Women’s Mental Health and Addiction Treatment
Formulating a healthy sense of self can be exceedingly difficult for even the healthiest and most well-adjusted young person. But when addiction and trauma reduce a young woman’s ability to belong, engage, and rebound, the result can be a profoundly negative self-image and dependency on unhealthy relationships. Stigma, identity, and mental and physical trauma are often more acute for young female sufferers. Beginning treatment means facing difficult and daunting personal experience and challenges. The young women we welcome are often skeptical of the need for treatment, fear confronting and sharing deeply personal traumas and experiences, and are intimately tied to an unhealthy social life at home.
Phase I is an opportunity for young women to become comfortable in their new home, meet the women who will become their friends and supporters, take part in recreation, attend support groups in the New Haven community, and find a sponsor. The focus of Phase I is to become open to the promise of addiction and mental health treatment, engaged in the making of new healthy relationships, and beginning to live an enjoyable life. In Phase I, each young woman follows a daily schedule of activities that keep her engaged in treatment, life skills development, therapeutic journaling, learning, and entertainment. They work closely with experienced case managers to acquire skills of daily living. Clients learn how they can feel with a healthy diet, exercise and a consistent sleep routine. Throughout Phase I, young women begin to consider the possibility that a there is a better way of living, that they can experience joy outside of the use of alcohol or drugs, and that they possess tremendous value. Women are forging healthy new connections, and importantly, beginning to reconnect with their true selves.
By the time Phase I clients are ready to move on to Phase II they have begun the crucial inner process of embracing the possibilities of a powerfully positive life of their choosing. The road map has been created.
Phase 1 Services:
The women’s clinical care team is trained in gender-responsive and trauma-informed therapies to assess and treat the wide range of mental, physical, emotional issues. The young women of Turnbridge begin their treatment with a thorough intake assessment and psychiatric evaluation. They are then assigned a Primary Therapist and a Primary Psychiatric provider who will be teasing out and addressing underlying mental health issues through one-on-one psychotherapy and psychiatry. Distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal skills are learned and practiced in Turnbridge’s DBT Skills group therapy curriculum. Additional specialized supports are available for clients struggling with disordered eating or body dysmorphia.
The Case Managers of Turnbridge’s Women’s Program bring years of experience in personal recovery as well as in helping young people learn to overcome their own addiction, mental health disorders, and dysfunction. Their ability to relate deeply and directly to the issues and experiences of young women is crucial to creating a feeling of understanding, belonging and acceptance so important to a young woman’s mental health. Women’s Phase I Case Managers are her primary points of contact and coordinate all of her therapeutic, experiential and activity schedules. In the Women’s Programs, Case Managers also lead the therapeutic journaling process that helps young women deal with underlying emotional issues and trauma.
Support Staff and Resident Liaisons
Turnbridge Support Staff and Resident Liaisons are in long-term recovery and many have come through the Turnbridge Program themselves. Support Staff help make Turnbridge run smoothly, safely, and efficiently. They provide transportation to clients, ensure a clean and safe environment, coordinate activities and services, and also lend a knowledgeable ear when clients need someone to talk to. Support Staff and Resident Liaisons at Turnbridge are trained in Mental Health First Aid, de-escelation, and motivational interviewing.
The Turnbridge Family Liaison is available around the clock to provide a direct point of contact for family members and loved ones. The Family Liaison is also a regular part of a client’s family meetings and can provide compassionate understanding and counseling as young women and their family members begin learning to communicate openly and effectively during treatment. This role is one of the most relied upon by parents for advice and information throughout their child’s stay at Turnbridge.
The young women at Turnbridge are immediately engaged in healthful, vigorous activities. Our wide range of activities are meant to stimulate the mind and develop the body. From yoga and meditation, to art therapy and knitting, to team sports and self-care, these young women will have constant access to learning new ways to manage stress, reduce anxiety, and experience the good feeling of excellent physical health.
Nutrition & Exercise
Developing healthy eating habits and mentality are especially important to young women in recovery. Because many women attribute self-image to societal ideals of beauty, many women are confused or misled by unhealthy ideas of eating. Here, we focus on high quality nutrition and healthy eating habits and beliefs. Women learn to shop for and prepare healthy meals, and also dispel preconceived notions about what constitutes healthy eating. Regular exercise, whether in the house gym or other facilities, is a daily part of life. Women are taught how to exercise safely and effectively. The combination of health diet and exercise contributes significantly to a positive self image.
Support Group Attendance
Young women attend support group meetings 6 days per week. Many of the programs we introduce them to are women’s-only groups. But in all cases, women are counseled on the benefits of recovery and are taught how to safely navigate local support group for young people struggling with addiction or mental health disorders.