Founded in 1982, Saint Simons By-The-Sea (SSBTS) is an inpatient hospital for adults and teens, treating psychiatric disorders and addiction. Located on the idyllic Saint Simons Island, between Savannah, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida, Saint Simons By-The-Sea is an acute care, short-term hospital program that aims to stabilize difficult dual diagnosis cases in as little as 14 days.
Accommodations and Food
SSBTS, located less than three miles from the Atlantic Ocean, is a Spanish-style one-story hospital with three wings attached to the main building. Surrounded by lush tropical greenery and landscaped grounds, clients can wander manicured paths, sit in front of the courtyard fountain or play tennis on the outdoor court.
The rooms at this 101-bed facility are painted in ocean colors, with hardwood floors and plenty of windows. Rooms are double occupancy, with twin beds and en suite bathrooms. A community media/kitchenette room with sea green walls and chairs for lounging contains big screen TVs and snack and juice machines.
Meal planning, prep and food service are handled by a dietitian and kitchen staff. Caffeine and sugar are not necessarily restricted (depending on the client’s diagnosis) and dietary accommodations can be made.
Treatment and Staff
As mentioned, SSBTS is an acute care short-term facility, which claims to have developed a program that cuts the traditional 28-day residential program in half while maintaining similar degrees of success and offering dual diagnosis support.
Initially, clients are assessed to determine if detox services are needed or if they can immediately participate in the residential program. At this time, all clients are assigned to a primary therapist and are assessed by a psychiatrist for co-occurring disorders and whether or not they will need medication management. SSBTS utilizes Suboxone for detox and CBT as its primary therapeutic modality. Like most programs, clients engage in daily group therapy, with a bump in individual therapy—up to three times a week.
A typical day at SSBTS begins with a 6 am wake-up followed by breakfast, a goals group, another group therapy session and then lunch at 11:50 am. Recreational therapy follows lunch. At 2 pm, residents meet with a staff therapist and have options of downtime or group before a 5 pm dinner. After dinner, clients attend an on-site AA meeting and then a daily process group before free time and lights out at 11 pm.
Because this is an acute care hospital setting, it is no surprise that clients have access to a full medical staff and therapeutic team. Each of these staff members have some level of experience in the fields of addiction treatment, recovery, relapse prevention and mental health. The staff-to-client ratio is a respectable one-to-five.
SSBTS offers a variety of options during recreational time: yoga, karaoke, art and music therapies. While there is no gym on-site, the aforementioned tennis courts provide a way for clients to get exercise.
Saint Simons By-The-Sea is a beautiful facility in a serene setting—it looks just like a psychiatric hospital should. This could be the place to begin recovery, especially for potential clients with difficult dual diagnosis issues—SSBTS offers lots of one-on-one support from experienced professionals. The caveat might be that this 14-day program doesn’t look much different than its 28-day counterparts, so how it could be just as effective is a matter of debate.
Saint Simons By-The-Sea
2927 Demere Road
Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
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