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

Philosophy at SUWS

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.

At SUWS, we understand that adolescents often feel as though they are making the best decisions for their lives, however they often fall victim to overpowering emotions, peer pressure and a distorted self-image.

Unique Clinical Treatment Plans

We recognize that these feelings can make it complicated for young people to understand their choices and consequences, which directly plays into their development of the skills necessary to grow into successful adults. Therefore, we provide a unique clinical treatment plan that has proven to be highly effective in helping students identify these issues so they can begin working towards a successful recovery.

SUWS of the Carolinas is a therapeutic wilderness program designed to address the specific needs and challenges of adolescents within the following domains:

  • Low self esteem
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Trauma
  • Anger Issues
  • Family conflict
  • School failure

Providing Meaningful Experiences

The entire staff at SUWS utilizes the wilderness setting as a catalyst that allows us to connect to troubled youth in ways that promote their positive development. We use the wilderness to move students out of their comfort zones and encourage them to engage in new, positive behavioral habits. This outdoor experience is designed solely to help bring out the best in our students by guiding them through our experiential and hands-on curriculum that keeps them continually discovering their inner strengths and increasing their self-awareness.

Not only do we strive to provide meaningful experiences for our students, but also work to incorporate parental development throughout their child’s stay. At SUWS, we do this by providing parents with tools, online resources and planning sessions all designed to help improve their relationship with their child.

SUWs of the Carolinas Levels


  • Lasts 1 to 2 days.
  • Students live at the SUWS base camp.
  • The focus is on accepting placement, observing the group and interacting with field staff and therapists.
  • Students participate in a face-to-face psycho-social assessment conducted by a SUWS therapist.
  • Allowing a student to observe group dynamics reduces fear and assists in making a positive transition.


  • Students are guided toward an understanding of how freedom relates to responsibility & opportunities to practice personal accountability.
  • Students begin individual therapy, participate in daily group processing and learn low impact camping skills.
  • Students begin to avoid blaming and begin to understand actions and consequences as they reflect on their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Mastering personal responsibility helps students gain control over themselves and their environment.


  • Having identified coping skills during the Individual level, students begin to practice healthy relationship skills.
  • They begin to integrate new behaviors and capabilities as well as new beliefs about themselves and others.
  • Students are given specific responsibilities chosen to challenge their individual developmental needs. These responsibilities are aimed at fostering the care and welfare of the group.


  • On the responder level, students assume leadership roles within the group, assisting new students on the Orientation level transition into the program.
  • On this level, students are expected to be role models. They organize setting up and breaking down camp, lead hikes, and assume an active role in the daily group process.  Being a role model helps students internalize success and understand personal integrity.  Continuing to build character, students experience healthy self-esteem.

I went into this program scared out of my mind. At SUWS, I learned the tools I needed to work through my issues and I'm forever grateful.

– Anonymous Patient
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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