Kansas native Joseph James is credited for offering Topeka its name, meaning “a good place to dig potatoes.” Perhaps this could be a metaphor for hard work to accomplish a wholesome goal, kind of like getting sober. Valeo Behavioral Healthcare was founded in 1967 and is the designated mental health authority for Shawnee County, Kansas. Its mission is to provide the right amount of service to the right person at the right time for the right cost. Valeo accomplishes this by offering residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment founded in the 12 steps and the Living in Balance Program.
The main Valeo Behavioral Healthcare building on Oakley Avenue in Topeka is the home of Valeo Recovery Center, a large, modern, concrete-and-glass medical building on a quiet residential street that includes 42 beds. Men and women sleep on different floors, two or three to a room. All meals are taken together in the facility’s dining room, cafeteria style.
Residents can watch TV in one of the common rooms during free time or smoke in one of the designated areas, but no personal electronics of any kind are allowed. And while Valeo doesn’t have an exercise facility of its own, clients have access to the local YMCA two or three days a week.
Treatment and Staff
Valeo Behavioral Healthcare staff includes 340 doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, technicians, case managers and peer support specialists. So it’s interesting that in the recovery center they only offer a social detox, one with counseling, but no medical assistance. If someone needs this, Valeo says it partners with 76 outside agencies to coordinate services, and medical detox is one of those services.
Once clients embark on the 28-day residential program, days begin at 6 am and end at 10 pm. Counselors lead group therapy out of a teaching manual and content includes addiction education, relapse prevention instruction, role-playing process groups, relaxation and meditation exercises, informational handouts, videotapes and group-oriented recreational therapy exercises. Clients learn coping mechanisms to deal with negative emotions, loss and grief, as well as proper communication skills and the benefits of relationships. Individual counseling is scheduled on an as-needed basis. Outpatient services are also structured around this lecture series. Dual diagnosis clients are also exposed to the Living in Balance Program, but their cases are managed by the entire behavioral health facility, so they have the resources they need.
Twelve-step meetings are held on-site but clients are also taken to off-site meetings, where they are encouraged to find sponsors, to work the steps and to reach out to other members of the sober community with an eye to aftercare. Valeo stresses the importance of fellowship and being of service as integral to continued sobriety.
As part of continuing care, the Residential Reintegration Program offers case management for re-socialization services, such as getting people back to work or school, generally helping them figure out what comes next. If someone is suffering with a dual diagnosis, Valeo has somewhere for them to go after treatment: the Community Residence Program, two houses where they can continue to get treatment while re-engaging in their lives. This mental health program offers continued case management, CBT based treatment, medication management, family and group therapy and weekly social outings. Housekeeping and home cooked meals are included.
“Valeo” is from the Latin “to be well.” Valeo Behavioral Healthcare understands that mental health is essential to overall health. At the same time, it doesn’t discount the success of the social recovery model and the importance of community. Because this is a behavioral health facility there is the potential for care that is broader in scope than simple substance abuse treatment. Those with co-occurring disorders might even be eligible for continued mental health support in the Community Residence Program. This is significant as more research findings point to the significant impact these kinds of disorders can have on addiction.
Valeo Behavioral Healthcare
330 Oakley (Northwest Entrance)
Topeka, KS 66606
Valeo Behavioral Healthcare Cost: $5,544 (28 days). Reach Valeo Behavioral Healthcare by phone at (785) 783-7532. Find Valeo Behavioral Healthcare on Facebook
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