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Gastonia business caters to adult mental health
Gaston Gazette - 10/14/2021
Adults battling substance abuse, homelessness, mental illnesses and more can learn how to sustain a life on their own with the progressive health agency Infinite Beginnings LLC.
The agency, located at 201 W. Second Ave. off of South South Street, opened in 2010 to offer alternative solutions to adult challenges with mental illnesses and substance abuse.
"Behavioral health is a big part of mental health," said business owner Vickie Smith. "We do serve some children but we mainly serve adults dealing with mental health issues, domestic violence, trauma, homelessness and more."
"I want to help people to be able to get the resources that they need and giving them another medication is not the solution," said Smith, who previously worked at a mental disabilities center in Charlotte for five years.
Member requirements include being 18 years old or older with a primary diagnosis of a mental illness and/or substance abuse. Members also need Medicaid to participate in medication management services.
"We want those that desire and have a willingness to change their life," said Smith.
Members participate in many programs such as psychosocial rehabilitation, peer support services, outpatient therapy, medication management, individual support services, substance abuse services and telepsychiatry.
These programs serve the different needs of people that are referred to the organization. Self-referrals also qualify for admission, according to program director Thelma Howell.
"We want to teach our members life skills to help them learn how to live independently," said Howell, who formerly worked in the foster care system for 25 years.
Teaching members life skills include getting members outside of the four walls of a building and into the community, said Smith.
"We believe in doing pop-up events to get members to meet the community where they are," said Smith. "We've done volunteering with the Salvation Army, soup kitchens and road clean-ups with Keep Gastonia Beautiful."
Doing these activities helps members to assess their communication, social skills and triggers by engaging with other people, said Smith.
Candidates must go through a screening process once referred to Infinite Beginnings. After receiving approval from the screening, a date and time will be set for the intake and paperwork process to begin.
"There are several assessments conducted during that time," said Smith. "We want to make sure that we can supply what they need and if not, we refer them to a community partner that might be able to."
"A plan of care is developed to determine what they for what they envision for their life," said Smith. "We want what we have clinically identified to line up with the goals that the person has for themselves, it has to be individual-centered."
Programs teach financial literacy, personal advocacy, literacy, home care, lawn care and more to about 50 members per day, depending on which programs members sign up for.
The organization also offers housing for six months at a home called, The Bridge House, in Shelby, for members preparing to live independently.
"I've always known that I wanted to help people. I just didn't know in what capacity that I would be doing it," said Smith.
The mission of Infinite Beginnings focuses on helping client's to develop a life of their own that they can maintain without substance abuse, according to Smith.
Infinite Beginnings will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Business hours include Saturday and Sunday by appointment.
The agency has two other locations in Lincolnton and Boone, with accreditation from CARF International, a national non-profit organization that certifies rehabilitation facilities.
The Infinite Beginnings crisis hotline will be available at all times at 704-777-6017.
Reach Janiya Winchester at 704-869-1842 or email@example.com
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