Founded by Director Candace Beardsley in 1982, Spruce Mountain Inn provides services for young adults struggling with mental health issues and co-occurring substance abuse disorders. Initially conceived to target a gap in available services, Spruce Mountain offers private, long-term residential treatment for clients aged 17 to 28 who are struggling to transition into independent living. Located 10 minutes outside Vermont’s capital Montpelier, clients from all over the country travel to enjoy the charming community and scenic landscapes accessible from Spruce Inn. Programming encourages residents to take advantage of all the cultural and recreational activities available in the area, while comprehensive clinical services utilize holistic treatment methods.
Accommodations and Food
During their stay at Spruce Mountain, clients transition through three levels of care. The primary residential and clinical building is referred to collectively as The Inn and houses up to 12 residents. Located next door, the Annex allows clients greater flexibility in schedule and supervision, while the neighboring Greatwood House offers still more freedom. Both The Annex and Greenwood House accommodate three clients each. Comfortable dual and single-occupancy rooms are fully furnished and include space for personal belongings. Several private bathrooms are also available. The communal areas are furnished to encourage a homelike atmosphere, with designated TV, meeting, living, dining and multi-purpose rooms. Other features include a large activity space and fully equipped mixed-media art studio located at the Annex.
An on-site chef prepares most meals, often sourcing from local and seasonal produce. Meals are healthy, fresh and varied, with communal dining encouraged. Continuing the focus on building independent living skills, clients must participate in cooking classes. Meal planning, food preparation and storage and basic cooking skills are taught. Once able, clients join the rotating roster of residents that prepare dinner several nights a week. Snacks can be purchased and stored in cubbies or the resident refrigerator.
Treatment and Staff
Master’s-level clinical case managers oversee a multi-disciplinary staff assigned to each client. Individualized treatment plans are created together with the client, with treatment goals and length suggested. Clients typically have mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, OCD or PTSD, coupled with difficulty integrating into college or the workplace. Those with substance abuse disorders are treated, provided they are a secondary diagnosis with no need for detox, can also be treated. Many staff are trained in trauma resolution so can provide therapeutic options in this area if needed. Those with a history of violence are referred to other programs.
Residents usually remain at The Inn five or six months, gradually moving toward more independent living. Though allowed supervised outings from the beginning, clients can leave the campus alone after two weeks. After a period of stability—usually a few months—residents can apply to bring their own vehicle, allowing even greater freedom. Many clients then apply for residence at the Annex, where they experience more flexibility in their schedules, but also greater responsibility, such as cooking their own meals. Finally, some clients choose to conclude their treatment at the Greatwood House, which offers safety and structure in an environment that closely resembles independent living.
Through all three stages, clients have access to the vast array of therapeutic modalities offered by Spruce. Evidence-based practices include CBT, DBT, art therapy, experiential therapy and mindfulness training. An addiction counselor and 12-step meetings are available to those with issues related to substance abuse. Members of the clinical team check in with the client daily for two weeks, gradually decreasing as stability is gained. Individual therapy occurs weekly, but can be more frequent for an additional fee. Clients also participate in group therapy daily, which include process and psychoeducation groups. Additional modalities are tailored to suit client goals and needs, with vocational and job readiness training, academic support, community placements, education and employability groups available.
To further build life skills, a career and education development coordinator meets with clients individually to set education and employment goals. Life skills such as budgeting, money management, shopping, transportation and scheduling are taught. To encourage community participation and mimic real world scenarios, clients begin volunteering at programs organized by Spruce after six weeks.
Psychiatric evaluation and medication management is provided by the staff psychiatrist. Ten clinical staff members provide support during business hours, with one supervising overnight and Master’s-level clinicians on-call. Temporary individual supervision can be arranged for an additional cost if deemed necessary.
Physical and recreational activities are not overlooked, with yoga, hiking, rock climbing, group sports and many more offered. Together, clients participate in over 40 hours of weekly programming, allowing them to build self-esteem, communication and life skills.
All residents are also enrolled at the neighboring medical clinic to access healthcare throughout their stay.
Spruce Mountain Inn provides highly structured and individualized treatment plans for young adults struggling to transition to independent living. With most hoping to apply to or finish college, the real world training coupled with clinical support is a great, long-term solution that tackles all components of a client’s life. Most treatment is included in the fees, though medical care and medications are billed through insurance. With a beautiful location, vast array of modalities and a highly trained staff, Spruce Mountain provides a great environment for recovery.
Spruce Mountain Inn
155 Towne Ave, Box 153
Plainfield, VT 05667
Spruce Mountain Inn Cost: $10,950 (for 30 days). Reach Spruce Mountain Inn by phone at (802) 454-8353 or by email at [email protected]. Find Spruce Mountain Inn on
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