Since 1970, Chrysalis House in Lexington has provided women of Kentucky with an intensive, multi-disciplinary approach for treatment of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Now grown to include programs for survivors of domestic violence, health and childcare services, women have access to a continuum of care. Chrysalis is a licensed nonprofit and runs three residential treatment centers for women, a community center and several long-term housing programs. Most clients come from low-income households, with little access to mental health services and are at risk for domestic abuse. As many are pregnant or have young children, Chrysalis accommodates mothers with their infants at two locations.
Accommodations and Food
The residential facilities accommodate 16 or 20 women, respectively, not including babies. Clients without children reside in shared rooms, which meet the basic needs for comfort. Children aged two and younger may remain with their mothers, sharing rooms, while older kids can visit and sleep over on weekends, providing this doesn’t interfere with treatment schedules or school. Household chores, including cooking, are shared among clients, though staff does help supervise and prepare meals. Food is basic but nutritious, with kids meals and snacks also available. The residences are homelike, with large living areas, TVs and dining room, with limited use of electronic devices allowed.
The long-term housing programs include a 12-unit and 40-unit complex comprised of two or three bedroom apartments. Women seeking independent living, but with the support of a drug-free and safe environment, find affordable housing for their families and themselves.
Treatment and Staff
Upon admission, women undergo a thorough evaluation and receive individualized treatment plans. Medically monitored detox is not offered and clients in need of it are referred elsewhere. Length of stay varies, though the residential phase is around five to nine months longs. During treatment, a clinical team will monitor, evaluate and coordinate programs determined by progress toward goals. A case manager, psychiatric nurse practitioner, domestic violence counselor and substance abuse counselor provide treatment. Clients can bring up to 30 days of prescribed medication, and may receive medication management as part of dual diagnosis support. Additionally, primary healthcare needs are met for both mother and children at the Chrysalis Community Center.
After an initial period of orientation, clients can have visitors and leave the residence for up to four hours a day for approved appointments. A typical day consists of individual and group therapy, psycho-education courses, 12-step meetings, related assignments and peer mentoring, with plenty of time left for taking care of children and outside business. Clients also volunteer in the community and learn parenting skills.
Children are supervised at the childcare center and learn to grow things in the community art garden. Older children can enroll in on-site afterschool or day camp programs.
To prepare women for independent living, job, GED and vocational training is provided, teaching tangible skills based on their strengths. Once these have been applied, and adequate income is established, a coordinator helps clients transition to one of the long-term apartments. Many remain in extended care for close to a year, with budgeting, housing, employment assistance, medical and childcare still available. All treatment and community services remain accessible for an additional year, as Chrysalis believes in long-term support.
The domestic violence program offers safe refuge, counseling and healthcare services for women and their children. It operates alongside the substance abuse program and shares the same structure.
The substance abuse and domestic violence programs at Chrysalis House are the only ones of their kind in Kentucky. For women serious about recovery, the affordable, long-term support is highly recommended.
1589 Hill Rise Dr
Lexington, KY 40504
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