Who does Bridge House serve?
Bridge House residents struggle with mental illnesses of many types, neurocognitive disorders, learning disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and substance use and abuse. They are commonly dealing with issues related to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Often trauma has played a significant role in their lives.
Their problems may have been developing over many years or may have arisen recently. They may have experienced years of chronic sadness, social alienation, suicidality, or newly emerging symptoms of bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, or psychosis that may have caused a rapid deterioration in their day-to-day functioning. Bridge House residents and their loved ones are looking to understand better the challenges they have faced in their lives. They have commonly tried various treatment modalities in the past and have been left without feelings of success. They have gone after “treating” or “fixing” rather than genuinely understanding and have been left feeling like “the other” and without direction. They join us to create a road map to move forward with clarity, hope, and purpose.
Bridge House is licensed to serve adults of all genders between the ages of 18-60. Please contact the Admissions Team to inquire about the current group. Often our cohort trends toward the 18-40 age range.
How long can I expect to be at Bridge House?
The average length of stay for residents at Bridge House ranges between 3-4 months. The course of care and approach to assessment, stabilization, and treatment is individualized for each person who comes to Bridge House. Subsequently, we can not predict the length of stay until we are well underway and have had the chance to get to know the resident and envision a future plan. The treatment team, led by the Primary Therapist, will keep the resident and their involved family appraised along the way to clarify where we are in the process. We will not recommend a discharge until a very clear plan for the future has been established that both the resident and the family system are bought into.
When will my assessment take place? And what will be included?
Bridge House operates from an immersion-based assessment model. This model requires that the Bridge House team evaluates and understands each resident’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social status with an understanding that this status is ever-changing. We rely on a real-world environment to drive assessment. Residents are evaluated over the course of weeks rather than hours and in a setting with activities that mirror “normal” life. This is a departure from typical mental health assessments in our country, often occurring in an outpatient setting or a hospital.
Each resident will have access to all of the assessments found here, and any additional assessments deemed indicated by the treatment team. Some of these assessments will be done within the first few days of a resident’s time at Bridge House, while the majority will be completed about 4-6 weeks into their stay, once a level of stabilization has been achieved. We strive to assess individuals who are stable, socially connected, eating, sleeping, exercising and engaged in this process, rather than assessing them during a period of crisis or transition immediately upon arrival.
The most current medical and biological tests are utilized to investigate how physical health impacts the mental health of residents. Tried and true psychological measures, including personality tests, projective tests, and a wide variety of cognitive tests, are used to assess driving factors contributing to a person’s psychological makeup. This is all accomplished while the resident is safe, comfortable, motivated for change, eating a healthy diet, and getting adequate rest. Dietetics, occupational therapy, and psychiatric assessments round out the comprehensive evaluation with each client. And, leaving no stone unturned, unmatched social and behavioral assessment occurs over several months when skilled clinicians observe residents as they gradually resume activities of daily living both on and off the Bridge House campus.
What costs can I expect outside of the all-inclusive daily rate?
Access to all mental health and medical professionals who can be found on our website is included in the daily rate. This includes the psychological assessment process with our team of psychologists, regular weekly psychiatry consultations, a physical exam upon enrollment, massage therapy, occupational therapy, dietetic assessment, and genetic testing. The only things that are routinely billed separately from the daily rate are medications and outsourced medical specialists that might need to be integrated into the assessment and treatment process based on an individual’s needs. Should a resident need to seek care or assessment from a professional outside of our team, our Nursing Director can coordinate that process. Billing would be run through that outsourced professional.
How often will I meet with my psychiatrist?
The Bridge House Medical Director, Dr. Kiera Schlansky, oversees the psychiatric care for all of our residents in collaboration with a psychiatric physician’s assistant. Weekly meetings with the psychiatric providers are scheduled for residents, and increased contact can be arranged for an individual going through a medication transition or who might be experiencing a crisis. The psychiatric team at Bridge House is fully integrated into the treatment team, and they are engaging with residents throughout the week.
How often will I meet with my therapist?
Bridge House therapists are in the milieu daily to support residents as needed between individual sessions. You may find your therapist present during meal times, activities, and running several group therapy sessions throughout the week. They often attend off-campus activities to help support the individuals on their caseload in learning a new life skill such as budgeting or grocery shopping or observing them in more “real-world” settings to aid in the assessment process.
Residents will meet formally with their therapist for one-hour sessions 2-3 times a week.
What does family therapy look like?
We understand that the needs of every family will be vastly different. We work with each family system to best understand the dynamics at play, and we craft a family therapy plan that will be unique to you and your needs. Nearly all of our families reside outside of Utah or internationally. Subsequently, we are accustomed to working through video conferencing and managing different time zones.
What group therapy options are available?
Group therapy is offered every day at Bridge House. The clinical group therapy sessions are led by our therapists. Experiential groups are led by both our therapists and other Bridge House professionals. Group topics may change to best fit the needs of the current Bridge House community. None of the group therapy sessions are mandatory as we seek to understand what modalities work best for each resident at Bridge House. The treatment team for each resident helps craft an individualized plan that integrates access to treatment approaches that we know might best support them while exposing them to new modalities.
Experiential Groups integrate exposure to healthy outlets and educational opportunities for our residents, while our Clinical Groups focus on specific, research-based approaches to health and healing.
Will Bridge House be covered by my Health Insurance plan?
Bridge House is a private pay program. We understand that mental health treatment can be a significant expense for families, individuals, and loved ones. We partner with an independent insurance advocacy company based in New Jersey called SJ Health Insurance Advocates (SJHIA). SJHIA can work with your insurance company to determine if your policy will allow for reimbursement for costs associated with enrollment at Bridge House. This process takes time and is often quite unpredictable. Therefore we encourage families to make decisions about enrollment based on the presumption that little, if any, will be reimbursed, so that there are not any surprises.
What is the food like?
We know that healthy eating and proper nutrition directly impacts our mental health. All meals and snacks are freshly prepared on-site and are nutritious and delicious. The Bridge House culinary team operates off a 6-week rotating seasonal meal and snack menu created by our Clinical Dietitian and Executive Chef. We can accommodate Kosher, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and other dietary needs. The Clinical Dietitian is a member of each individual’s treatment team and will collaborate with other professionals to better understand the role of food and nutrition in each resident’s life.
A sample menu is available here.
How does Bridge House address my physical health and fitness?
We know that physical health and mental health go hand in hand. We believe that true mental health recovery and healing need to coincide with feeling healthy and strong in our physical bodies. Residents at Bridge House are invited and encouraged to participate in daily exercise. We visit a local gym in the community daily and offer outdoor options like hiking and walking each morning. Yoga classes are taught on-site three days a week, and massage therapy is offered weekly to help residents better understand the brain-body connection. Should it be needed, access to regular physical therapy and acupuncture can be arranged (at an additional cost). Bridge House employs a medical professional whose primary job is to assess and oversee the physical health of all of our residents. 24-hour nursing staff is available to help residents with medical concerns large and small. The Director of Nursing can coordinate care with any number of local medical specialists if needed.
Where will I stay while at Bridge House?
Bridge House is intentionally set in a comfortable, home-like environment. Rooms are set up as doubles and triples. Private rooms are only incorporated if and when it is clinically indicated. All residents have their own queen bed, a dresser, and shared space in a closet, and each room has its own private bathroom. Men and women reside on separate wings of the building. Bedding and towels are provided. However, residents are welcome to bring their own if that would make them feel more comfortable. A packing list is provided to assist you in preparing for arrival.
How do I know that my loved one will be safe while at Bridge House?
We can not heal if we are not safe. Bridge House must maintain a safe and predictable environment for our residents. We believe in oversight and transparency. Bridge House is licensed as a Residential Treatment Center by the State Office of Licensing, a division of the Department of Human Services. Bridge House operates in accordance with stringent safety and effectiveness standards outlined by the State Office. Specially trained State Licensors are assigned to inspect and oversee all Utah programs regularly. In addition, all staff must pass a criminal background screening which is conducted by the Utah Department of Human Services Office of Licensing in accordance with Utah Codes 62A-2-120, 121, 122 and Utah Administrative Rules R501-14 and R501-18. Bridge House’s current 2021 Utah State Licensure Inspection report is available for you to review here.
All professional staff are trained and fully licensed in their specific fields. Our paraprofessional staff team is composed of individuals with a passion for helping. All Bridge House staff receive extensive training upon hire and are subsequently required to attend annual live trainings. Included are trainings required for compliance for State Licensure such as suicide and self-harm prevention, therapeutic de-escalation techniques (AEGIS), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training, and CPR certification. In addition to what is required by the State, Bridge House includes a series of trainings that are specific to our facility and our population. These trainings include an overview of our philosophy and mission, strategies for milieu management, and counseling skills.
New direct care staff complete at least 4 days of rigorous supervised hands-on training before working directly with residents. Our program staff is also taught monthly by Program Director James Healey, who reviews concepts relevant to our residents’ current needs. Additional training is needed, particularly when we have a resident in need of more specialized care and attention (for example, someone with diabetes, a seizure disorder, cultural considerations such as Kosher diets/religious accommodations, etc.) Our leadership team is particularly adept at creating specific training to accommodate those needs to ensure that our staff are equipped to support that resident.
These trainings, along with the continual communication with all staff about current milieu needs, keep our residents safe and ensure our staff have the continued education needed to maintain a healthy therapeutic milieu. In essence, training never stops at Bridge House, and we welcome opportunities to educate our staff regularly. Please explore more about our staff trainings here.
Has Bridge House conducted any outcome studies?
Families come to Bridge House because they have questions about: What’s occurring for their loved one, Why it’s occurring, and most importantly, What to do about it. We operate from the idea that humans have an inherent desire for wellness, and when you hold space and get out of their way, they will move towards it. When you try to fix things for them, you try to change them, and when you try to take their struggle away, you are communicating that they are not capable. We know that success in a residential setting doesn’t always correlate with success beyond. How do we know that the Bridge House model of assessment and treatment actually works? How do we measure our outcomes? Some measurable factors allow us to understand the effect that we can have on our residents and their families. We have written all about this topic here, and we encourage you to read more!