Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 12/17/2020

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at SUWS of the Carolinas to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at SUWS of the Carolinas.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Meet Our Clinical Staff

We remain open and are continuing to accept new admissions.

SUWS of the Carolinas remains committed to providing clinically superior services within a safe and supportive environment while taking all appropriate precautions to protect the well-being of our students and staff.


For admissions information, or to learn more about the heightened preventive measures we have put in place, please click the link at the top of this page or call us at (828) 489-3198.

Lexi Gross, LCMHCA, LCAS

Luna and Bravo Groups (adolescent girls and boys)

Lexi Gross MA, LCMHCA, LCASA, began working with adolescents at an outdoor adventure guiding company before coming to SUWS of the Carolinas in 2014. After two years as a wilderness therapy field guide, she completed a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Appalachian State University.

Lexi works with adolescent males and females struggling with depression, anxiety, family conflict, defiance, identity development, adoption, grief, self-harm, trauma, problematic social media and gaming use, and co-occurring disorders. She has a passion for working with teens and holds a strong belief in the role wilderness can play in empowerment, connection, and authentic self-discovery. Lexi takes a holistic perspective, recognizing the necessity of involving the whole family in her work with clients.

She uses a person-centered and strengths-based approach while incorporating Motivational Interviewing and Somatic Experiencing (SE) all through a trauma informed lens. She is currently in training to become a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. SE is a body-oriented approach to healing trauma and dysregulation within the nervous system. SE focuses on relieving physical, emotional, and physiological effects of trauma through helping clients befriend their nervous system and tap into the natural ways their nervous system already knows to regulate. This approach does not focus on talking about the trauma, but rather focuses on supporting the nervous system and the body’s memory of the event. Lexi values this approach as it encourages her clients to listen to their bodies and touch into their own worth, values, and needs. While this is a trauma focused approach, SE skills are helpful in working with anxiety, depression, and most mental illnesses and behavioral issues.

Lexi’s experience as a field guide at SUWS helps her understand the challenges her clients experience during their time in wilderness as well as provide appropriate training to staff while in the field. She readily connects her work with clients to their experience in wilderness, as well as to their relationships and life outside of SUWS.

Prior to working in wilderness, she worked at a young adult women’s recovery treatment center that specializes in dual-diagnosis and trauma work. She worked at Appalachian State University’s Wellness and Prevention Services. While there she provided counseling to college students and provided outreach to special populations on campus such as racial and ethnic minorities, the LGBTQIA+ population, and first-generation college students. Lexi also worked for a community mental health agency providing counseling to children, adolescents, and their families struggling with various mental health challenges.

Outside of work, Lexi enjoys spending time trail running and hiking with her therapy certified dog, Willow, engaging in creative projects, baking, and cooking for friends and family.

Back to All Staff

The wilderness therapy offered at SUWS was the dynamic solution needed to help my son with his behavioral issues. When my son left SUWS, he was completely changed for the better and also created new bonds and unforgettable memories! I can't recommend SUWS enough for anyone in a similar situation!

– Britney A.
Marks of Quality Care
Why does this matter?
  • Cognia
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • Forest Service Department of Agriculture
  • National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP)
  • National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
  • NC Department of Health and Human Services
  • Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council
  • Safe Zone
  • Sky's The Limit Fund
  • The Jason Foundation

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