extend treatment for locals. The days are tightly structured, which is necessary for early recovery, but outlets for alternative therapy are built into that structure so clients have a chance to have fun. They specialize in caring for people who are really suffering—from past trauma to difficult dual diagnosis issues.
Cedar Springs Hospital
2135 Southgate Rd
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
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