Looking back at Hospital Week at Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital!

We’re incredibly proud of our dedicated employees, who are truly our greatest asset. We’ve held special events each day during hospital week to honor and celebrate our amazing team. Their hard work and commitment make our hospital a great place to work.

Join our team and be a part of something special! Explore career opportunities with us and apply today. Visit our Careers page to learn more about open positions and take the next step in your career journey with Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital.

Meet Our Newest Furry Friends

Meet our newest FURRY FRIENDS: Aura, Bess and Lizzy

These special pups make such a difference in the everyday lives of not only our patients but our staff as well.

They are a part of our Experiential Therapy Program here at Smokey Point.

Have you considered volunteering as a caregiver for a pet or if you already don’t would you consider owning your own pet?

Many individuals struggling with mental health issues can improve their mental wellbeing and greatly enhance their quality of life. Both caring for an animal and receiving back their unconditional love may be life-changing for many.

What’s the Why?

We at Smokey Point have an amazing staff of people whom are totally committed to improving the lives of our patients. We wanted to share some insight into why these dedicated professionals do what they do each day to improve the lives of so many.

Suzanne DuBois profile picture

Featuring Recreational Therapist, Suzanne DuBois

Why do you do what you do here at Smokey Point?

I work as a Recreation Therapist at SPBH because I am passionate about helping people. I aim to help our patients process their situation, express themselves, connect with others and find joy. I hope to add to the toolbox of coping skills our patients take home by filling it with reminders of the things that they enjoy so they can successfully achieve healing and recovery.

I was working in the recreation field in adaptive programs prior to getting my degree in Recreation Therapy at Western. I didn’t even know the degree existed and when I heard about it, I knew it was for me. I love the combination of recreation and therapy, and do whole-heartedly believe recreation is a necessity of life. I am passionate about mental health, dealing with depression and anxiety in my own life, and love working with people to help them through their own struggles.

In my Expressive Therapy groups, I often aim to provide a calm, welcome and healing environment. I especially love incorporating art. I have had some really cool experiences in my art focused expressive therapy groups; I remember working with a large adolescent group, on one of our female patients’ last day with us, we did a finger-painting group – I laid out a huge sheet of paper and told the teens to create a positive message to others. At the end of the group, I overheard this girl say to her friend, “I am actually happy!”, as she beamed with joy staring at her artwork and painted hands.

Another experience I had that sticks with me happened on our Woman’s Unit; I do a perspective drawing group and on one woman’s first day, she had drawn what basically meant she was in a very dark, dreary and sad place. The following week, on this patients’ last day we repeated the same activity and her and I were both very happy with the changes in her art – she had drawn a brighter image and even said to me she actually felt happier and more hopeful about her future. It was very rewarding.

These are the reasons I work at Smokey Point!

NAMI Walk 2023

Smokey Point Staff, Families and Therapy Dogs, all made a great showing in support of NAMI Walk Washington 2023.

It was a great day for all as we all work to spread the awareness of Mental Health and to STOP the Negative Stigma associated with people struggling from the debilitating effects of the diseases.

Mental Health Awareness Month

A hand reaching out of water

They come to us broken, afraid, and many times out of their minds. Young and old, there are no age or socio-economic barriers. They and their families reach out for help!!!

Acute Psychiatric Facilities like Smokey Point often receive tough reviews from our patients and families.

An acute psychiatric stay for a patient, especially if it is their first time in an in-patient hospital, can be a frightening experience.

These patients present to us most of the time in total psychotic break. They are sent to us many times from the emergency departments of hospitals because their siblings or friends, police officers, etc., bring them there because they have nowhere else to bring them. They are afraid of their own and the patient’s safety. Many just walk in to our facility. Sometimes parents just drop their children at our front door.

Please know that we at Smokey Point are devoted to this community and do our absolute best, many times under great stress and under severe acute situations with our patients.

We have talented licensed and highly experienced professionals in the field of acute mental health illnesses, including substance use disorder.

We offer our services to adolescents, ages 13 – 17 years of age and adults 18 and up, as long as they are able to complete average daily living activities (ADL’s) on their own.

We have a Women’s Only Unit for those women who have undergone traumatic events, abuse, etc. 

We have a Dual Diagnosis/Detox Unit taking care of patients whom present to us intoxicated on different substances and are in need of detoxification services.

We provide the continuum of care by offering outpatient programs so that our patients can continue on their journey of recovery and healing following their in-patient stay.

Patient safety is our biggest concern so we make every attempt to separate patients with higher acuity levels from those that are experiencing a lower acuity level of psychosis.

According to a recent Patient Satisfaction Survey, our hospital showed overall improvement from 77% to 83%. We have made it a priority to continue to improve our patients’ experience here as they begin their journey of healing and begin to re-build their lives.

We are committed to improving our programs and services to better serve the mental health needs of our community.

We wanted to share some of the recent feedback that we have received recently since we began our patient experience improvement campaign.

