Helping addicts recover means addressing mind and body. A ribbon-cutting and groundbreaking were combined Sept. 9 to celebrate Horizon Health Services opening of its Primary Care and Wellness Center and construction groundbreaking of "Freedom House," its new Veterans Treatment Center, both at Horizon Village.
Horizon Village is an intensive residential treatment campus located at 6321 Inducon Drive East in Sanborn.
The 13,000-square-foot Primary Care and Wellness Center offers medical, psychiatric, physical rehabilitation and recreational services to all campus residents, with special focus on veterans programs. Additionally, the space provides for much-needed meeting and programming space to accommodate families and community self-help.
The building includes a primary care clinic of approximately 2,500 square feet. Throughout, the footprint is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Two offices, three exam rooms, two bathrooms, a conference room, chart room, reception/waiting area as well as storage rooms encompass this section.
While the front part of the building deals with the mind, the back section focuses on physical health and rehabilitation.
"It's critical that we address both mental and physical health issues for recovery," said Horizon CEO Anne Constantino.
This 10,500-square-foot space houses a full gym, locker rooms and aerobic and fitness areas with state-of-the-art equipment.
Total cost for the Wellness Center is approximately $2.5 million. Funding came from a number of sources, including New York state grants facilitated by former State Sen. Williams T. Stachowski, The Grigg-Lewis Foundation Inc., James H. Cummings Foundation Inc., KeyBank Foundation, and other private sources. Construction of the building was completed earlier this year. The building was designed by Foit Albert Architects and constructed by Picone Construction.
To accommodate veterans with addiction and mental health problems, the new 11,800-square-foot, 25-bed Veterans Treatment Center is being constructed over the next two years. It will be an expansion of the Horizon Village campus specifically for veterans who require an intensive residency environment for treatment.
"Veterans are trained to be tough and often feel uncomfortable seeking help for mental health and addiction issues," said Constantino. "Few services tailored to veterans needs currently are available locally. Our facility is less than an hour from almost anywhere in Erie or Niagara counties. A recovery program that comprises health, wellness and rehabilitation is vital to these veterans," she says.
The Veterans Treatment Center will include offices, 11 double bedrooms, four handicapped-accessible bedrooms, several offices, a living room, dining and kitchen rooms, therapy rooms, a computer lab/library, conference room, exercise/aerobic room, nurses station and several smaller rooms for medication, in-take and storage.
"We anticipate serving more than 200 veterans and their families each year," said Constantino. "In addition, we will expand our staff with approximately 30 full-time positions to serve our veterans."
The total cost of Freedom House is expected to be approximately $3.9 million. The primary funding source is the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.
In recent years, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, alcohol and chemical dependency, suicides, anxiety and other mental health illnesses are becoming more common among veterans. It is clear that not only is there an effect on the individual, but their family and others they have contact with, said Constantino. Clearer still is that there are insufficient services for these individuals who have given of themselves for their country.
Horizon staff expects the center will see many recent Iraq and Afghanistan veterans for PTSD and TBI, as well as addiction and substance use issues. Many veterans turn to drugs and alcohol in an effort to deal with issues related to their service. Up to 50 percent of returning veterans will face a serious psychological problem such as PTSD, depression or anxiety.
"Addiction often is accompanied by other mental health issues, including PTSD, depression, anxiety or eating disorders, and personality disorders," said Constantino. "In treating substance abuse disorders, we take into account not only the addiction but other difficulties as well."
It is expected that many residents may come through the court system. Veterans who often are homeless, helpless in despair or suffering from addiction or mental illness can find themselves in front of a judge. They may not recognize their need for help. The courts can recommend assistance through Horizon.
Horizon's future Horizon Village master plan includes development of a young adult facility and long-term residential and educational centers within the next three years.