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Sherwood Hills recovery program had ‘great first year’

October 9th, 2014 Posted in Opinion

Story and photo by Jared Dangerfield

WELLSVILLE — The leaves in Sardine Canyon along US 89-91 are changing colors and Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort is right in the heart of the beautiful scenery. The resort, which has been in operation since May 2013, is seeing success helping drug and alcohol addicts find ways to overcome their dependency.  Program administrators believe having the canyon location allows the resort’s clients to enjoy the beautiful environment while receiving help.

“It is probably the most beautiful setting of any rehab facility in Utah, and possibly in the Western United States,” said Mike O’reilly, director of Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort. Photo by Jared Dangerfield.

“It is probably the most beautiful setting of any rehab facility in Utah, and possibly in the Western United States,” Mike O’reilly, founder and executive director of the resort, told the Wellsville Planning Commission Wednesday.

“A huge part of our program is based on mindfulness being aware of all our surroundings and being aware of what you are feeling. We take ‘mindful’ walks for about 30 minutes, and after we talk about what they experienced as they hiked, the beauty and wildlife they saw and how they felt.”

O’reilly gave an update on the resort’s progress to the commission, reporting that since opening, they have had an 82.5 percent graduation rate with over 140 clients. Currently they are housing 28 clients. The resort was approved by the commission to hold up to 65 clients, but O’reilly says they plan on keeping that number between 35 to 40.

Wednesday’s meeting was the second time O’reilly has been asked to give a report. He said the meetings are a great opportunity to get involved with the community and let people know what they are doing at the resort.

“I like coming to these and I guess bragging about what we’re doing out there,” he said. “We’ve had a great first year. We want to be part of the community and get them involved.”

Paul Egbert, a member of the planning commission, said he likes to have O’reilly come to the meetings because if someone asks him a question about the resort, he is able to answer it.

Having O’reilly attend the meetings, said Commissioner Jerald Leishman, is beneficial because it allows both parties to discuss concerns and potential problems. One of the concerns raised Wednesday night was making sure that the resort is keeping up with fire codes and communicating with the fire department regularly.

Clients who have broken the rules and used a vaporizer in their rooms have set off fire alarms in the past, he said, and firefighters from Wellsville have had to respond. Leishman, who is a firefighter, asked O’reilly to call the fire department when a fire alarm goes off so they can know whether or not it is an emergency situation.

Another concern Leishman had is if there is a fire, because of the resort’s location it will take longer to respond to an emergency. He asked O’reilly to make sure that when it snows, the road up to the resort is plowed, making it easier to respond.

Avis Richards, the financial director for Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort, told the commission she would like to be able to have the entire fire department go up to the resort so they are familiar with the layout of the building and more prepared in case of an emergency.


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