Coastal Horizons’ Brunswick facility to open in 2009

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Early next year, Coastal Horizons Center will open its new, 7,000-plus square-foot facility on U.S. 17 South in Shallotte behind Jones Ford to provide mental health, substance abuse and rape crisis services in Brunswick County.

Coastal Horizons Center is a private nonprofit agency headquartered in Wilmington and has been in operation for more than 38 years. In 2007, the agency broke ground on its new office, with help from a donation from the Odell and Virginia Williamson family.

The agency provides various services including substance abuse and mental health, crisis intervention and criminal justice alternative services in the 33 eastern counties in North Carolina, as well as Durham County, according to an agency spokesperson.

Coastal Horizons has already been providing some services to Brunswick County residents at its Wilmington location and out of a temporary location in Supply. But due to the distance which some have to travel (in excess of 45 miles), many in need of services have been unable to receive them.

The agency will provide services such as individual and group therapy for adults and children, DWI assessments and treatment, a substance abuse intensive outpatient program (SAIOP), community support services to help clients successfully integrate back into the community, free testing for HIV and other STDs, psychiatric evaluations and many other services.

The Brunswick location of Coastal Horizons Center will also collaborate with community such as DSS, criminal justice and the Southeastern Center for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services.

Through these collaborations, the agency’s goal is to offer “a full continuum of services” to Brunswick County residents, according to the spokesperson.

“It will be a tremendous asset and advantage to have a facility that close,” Brunswick County Department of Social Services Director Jamie Orrock said recently. “Right now, there’s none in the immediate area. That makes it a burden to maintain contact with the kids. Transportation is a big issue.”

DSS Child Services Director Don Seeber agreed.

“Any new services that address the issues of substance abuse are welcome, and we will probably make good use of them. That’s something that comes up over and over again when community organizations get together to discuss these issues.

“Substance abuse treatment and therapy has been a big gap for Brunswick County. It’s so hard for so many to access those services in Wilmington.”

Led by its president and CEO, Margaret Weller-Stargell, the agency employs a full-time staff of about 125, with an additional 25 part-time staffers.

The new facility will be staffed by a program director, a psychiatrist, counselors and other support staff.

In addition to substance abuse and mental health services, the new Brunswick facility will house the Rape Crisis Center-Brunswick program.

Rape Crisis’ 24-hour, sexual violence victim-specialized services include: individual and group counseling, law enforcement and court advocacy, rape prevention, awareness and personal safety community programs, as well as crisis hotline and information and referral services.

Rape Crisis Center-Brunswick will offer free and confidential rape crisis services for victims of sexual violence of any age, as well as their families, friends and loved ones, who struggle to provide support and care.

According to the agency, Wilmington and New Hanover County residents who receive services from Coastal Horizons have higher rates of attendance to individual appointments, group therapy and medical appointments, better compliance with the agency’s protocols and higher levels of successful engagement and treatment completion.