Lone residential treatment program in Marathon Co. to reopen for first time since pandemic

The Lakeside Recovery Campus will house a 16-bed treatment center catering to Lincoln, Langlade and Marathon Counties.
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 8:31 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - North Central Health Care is reopening its residential treatment program in early 2024 for the first time since the pandemic, marking a critical step in aiding the community’s battle against substance use and mental health disorders.

The Lakeside Recovery Campus will house a 16-bed co-ed treatment center catering to Lincoln, Langlade, and Marathon Counties.

This facility will be the sole residential treatment program in Marathon County and offer a 28-day residential treatment program. Heidi Kleinschmidt, Clinical Manager at Lakeside Recovery, emphasized the imperative nature of this initiative.

“We have a huge need to really address the needs of our community, a lot of people struggling with substance use and mental health disorders. So this is really a starting point to help people start their healing journey,” Kleinschmidt said.

The comprehensive treatment plan at Lakeside Recovery will encompass group therapy, individual therapy, art therapy, and more.

“To really help address all of the needs for the clients, including Mind, Body Soul, we’re really addressing all of the components that people need to start their healing journeys,” Kleinschmidt said.

Wendy Peterson, Director of Acute Care Services at North Central Health Care, further outlined this commitment to diverse recovery approaches.

“We are committed to all of the facets of learning and recovery, including helping clients who have an interest in using workout items to help that to journaling to arts and crafts,” Peterson said.

“We do have the culture in Wisconsin as being known for the drinking. However, what we are trying to do here is really just help people start on the path of understanding when maybe it’s become a problem,” Kleinschmidt said.”

The program’s fee schedule lists the substance program at $550 per day, which means the approximate cost for a 28-day stay is $15,400. However, Peterson staff do what they can to help remove potential barriers.

“Cost is based upon the ability to pay, and we use commercial insurance as well as MA (Medical Assistance). So no matter what the client’s needs are, we’re ready to help them get into the program,” Peterson said.

These methods may help people to fully realize and overcome their problems. It is a problem that is unfortunately common in the badger state. In an annual report, the Department of Health Services found approximately 7.66% of people in Wisconsin had a substance use disorder, which is higher than the national average of 7.32%.

Once enrolled, staff at Lakeside Recovery focus on creating a comfortable environment conducive to healing. One way they do that is by incorporating nature into the treatments, including the center’s view of the Wisconsin River.

“Helping people just be connected with nature is a huge factor in helping people just get grounded, centered, and balanced and feel safe. Really, a lot of the clients that struggle with substance use and mental health, they don’t feel safe,” Kleinschmidt said. “I really made sure to focus on the environment that I was providing for them because I want them to be able to feel safe with the staff that they’re working with and really be able to start discovering who they are, to be able to really start that healing.”