Desert Visions Youth Wellness Center provides a path to recovery for Native American youth between the ages of 12 and 18. Located on the Gila River Indian Community reservation just south of Phoenix, this treatment center uses education, therapy, the 12 steps and Native American culture to help youth recover from addiction. Through sweat lodges, talk circles, art, music, songs and dance, clients reconnect with their heritage as they embrace sobriety.
Accommodations and Food
The grounds at Desert Visions resemble a college campus, with three buildings all within walking distance of one another. The 24-bed program houses clients in dorm-like spaces, with two clients to a room and minimal furniture. A laundry room can be found on-site, as all clients are required to wash their clothes themselves. When it comes time for meals, therapy and school, clients walk over to the main building where offices, a large dining room and a classroom are located.
The recreation building features a weight room, an art therapy room, a lecture hall and a relaxation room. Throughout the day, the kids have opportunities to work out or watch TV, incorporating a sense of play into recovery. Community bonding is offered through group recreational activities, which are chosen each week by the recreation specialist. Clients have a chance to express themselves creatively through painting and drawing in the art room.
Three meals a day are prepared on-site and served in the dining room. Menu items have a Native American flavor, allowing residents to experience a culinary connection to their heritage. While caffeine is not permitted here, snacks are available at specific times during the day.
The program at Desert Visions is for Native Americans only, primarily serving tribes from Arizona, Nevada, Utah and California. Over the course of 120 days of treatment, clients are immersed in therapy, education, culture and recreation. A staff consisting of nurses, counselors, a professional teacher, a medical doctor and a psychologist manages their physical and mental health.
Each week, clients can see their primary counselor for individual therapy. In addition, they participate in group therapy for several hours a day, focusing on topics like life skills, trauma, relapse prevention and nutrition. Education is another important facet of treatment, as the kids spend a portion of their day learning appropriate grade level curriculum in the classroom. On-site AA/NA meetings introduce clients to a recovery-based community while educational lectures help them to understand the 12 steps.
Family sessions with the primary counselor give clients and family members the chance to work on communication. Family visitation is allowed once a week for a few hours.
Desert Visions Youth Wellness Center provides Native American youth with therapeutic treatment for addiction and mental health issues. Through spirituality, Native American culture, recreation and education, clients can fashion a new approach to life.
Desert Visions Youth Wellness Center
198 Skill Center Rd
Sacaton, AZ 85147
Desert Visions Youth Wellness Center Cost: Free. Reach Desert Visions Youth Wellness Center by phone at (888) 431-4096.
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