West Yavapai Guidance Clinic and Foundation Offer Varied Services to Meet Various Mental Health Needs

By Cindy Brown

For more than half a century, the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic (WYGC) has offered “Hope, Health, and Healing” to about 7,000 people in Yavapai County each year through a wide range of services.

Outpatient treatment services for adults and children are located in Prescott, Prescott Valley, and Chino Valley, while the Windhaven Psychiatric Hospital in Prescott Valley provides 16 beds for clients requiring acute care. People needing treatment for substance abuse problems are enrolled in the Hillside Recovery Program, which has typical stays of 14 to 45 days.

Most recently, WYGC opened a Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) in Prescott Valley, which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It offers immediate evaluation and treatment for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis, including drug or alcohol overdose, suicidal ideation, hallucinations, extreme anxiety, and more.

Typically, a client stays at the CSU for less than 24 hours, in order to be stabilized and given a treatment plan. However, inpatient beds are available for those requiring a longer period of care. Prior to the opening of the CSU, many of these people were seen at the ER or even put in jail for intoxication.

The WYGC Foundation: Supporting the Work of the WYGC

The WYGC Foundation relies on grants and individual donations to help pay for services that have no other funding source. Unrestricted gifts to the WYGC Foundation always help in the areas of greatest need, including these six funding priorities.

  1. Senior Peer Support. This free program focuses on matching trained peer volunteers with seniors seeking help in dealing with such issues as isolation, chronic health conditions, loss of a spouse, and financial challenges. Confidential support groups and one-on-one individualized support help adults over the age of 60 live their lives to the fullest.
  2. Children’s Services. More than 1,000 children from the community are treated annually at WYGC. The Foundation provides services that are not covered by other sources, such as life skills training, outdoor activities, and recreational pursuits. Most recently, the Foundation funded a special playground to meet the needs of children who are on the autism spectrum.
  3. Support for Adults with Serious Mental Illness. Many adults in the community need ongoing support, medication, and case management. While state funds cover some of these services, many clients require more intense support and program enhancements, such as helping with finding gainful employment.
  4. Suicide Prevention. This program allows WYCG staff members to be available for speaking engagements to help area residents better recognize the signs that someone might be contemplating suicide, and which steps to take to help prevent such a tragedy.
  5. Recovery from Substance Abuse Disorders. The Foundation provides initial rent support to graduates of the in-house addiction treatment program, so these individuals have a safe place to live while seeking jobs to help support themselves.
  6. Crisis Stabilization Unit. This service, described above, fills a much-needed gap for people who may be experiencing a mental health crisis at any time of the day or night.


Chalk It Up! Prescott: An Upcoming Opportunity to Support the WYGC Foundation

Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the 11th Annual Chalk It Up! Prescott (CIU) celebration takes place at 201 N. Montezuma in Prescott, in the National Bank of Arizona’s parking lot. This free, family-friendly and community-centered event is intended to cultivate and support the creativity in people of all ages. Artists—including members of the public—create a virtual museum of colorful pavement chalk art.

CIU was created in 2009 by a local group of friends, and today it has evolved into an event coordinated by the WYGC Foundation, to raise funds that provide community mental health resources for transforming lives for the better.

More than 5,000 people attend CIU each year and have the opportunity to create drawings with the free chalk provided, listen to live music, or just stroll through the displays of art.

For more information about WYGC visit www.wygc.org. For more information about Chalk It Up! Prescott, visit www.prescottchalkart.com.