March 13th, 2023:
“THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR EMPATHY, KINDNESS AND UNDERSTANDING.”

March 27th, 2023:
“ALL THE STAFF WERE AMAZING. ALL THE NURSES WERE AMAZING.”

March 31st, 2023:
“THIS FACILITY WAS HONESTLY THE BEST CARE I’VE EVER HAD TO BE HOSPITALIZED AT. THE STAFF WAS ATTENTIVE AND VERY SUPPORTIVE OF MYSELF AND PEERS. I MET A LOT OF AWESOME STAFF AND AWESOME PEERS. I AM ESTACTIC TO DISCHARGE. I HOPE ONE DAY I CAN COME BACK TO VOLUNTEER AND SHARE MY STORY.”

March 31st, 2023:
“THE STAFF WAS VERY NICE AND SUPPORTIVE. MY PROVIDER AND THERAPIST WERE VERY KIND AND SUPPORTIVE. THEY TOOK THE TIME TO LISTEN AND ANSWER MY QUESTIONS. I WAS ABLE TO GET MY MEDS CHANGED AND I AM LEAVING HERE IN MUCH BETTER SHAPE. ART AND YOGA WERE MY FAVORITE GROUPS.”

March 31st, 2023:
“I FEEL STAFF GENERALLY CARE FOR THE PATIENTS. I GOT THE MOST BENEFIT AND RECOVERY PROGRESS WORKING WITH MR. RICHARD AND MR. RANGEL. BUT GROUP THERAPY WAS SO MUCH FUN, TOO. AS THE UNIT GOT TO KNOW EACH OTHER, THE GROUP LESSONS AND ACTIVITIES BECAME MORE FUN AND ENGAGING. I LEARNED A LOT HERE AND MADE SOME FRIENDS THAT I THINK WILL BE IN LIFE LONG CONTACT, AFTER DISCHARGE. THANK YOU TO ALL THE STAFF.”

This note was written to one of our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Group Therapists:
I learned how to ask for help when I needed it the most, rather than putting too many emotional, physical, financial responsibilities on my plate at once. Shame (Intensively feeling you are not worthy) needs 3 things to survive within yourself which is secrecy, silence, and judgement. To have a plan of action when I’m feeling overwhelmed with emotions either at home or while away. A distraction plan so I can stay calm, and come back ready with a clear mind. To not be so hard on myself, and work through my emotions and actions and be gentle with myself. DBT works on 5 basic skills. Distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. To be intentional and purposeful, so others may know how to respond to you. Thank you for your advice, time, and energy you brought to the group each day!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We here at Smokey Point want you to know that we are here for you, your friends and family members.

We ask you to spread the word to reach out to anyone in your community who struggles with their mental health. Remind them that they are not alone in their struggle.

Call us anytime, 24/7, if we can be of assistance.

Announcing New IOP Program

Connections Outpatient Program logo

Smokey Point Announces the Opening of Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Substance Use Disorder for Adults

Starting on Monday, May 8 – Virtual Sessions

Monday – Thursday: 3:00pm – 6:00pm

The substance use disorder IOP is an outpatient addiction recovery program that provides a more structured, intensive level of care for individuals suffering from substance use and co-occurring disorders.

The program allows individuals to continue to live at home, go to work or school, while continuing with their intensive treatment. Some may begin with an intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program, or may be a part of step-down care following inpatient treatment.

Regardless of when someone enters IOP treatment, it can be a valuable part of a person’s recovery journey.

Upon admission, there will be an initial assessment performed so that a skilled treatment team consisting of mental healthcare practitioners, and licensed treatment professionals, can oversee the treatment regimen for each client. 

Group Counseling
Intensive outpatient treatment, and other forms of addiction treatment, often use group therapy to enhance positive, healthy behaviors, develop communication skills, introduce structure, and provide guidance. Groups can focus on different aspects of recovery, such as addiction education, relapse prevention, stress management, coping skills, life skills, interpersonal process and support.

Call our Outpatient Programs Department to schedule a free assessment at 360-651-6380 or 360-572-7995.

March is National Nutrition Month

It has been known for quite some time that there is a definite link between mental health and healthy nutrition. The following is some helpful information on the topic.

Research shows that the foods you put into your body can have an influence on your mental health. It is no surprise that what you eat can affect your anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.

A healthy diet can support your mental health whereas a poor diet can negatively impact your mental well-being. Studies show that a poor diet can worsen symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

A high intake of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, whole grains, fish, lean red meats and low-fat dairy are rich in important nutrients such as folate, magnesium, vitamins and zinc, who all have an impact on body and brain functions including mood regulation.

When compared to the Mediterranean and some Asian diets, people following the Western diet consisting of high carbohydrates, saturated fats, red meat and refined sugars saw a 25% to 35% higher incidence of depression, thus worsening overall mental health symptoms.

Researchers have found that psychological stress such as depression or anxiety can cause inflammation in the brain. Eating a diet that decreases inflammation such as the Mediterranean diet can help reduce brain inflammation that may exacerbate mental health disorders.

