A Greenhouse Therapy Plan for Reno's Youngest Drug Treatment Clients
A special gift was received today: a new greenhouse. It was installed today in the backyard of a girl’s residential treatment home, which counsels drug users as young as 14.
A new greenhouse…for a Reno residential treatment center? Joshua Smith of the non-profit group “RootEd Revolution” says it's a perfect fit: "Oh yes. And there are a lot of studies that gardening is just as effective as anti-depressant drugs."
RootEd Revolution provides greenhouses to local schools and qualified non-profits. Joshua, who also heads Reno’s Modular Greenhouses, considers the new greenhouse as part of the therapy for the teenagers this Quest Counseling treatment home serves. As he put it, “Growing it and then harvesting food from it and eating it is a really therapeutic process for anybody at any point in life."
Quest Counseling began 16 years ago. The Quest houses fill a specific need. They focus only on young teenagers ages 14 to 17 who have substance use and mental health issues, making these the youngest clientele treatment houses in Reno. Sad to say, they're needed now more than ever. Quest executive director Jolene Dalluhn told us, “Some of the clients we take started using when they were 11 and 12 years old, and so by the time they're 14, 15 years old they're starting to exhibit many problems related to their drug use."
There are 6 beds at each home. She says they could easily fill 25. There are 2 Quest residential houses in Reno, one for boys and one for girls…because the treatment is different. Jolene says girls communicate more, "And boys not so much. They don't always want to talk about what's going on with them, so we use more activity-based learning with them, more experiential."
On the walls there are chore lists. The focus is on learning skills and independence. In the living room, 2 hours of group counseling are hosted each day. Downstairs, the basement's designed for time off…the rec room. Upstairs is a full kitchen and bedrooms. As for decorations, Dalluhn says, "We make sure that it's all positive, and that its going to make them feel good about themselves."
Much of the food comes from the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. And soon, from the new greenhouse which will provide therapy of its own...teaching the young girls how to grow and harvest their own fresh food, fitting in with the positive independence and self-sufficiency that is their mission. Smith says, “Your garden, when it’s flourishing and its going well…you're just happy."
Reno's Great Full Gardens bought the greenhouse after Modular Greenhouses sold it at cost, part of the RootEd Revolution greenhouse project. Quest Counseling is a nonprofit corporation funded by the state, grants and client fees. They also accept insurance plans. To find out more, click the link below: