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Outpatient services come to Wirt County recovery center

ELIZABETH — St. Joseph Recovery Center is bringing outpatient mental health and addiction services to Wirt County starting today.

The Wirt County recovery team partnered with St. Joseph’s to make this happen because many of its clients don’t have a means of transportation and they had to arrange rides to the Parkersburg facility.

“It’s a huge deal. I think that’s probably our bigger downfall is transportation issues,” Kim Richards, coordinator, said. “Being able to bring the services here will definitely be able to reach even more people.”

These services will be used as a follow up once someone comes out of a rehabilitation facility, for screenings, therapy or whatever medical need is necessary.

“This will give them an option to get whatever medical care they need or (to) add tools to their toolbox in order to stay clean,” Richards said.

Thanks to the cooperation of St. Joseph’s, the process of getting this up and running was simple, Richards said.

“St. Joe’s has been really amazing to us from the very beginning,” she said. “It was a pretty simple process. (It was) way easier than I had anticipated.”

However, the expected date was pushed back because of COVID-19.

Towards the end of March, Richards said St. Joseph’s had everything they needed as far as a vehicle to work with, new staff and insurance protocols worked out.

They were hoping to have it ready by the end of March but the pandemic delayed it by about six weeks, Richards said.

“I’m just thankful that they’re actually starting it. We kind of made the assumption that until this (pandemic) really dies down that everything was just on hold,” Richards said.

With each client getting their own time by themselves in the vehicle to receive their services, Richards said it will be much more safe than the exposure of going to the facility.

Medications to assist in recovery will also be offered.

Clients who received these services at the Parkersburg will get the same treatment but close to home.

Around 22 clients in Wirt are currently enrolled, but Richards thinks it will grow to an average of 40 clients.

The Wirt County Quick Response Team covers Wirt, Calhoun, Roane and Ritchie Counties and eventually St. Joseph’s will reach out to each one but for the time being, they are focusing on the communities with the smallest amount of resources, Richards said.

Other members in the community can use these services as a tool if they don’t want to go to rehab or for those who have a hard time getting out and about.

Although most of the people who receive these services are active in recovery, St. Joseph’s and the Recovery Team will still be able to help with mental health issues, which oftentimes go hand in hand with addiction, Richards said.

“Eight out of nine people that do suffer from substance abuse have underlying mental health issues going on. If those things go untreated, they’re really going to struggle to move forward,” Richards said.

Even though some circumstances may be different from client to client, the Wirt County Recovery Team can point someone in the right direction whether it be through St. Joseph’s or a different referral for mental health treatment.

For the first three weeks of the new services, clients will be able to come and go as needed as long as they are previously enrolled.

After the three week period, based on the need, St. Joseph’s will begin to set up appointment times for their clients.

St. Joseph’s has a recreational vehicle that will be parked in the Elizabeth Methodist Church parking lot but clients will need to first contact the Wirt County Recovery team to be enrolled before receiving services.

The vehicle will be there on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information or to enroll, contact Wirt County Recovery at (304) 449-4770.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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