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Unique mental health clinic opens in Sparks
by Garrett E. Valenzuela
Jul 11, 2013 | 1425 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The namesake for The Dove House, the newest facility at the Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, sat perched atop the cage nestled in its branch-laden bed.
The namesake for The Dove House, the newest facility at the Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, sat perched atop the cage nestled in its branch-laden bed.
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SPARKS — Not a single person entering The Dove House on Wednesday afternoon could walk through the doorway without gazing up at the inspiration for the building’s name, which sat perched atop the cage nestled in its branch-laden bed.

The Dove House is the newest facility at the Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services (NNAMHS) campus as part of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. A contest was held among the department’s employees to determine the new name, and none displayed “peace, harmony and happiness” more than its resident ‘mascot’ which had birthed two sets of babies while plans were drawn up for the building, according to Program Manager Denise Abbey.

Abbey said the initial idea for The Dove House, which is designed to promote independent living and recovery for mental health patients, spawned from a 2011 Health Division study, which recognized and addressed trends in mental health patients who were “falling through the cracks.”

“The study showed this sub group who kept going to jail and repeatedly cycling through, and the same thing would happen in the state mental health hospital and the ER,” Abbey said Wednesday afternoon before the grand opening of The Dove House. “There was also a huge homeless population and so that knowledge that came out made mental health professionals aware.”

The Dove House is a benchmark in therapeutic community facilities in Nevada because of its location on the compound of the NNAMHS on Galletti Way in Sparks. The surrounding buildings offer a unique set of services to all residents of the program.

“The other thing that makes this really unique is that it is the only one of its kind in the state that is actually on state grounds, close to other resources,” Abbey said. “We have all our other outpatient resources that are within walking distance. We have the medication clinic, the outpatient groups, psychology groups and the service coordinators who are all here. Everything is in a very small geographic area and is easy to get to. Most all of this population does not have transportation, and if they do, they usually ride the bus.”

Abbey said the environment of The Dove House, whose residents are scheduled to arrive next week, will very much differ from that of a “group home.” She said it will be a transitional treatment center where occupants and participants in the program will learn skills that can help benefit them outside the facility when the time comes to rejoin the community.

“(The Dove House benefits) people who are not able to thrive on their own out in the community,” Abbey said. “Because they lack basic living skills, communication skills or they are not receiving proper medication skills. They will be able to have an intensive treatment team to address those needs, give them support and education and encouragement so they can feel more self empowered and then become more independent and go out in the community.”

Abbey said the new facility can comfortably fit 14 residents and will be equipped with round-the-clock mental health technicians, including some with training as medical assistants. The staff will also feature several licensed mental health professionals for various therapy sessions, tackling medication management, substance abuse treatment, basic living skills training, education, various evidence-based therapies, social skills, communication skills, and leisure skills.

The Dove House is located at 480 Galletti Way in Sparks, building #8-C. For more information, contact Denise Abbey at 688-2017.
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