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Sunrise Recovery Center- Where Wellness Works

The Sunrise Recovery Center, located in Montpelier, is a day program that serves adult clients enrolled in Washington County Mental Health's Community Support Program (CSP). At Sunrise, we provide a supportive and safe environment in which a person can learn and practice skills and strategies to better deal with issues related to symptoms of mental illness, trauma, substance abuse and addiction. Our mission is to help individuals reach goals while on their personal journey towards Recovery. Statistics from the 2015 client satisfaction survey indicates that 81% of respondents found the Sunrise Recovery Center services to be helpful.  Former program participants have stated that the skills learned while in the program have helped them in developing and reaching future goals.  We stress the importance of personal responsibility and peer support. We celebrate the unique qualities of each individual as they move along on their path to healthy living.mental health recovery


mental health recoverySunrise provides a wide range of services. Our primary focus is on Recovery Education, Employment Services, and the Wellness Program.  These services are provided individually as well as in groups, utilizing Peer Supports whenever possible.  In 2015, we provided 4,999 services to 112 clients.  In 2016 we provided 5,176 services to 110 clients. Our services are delivered incorporating the strategies developed by Mary Ellen Copeland as well as other treatment modalities such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

RECOVERY EDUCATION: In addition to our daily groups and program activities, the Sunrise Recovery Center has been sponsoring Recovery Education workshops since the fall of 1998.  Currently, we provide 2 workshops per year, one in the spring and one in the fall. The workshops are attended by clients, staff, family members and community members.  The focus is on developing a WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) and a Crisis Plan.  The Crisis Plan is developed to help individuals proactively identify treatment choices and supports when unable to make these decisions for themselves.  A  WRAP can be used for any situation such as a physical illness or other life challenge and is not limited for use only in a psychiatric emergency.  A powerful focus of the WRAP series is inviting individuals to come in and share their “story”.  These courageous people share stories of a very difficult time in their lives, and how they managed to get well.  These stories are very inspiring.  In 2016, 93% of those responding found the Recovery Stories to be helpful.

WELLNESS: The Sunrise Recovery Center partnered with our nursing services in March 2007 to develop a holistic approach to Wellness in order to address the complex health needs of our clients. The nursing overview enables us to support our clients on their path to healthy living in a safe and structured way.  The overall goals of the Wellness Program are to improve the health of our clients as well as to reduce long term complications and hospitalizations associated with poorly treated co-morbid medical conditions. Participants develop Wellness goals based on their unique health issues.  Steps to meeting these goals are outlined and support is provided as needed. We offer individual and group supports to those wishing to manage their weight, improve overall diet, prevent heart disease, better manage diabetes, address smoking cessation, and improve sleep hygiene. We provide healthy meals and snacks as much as possible and staff participate in the Wellness groups and exercise along with the individuals we are supporting. 

Tobacco Cessation: In July of 2015, Sunrise Recovery Center became a smoke free campus.  Though this has been very challenging, we have created an atmosphere where smoking cessation is the norm rather than the exception.   Currently, of the 75 clients that received supports at Sunrise during 2016, 9% quit smoking, 29% tried to quit or articulated the need to address their use of tobacco products, 8% had quit long before coming to Sunrise and helped support others in some way, 20% never smoked or used tobacco products, and 19% never tried or articulated the need to address their use of tobacco products.  13% of the 75 clients have an unknown status related to use of tobacco products.   Out of nine staff currently employed at Sunrise, seven never smoked or quit at least five years ago, one is in the active stage of treatment with regard to their use of tobacco products and one remains in the pre-contemplative stage.  

EMPLOYMENT:   The Sunrise Recovery Center recognizes the value of employment as a Recovery tool.  In 2015, we provided 162 vocational services.  In 2016, that number dropped to 84. We believe this drop is due to the large number of people that we supported with finding employment who are now successfully employed. Working collaboratively with the Green Mountain Work Force, we begin employment dialogues with folks as soon as they start coming to Sunrise. When a client gets a job, the level of support provided is variable based on individual needs.  However, many now employed still maintain contact with peers and staff at Sunrise.  This serves a dual purpose of getting support as well as providing Peer Support to others.  We believe that “lived experience” is a critical piece of Recovery.  The atmosphere at Sunrise is that of helping each other in as many ways as possible.  We firmly believe that “You don’t have to be well to work, but you need to work to be well!"

The Sunrise Recovery Center is a dynamic place that offers individualized services to those who participate in Sunrise's programming.  The team at Sunrise is made up of dedicated staff who engage with those receiving services, and when you are there, there is no sense of us and them.  It is this compassionate, collaborative approach that allows for the many successes that people experience within the program and in their lives beyond Sunrise. 


Written April 2017  

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