Valley HealthCare System was one of the first federally funded mental health care centers in the state of West Virginia. Originally founded as West Virginia University’s Valley Counseling Services, it merged with The Human Resources Association in 1972, professionally operating under the name Valley HealthCare System. What began as a counseling center in a basement on a college campus is now a multi-faceted health care provider. One of its goals is to help West Virginians battle substance abuse by offering outpatient programming in three different cities in addition to residential treatment based on 12-step ideology.
Accommodations and Food
Alpha Chemical Dependency Treatment Unit, or as they refer to it, ACT Unit, is an intense peer-driven, 28-day residential treatment program in Fairmont. There are a total of 12 beds—six men and four women share gender segregated rooms, with two floater beds, depending on the census. The building, in effort to maintain some degree of client privacy, is somewhat non-descript and similar to what one might find in a standard American strip mall. There is no sign on the exterior besides one for Valley HeathCare System.
The ACT Unit doesn’t have its own kitchen. Food is delivered from a nearby facility three times a day—nothing particularly fancy or health-conscious. They do stock some grocery staples, with a toaster and a microwave available for clients to use. On Sundays, staff members take clients to the store to get groceries and they cook dinner together as a group with their limited resources—a crockpot or the outside grill.
Treatment and Staff
ACT is a non-medical facility. As such, there is no detox. Clients should be fully detoxed and stabilized before entry into the program. Technically, this is a dual diagnosis rehab, but since there are no doctors, it can’t handle anything “too intense,” as noted by the services director. The proper referrals can be made for detox services and serious psychiatric issues.
The treatment provided by Valley HealthCare is totally 12-step based and very short on any sort of holistic programming. Clients begin their day with a 7 am wake up, followed by meditation, breakfast, morning chores and a Big Book Study. Their first support groups are at 9 and 10 am. After lunch, clients continue with intensive and support groups at 1, 2, 3:15 and 5 pm. Individual therapy is scheduled during breaks from group and clients attend off-site community AA/NA meetings every night. Once they return home, there is a “shut down group,” followed by socialization and bedtime at 11:30 pm.
The employee roster at ACT consists of a program director, six to seven therapists, service coordinators and support staff. There are at least two resident assistants on-site at all times.
The other residential program available through Valley HealthCare System is considered more extended care/sober living and is solely designated for women. The program is called New Beginnings—clients are expected to remain in treatment for three months but usually remain for at least six months. At this location, women are able to continue learning recovery skills while getting more in depth with past trauma, relationship issues and other deep-rooted topics. Women earn their way through levels in order to stay a part of this community. They undergo regular individual therapy and daily group therapy, although the group therapy is as not as intense as ACT’s.
Valley HealthCare also offers outpatient treatment to adolescents and adults. The adult outpatient treatment occurs three times a week for a total of nine hours per week. Clients can expect drug and alcohol education as well as substance abuse counseling. Court-ordered DUI or public intoxication offenders are often sent to this program. The adolescents’ track is more academically oriented, incorporating a wellness program in addition to addiction counseling.
Although there is no designated time for exercise in the ACT residential program, clients may use the elliptical machine or stationery bike during free time. There is also a basketball court and horseshoe pit on the property.
Valley HealthCare’s outpatient clients have access to a ropes course as an esteem-building activity to supplement standard counseling treatment. The adolescents have the opportunity to participate in more adventured based therapies such as hiking, camping and horseback riding.
Because of a seriously high demand for treatment in the state of West Virginia and the limited number of facilities, there is a very long waiting list for admittance to Valley HealthCare. All clients must be admitted through a four-page referral form. In light of this, it might make sense for potential clients with co-occurring disorders to try their luck at one of Valley HealthCare Systems mental health facilities first.
Valley HealthCare System Main Office
301 Scott Ave
Morgantown, WV 26508
Valley HealthCare System Cost: $4,480 (28 days). Reach Valley HealthCare System by phone at (304) 296-1731.
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