Also, many people with mental health disorders have deficiencies in micronutrients like omega-3 fatty acids.

Evidence suggests that fish oil or omega-3 supplements may help stabilize mood over time in people with bipolar disorder or lessen depressive (but not manic) symptoms.

Foods high in omega-3’s include salmon, oysters, flack seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans, omega-3 enriched eggs, hemp seeds, and spinach.

Eating more whole foods and reducing the intake of processed foods may improve mental health outcomes.

Since the brain and gut are connected, eating more gut-friendly foods also may make a difference in overall mental health.

Ten Foods That Boost Mental Health:

  1. Salmon – A fatty fish that contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.
  2. Chicken – A lean protein containing the amino acid tryptophan that helps to produce serotonin, a vital receptor in managing mood, etc.
  3. Whole Grains – Complex carbohydrates lead to a more even and consistent source of energy with less blood sugar spikes.
  4. Avocados – Full of vitamin K and folate providing a boost to memory and concentration.
  5. Spinach – Provide solid amounts of folic acid which has been shown to be a great deterrent to depression. It also helps fight off insomnia.
  6. Yogurt – Contains active cultures and a great source of probiotics which have been shown to play a role in the reduction of stress and anxiety.
  7. Nuts – Also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, helping to fight depression. Almonds contain a compound called phenylalanine, which is shown to help the brain produce dopamine and other neurotransmitters that boost your mood.
  8. Olive Oil – Pure, extra virgin contains polyphenols which help to improve learning and memory.
  9. Tomatoes – Contains lycopene shown to fight against brain disease and cell damage.
  10. Dark Chocolate – Contains high levels of flavonoids, an antioxidant shown to boost attention and memory, enhance mood and help fight cognitive decline.

Now Offering

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) – Substance Use Disorders – Adults 18 and Over

The Substance Use Disorders IOP is an outpatient addiction recovery program that provides a more structured, intensive level of care for individuals suffering from substance use and co-occurring disorders.

Individuals attending this specialized IOP program may be required to spend more hours per week in treatment, or receive more supervision, than they benefit from in other forms of outpatient programs.

The program allows individuals to continue to live at home, go to work or school while continuing with their intensive treatment. Some may begin with an intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program, or may be a part of step-down care following inpatient treatment.

Regardless of when someone enters IOP treatment, it can be a valuable part of a person’s recovery journey.

Upon admission, there will be an initial assessment performed so that a skilled treatment team consisting of mental healthcare practitioners, treatment professionals, doctors, nurse practitioners, and therapists can oversee the treatment regimen for each client. They work with each client to create an intensive outpatient drug treatment plan based on the initial assessment and individual needs. Below are services offered in this program:

Group Counseling

Intensive outpatient treatment, and other forms of addiction treatment, often use group therapy to enhance positive, healthy behaviors, develop communication skills, introduce structure and provide guidance. Groups can focus on different aspects of recovery, such as addiction education, relapse prevention, stress management, coping skills, life skills, interpersonal process and support.

Individual Therapy

During individual therapy, a person will work with their therapist to uncover underlying issues that influence drug or alcohol misuse and create new patterns of behavior. 

Medication Management

Medication can be effective in helping a person through withdrawal, promoting abstinent behaviors by decreasing cravings, blocking the desired effects of substances or treating co-occurring mental health conditions that may contribute to substance abuse. Medication can also be prescribed to treat some physical ailments caused by addiction.

Drug and Alcohol Detoxification

The detox process is an important first phase of treatment for addiction. However, detox alone is not typically sufficient treatment for a person to maintain long-term abstinence and recovery. It’s important for you and the treatment team at the intensive outpatient program to discuss continuing care after the detox phase.

Who Can Benefit from an IOP Treatment Program?

If an individual is considering intensive outpatient treatment, it’s important to remember that no matter what type of treatment they choose, individualized care is key to promoting long-term abstinence and recovery. Additionally, the treatment team should continue to evaluate one’s progress in order to readjust the treatment plan as needed. This may mean stepping down care to less intensive treatment or stepping up into a more structured and supportive environment.

In general, factors that make someone a good fit for an IOP therapy program include people with:

  • A strong support system at home, work and in the community
  • Stability in their home
  • Lower risk of relapse when returning home
  • Comfort working in group settings
  • No risk of severe withdrawal symptoms
  • Jobs or school responsibilities that require flexibility with their schedule

Call our Intake Department to register at (360) 939-7230

Inside One Family’s Journey to Accept their Transgender Teen

Learn about one family’s journey to accept their transgender teen.

READ THE STORY HERE

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital Expands Services in the Pacific Northwest with New Programs for Adolescents and Adults

MARYSVILLE, WA – With mental health at a crisis level in the region, Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital is announcing an expansion of services for adolescents and adults in Western Washington. New programming includes an Adolescent Inpatient Mental Health Program, an Adult Dual Diagnosis and Detox Program, and extensive Virtual Intensive Outpatient Therapy Programs. 

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