Salt Lake County, Valley Behavioral Health Open New Facility

Valley Behavioral Health Facility II
Photo: Gephardt Daily/ Arturo Soria

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – September 21, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) — A new facility that officially opened today will help adult women who are leaving jail reintegrate into the community.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams joined mental health and substance abuse treatment partners to open the new community facility for women leaving incarceration but who need structured support as they seek to reenter the community.

McAdams and Valley Behavioral Health CEO Gary Larcenaire cut the ribbon to the 16-bed CORE II facility residential home at 1228 South 900 East, Salt Lake City, Monday. CORE, which stands for Co-occurring Reentry and Empowerment, is a transition-focused program to help individuals with mental illness and substance abuse prepare to reenter the community and avoid returning to jail. Clients who lack resources will get help with safe housing and will also be able to get community counseling after leaving the CORE II facility.

McAdams said the opening is made possible with $750,000 in funding from the Justice Reinvestment Initiative approved by the Utah legislature this year. The county and Valley Behavioral Health have partnered for several years on a CORE residential program for adult male offenders.

Larcenaire said he was happy to celebrate the grand opening of the program, which allows women to have the support and services necessary for therapy, for psychiatric care and also for addiction treatment. “This new program helps women with mental illness and substance abuse issues prepare to reenter the community and avoid returning to jail,” he said. “The CORE programs are designed to enhance readiness to change by working with consumers to develop a relapse prevention plan to reintegrate them into recovery oriented services of work, education, family and community life.”

“Salt Lake County has always prioritized providing services for some of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Mayor McAdams. “We match dollar for dollar with the state of Utah for these services, which is above and beyond what is required. This program is the latest example of how we’re working to help people recover from challenges in their lives, while keeping the community safe and interrupting the cycle of people going in and out of the jail.”

The 16-bed facilities have been designed to provide wrap around services both onsite and in the community, integrating mental health and substance abuse treatment approaches with the ultimate goal of successful reentry and reduction in recidivism.

Resident Liza Guevara said she is excited to be going through the program. “It’s a really good opportunity to get back in my daughter’s life,” said the mom-of-four. “The drug addiction, it was a hard thing, and with having the bi-polar, depression and major anxiety, you get overwhelmed, you get depressed, it’s nice to know there’s a family here to take you in. It’s a really intense program, four groups a day, it’s nice to know we have the support to do this. The next step for me is to get back to my family, go to school, get back to being a mom and a productive member of society.”



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