Beckett Springs in West Chester is an inpatient and intensive outpatient behavioral hospital for people struggling with mental illness and for those battling addiction. But it goes far beyond just that: it’s a community-oriented refuge and home for many individuals.

Beckett Springs, which is based out of Springstone, Inc. in Louisville, was built from the ground up specifically designed to treat addictions and mental health issues, according to CEO David Polunas. The inviting and open 10-acre setting is therapeutic for its patients.

“It’s different than a typical behavioral hospital in that we are engaging the whole person and utilizing the whole team and providing robust care for the folks,” says Chris Barnett, director of business development at Beckett Springs. “We have yoga, music, art, recreation and all of those things. Diet is very important. When you come into our facility, you will see it’s a home-like setting. It’s not institutional.”

As one of the only behavioral facilities in the area, the newly constructed Beckett Springs provides plenty of help with its 48-inpatient beds. It has admitted 1,000 patients as of April 2014 since its conception in July 2013.

“We are glad to be a member of the West Chester and Butler County community and feel like we are making a difference,” says Polunas, who has previously run behavioral hospitals and finds his work in the mental health industry to be very gratifying.

According to Cincinnati’s Drop Inn Center in Over-the-Rhine, which provides shelter and programs for the homeless, of the 2,191 homeless individuals who used the center’s emergency shelter in 2012, 58 percent of them had a mental illness. The issue of mental illness—from anxiety disorders to addictions to schizophrenia—is widespread and not limited to urban areas; it affects those from all over, including suburban areas such as West Chester.

“We looked at this community and saw the changes that were happening here. From a marketing business development standpoint, it was determined that this area was under-bedded for behavioral health,” explains Barnett. “When we put that equation together, it was determined that there was a real need [for us] in this area.”

While many of the patients do come from West Chester and suburban areas, they also come from many other locations. Barnett says that Beckett Springs serves individuals from Northern Kentucky to Dayton and has had patients from Indiana. The facility has even gotten referrals from as far away as Florida.

The hospital’s mission is to provide high-quality mental health and addiction treatment services to these individuals and their families by using innovative and evidence-based treatment protocols. The goal is not temporary assistance, but rather long-term recovery for its patients.

“There are folks in our community who are grappling with substance abuse and with mental health issues. We want to provide a solution for those challenges and help them turn the corner and get on the path toward health and wholeness,” says Barnett. “We do that through caring for them as a whole person—mind, body and spirit. We surround them with staff and engage their families.”

In the mornings, staff will place a menu of meal options along with a schedule of the activities available for that day in the patients’ rooms. It is a holistic, engaging approach to mental health. Furthermore, Beckett Springs uses state-of-the-art treatment protocols that have been proven to be effective.

The mental wellness program for mental illness uses four steps: psychiatric stabilization and assessment, treatment planning and recommendation, therapeutic interventions, and discharge and continuing care planning. These steps guide patients from diagnosis to discharge. Mental illness treatment at Beckett Springs is comprehensive, focusing on the biological, psychological and social perspectives of disorders, and it utilizes motivational enhancement therapy (MET), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and reality therapy (RT) in its treatments.

For those with addiction issues, the treatment approach is the same as the mental wellness program, except that the first step includes detoxification in addition to psychiatric stabilization and assessment. Adults are treated through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in conjunction with COGNIT, an internet based e-learning and continuous recovery management tracking system, which has education and relapse prevention support tools.

“We do detox. The availability of detox is limited in our area. If someone is coming off of opiates, it is very dangerous. We have an acute setting where we can help them move through that. We can help them stabilize,” says Barnett. “Then people get on board with [COGNIT] and learn how to use it. Once they are out of the program, they can continue to use that as a resource to help them.”

Polunas describes the adjunctive therapies—music, art, recreation and the use of pets—to be helpful outlets for patients. “They are designed to demonstrate to patients that there are other activities [in which] they can participate and find relief outside of their addiction and mental health problems.” For example, he says that with art therapy, patients can comfortably communicate their issues throughcreativity in a nonverbal setting.

“We use evidence-based treatments including individual and family therapy, group therapy, medication management and the large number of adjunctive 
therapies,” says Polunas.

At Beckett Springs, family involvement is essential to a patient’s successful recovery. Family members can participate in weekly education, counseling and self-help group support meetings. And to ensure patients receive continuing support once they’ve completed the program, there is an alumni support group.

“We practice a high level of customer service to our patients, families and referral sources.”