Sierra Tucson believes that residential treatment is the beginning—not the end—of the recovery process for individuals. Because of this, there is a strong belief and focus on continuing care during the treatment process.
Preparation for continuing care begins upon admission in the assessment phase of treatment and continues until discharge, at which time the resident has a clearly defined, individualized written plan for ongoing recovery.
Relapse Prevention Groups
The entire treatment team is responsible for the relapse prevention and continuing care planning, with team members having specialized focus. Residents attend Relapse Prevention Groups regularly, with specific meetings dedicated to continuing care each week. This prompts residents to delve into the meaning and importance of continuing care and think about what their discharge plan might look like. They learn about the various options available, including resources at home, extended care, transitional living, and intensive outpatient programs. Residents then begin to outline individual needs and goals that integrate 12-Step meetings and other sources for continued recovery in family/primary relationships, spirituality, social/recreational, medical/physical/fitness/nutrition, vocational/educational, financial, or legal areas.
Continuing Care Recommendations
The unit therapist works with the resident weekly on an individual basis to better hone and define the resident’s understanding of his/her disease process, coping skills, and support systems necessary for prevention of relapse. With input from the resident’s referring professional, family, and the Sierra Tucson treatment team, the resident is given recommendations for continuing care needs post-hospitalization. Residents who discharge on medications will have a follow-up appointment with a psychiatrist for continued evaluation. Residents will make appointments for follow-up care before discharge, in order to ensure continuity of care.
A Sustained Recovery
During treatment, a Discharge Group assists residents in completing their continuing care plan, and a Going Home Group provides support and strength for those discharging in the immediate future. The continuing care coordinator and the alumni coordinator ensure that each individual is aware of the many resources available for sustained recovery. Alumni contacts are given, where applicable, to ease the transition for residents returning to their home environment.
Sierra Tucson considers the Continuing Care Plan to be one of the most important tools that a resident takes with him/her. Through collaboration of the resident, the treatment team, the referring professional, and family members, each individual leaves treatment with a solid plan for continued success on the path to recovery.
Keeping in Touch
The alumni coordinators follow up with the residents to provide ongoing support and resources. To further encourage our alumni, Sierra Tucson offers Alumni and Continuing Care Support Groups, workshops, alumni dinners, and an annual Alumni Retreat. Sierra Tucson also provides a biweekly Alumni eNews called “Beyond the Miracle” and publishes the “Afterwords” alumni newsletter to provide continued strength and hope.