Frequently Asked Questions

How do families usually learn about Vista?

Many of our students and their families are given specific recommendations from educational consultants. These consultants are specialists whose expertise is in identifying schools and programs that most appropriately meet the academic and therapeutic needs of the student. While their services are not required for admission to Vista, we do highly value and recommend their professional guidance and their careful attention to each family. Please do not hesitate to call us if you have questions about that process.

Can students have their cell phones and personal computers?

Yes. Students are encouraged to have a cell phone upon admission. Personal computers are encouraged as well, but there are also desktop computers at the Vista office that are available for students’ use. Having a phone and computer allows for communication with our staff and therapists while also providing opportunities to work on healthy habits of technology use for purposes of job searching, academic planning, and social opportunities.

How soon are students able to look for jobs or start college classes?

Right away if that’s what works best for the individual student and family. These plans are made individually in an effort to best support the unique goals each student has.

What is the living situation like?

Upon admission, students immediately move into apartments that are located in an attractive residential neighborhood of Salt Lake City near Liberty Park. These are two-bedroom apartments that include a bathroom, living room, kitchen, and laundry machines in each unit. Televisions and wifi are provided as well. An apartment manager lives in the building, providing additional support in maintenance, cleanliness inspections, and supervision of the grounds. Young adult mentors will make daily home visits and check-ins in order to help with students’ goals and scheduled program activities. These apartments are very intentionally set up to allow for healthy independence and normalized living for young adults.

What are the neighborhoods and communities like in Salt Lake City?

Salt Lake City is home to a young and active population that strongly identifies with the outdoors and with healthy living. Year-round recreational opportunities are available and the mountains and canyons just minutes to the east are especially popular for hiking, mountain biking, camping, snowboarding, skiing, and even leisurely walks. Local parks, award-winning restaurants, and music venues make it easy to find healthy and enjoyable things to do. For these reasons it’s quite common to see students deciding to stay in Salt Lake City for a while longer following their enrollment with Vista.

Can students have their own cars while enrolled at VCS?

Yes. Once a student has entered Phase 2 of the program and established a schedule that includes work and/or school, it is appropriate to discuss having a personal car sent from home. Factors such as the student’s financial responsibility and safe use of the car are discussed throughout this process.

What happens when a student uses drugs or alcohol in the program?

At Vista we ask that students practice abstinence from drugs and alcohol during their enrollment, and drug testing services are provided to support this. This also includes alcohol use for those above the legal drinking age of 21. In the event that a student does use drugs or alcohol, however, Vista is not a zero-tolerance program. Our therapists and staff will work closely with a student struggling in their recovery and will adjust support where needed in order to help the learning process to move forward. However, life-threatening drug use or consistent relapse without efforts to redirect will involve professional referral to another level of care better equipped to handle active and ongoing relapse.

Who’s around to help students with life skills development and personal goals?

Vista’s treatment team includes three primary therapists, a full-time licensed drug and alcohol counselor, a full-time psychiatrist, and several young adult mentors. These individuals work closely and directly with students in order to provide support and guidance each day, whether this is taking place in the community, in the students’ apartments, or at the main office.

I see that students receive a weekly allowance. What is that money used for?

Balancing a weekly budget is a very unique skill set that requires practice, adjustment, and even occasional mistakes. We value this experience at Vista and provide consistent support in guiding students toward healthy spending for their groceries, transportation, and recreation. As a student gains employment, individual budget plans are adjusted accordingly to account for increased income and savings opportunities.

Are the students at Vista coming from previous programs or other therapeutic settings?

Yes, this is often the case. Wilderness therapy programs, residential treatment, and other therapeutic placements serve as an effective way of carefully evaluating the needs that each student has. These professional insights allow our team to provide continued support that meets the need of the individual. While previous program participation is not a requirement for enrollment, it is certainly something that many students will share in common.