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

LAST UPDATED ON 03/15/2021

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, there are certain restrictions in place regarding on-site visitation at SUWS of the Carolinas.

  • These restrictions have 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 receives ongoing infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance is provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are 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.

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

Two-Day Workshops Empower Parents to Support Students and Help the Whole Family

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.

When an adolescent or teenager enrolls in a therapeutic wilderness program for help with an addiction, behavior disorder, or other such challenge, the effort affects the entire family – and lasting success is often a matter of the level and quality of support that parents and siblings are able to provide.

Changes That Complement & Enhance

To help families make the necessary changes that will complement and enhance the lessons that their children learn in the wilderness, SUWS of the Carolinas has been inviting the parents of all students to participate in two-day workshops that are conducted at a lodge on the program’s North Carolina campus.

Built around three core principles – experience, education, and support – the two-day workshops give parents a glimpse into the challenges and opportunities that their children are encountering in the wilderness, and help them to develop the skills and strategies that will enable them to support their children’s continued progress when they return home.

“I notice a marked change in the parents after they’ve attend a workshop,” said Lynn Wadsworth, SUWS Family Program Manager. “They’re more attentive to the ways they can work together to support their child, and they’ve got a greater understanding that the entire family needs to make some changes.”

Establishing a Foundation of Support

Conducted at least twice each month – and designed for parents whose children are about halfway through their SUWS enrollment.

Trail’s End reunion experience marks a student’s graduation from SUWS, the midpoint workshops give parents extra opportunities to practice new skills while their children are still in the wilderness, and SUWS therapists are still working closely with the families.

Creating Better Communicators

The SUWS two-day parent workshops pack a considerable amount of information into a relatively short period of time, but almost every activity is designed to support one overriding objective: helping family members communicate more effectively and more successfully.

This effort pays immediate and lasting benefits, which become evident even before the children complete their time in the wilderness.

“After a couple of days in the workshops, the lights switch on,” Ms. Wadsworth said. “The parents have better questions, they listen more closely to what our staff members tell them, and they get more involved in their kids’ progress. The workshops help parents get a little further along in terms of being better prepared to support their children and help their families.”

Helping Parents Succeed

In addition to learning and practicing communication skills such as active listening and the use of “I feel” statements, workshop participants also have the opportunity to analyze and evaluate the techniques that they employ as parents.

Ending the Isolation

Parents who complete the two-day workshops will learn a great deal about effective parenting, and will practice a number of specific skills that will help them support their children and reunite their families. But for many participants, the most empowering aspect of the experience isn’t what they learn, but who they learn with.

Ms. Wadsworth noted that the relationships that develop among workshop participants are among the most beneficial and long-lasting aspects of the experience.

“The power of the workshops is the community that gets created,” she said. “Our parents are more connected now, and are part of a community that extends beyond the time that their kids are with us. I know that a lot of the parents stay in touch, and continue supporting and learning from each other.”

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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