Join us on a virtual tour of the Austen Riggs Center. You’ll see patient residences along with treatment and community spaces on our one-of-a-kind open setting campus located on Main Street in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Welcome to the Austen Riggs Center. My name is Nicki. Today I'm going to take you for a tour of our unique campus. We're located in Stockbridge, a small town in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts. One of the things that makes our campus so unique is that it’s a completely open setting–meaning patients here have complete freedom to come and go as they please. We don't have any locked units, and in fact many of our patients have cars.
I'm going to be taking you on a tour of our buildings and facilities today. All of our buildings and facilities are within close walking distance of one another. Right now we are in the MOB–the Medical Office Building. This is where our administrative offices as well as our individual clinician offices are. So this is where patients come to meet with their therapist, social worker, and their psychiatrist. I'll be showing you some of those offices later. In addition to the MOB, I'm going to show you the Inn Residence, the Community Center, the Elms (one of our step-down programs), as well as our Activities Programs–including the Lavender Door, nursery school, and the greenhouse.
Are we ready to get going? Follow me.
This is an example of a clinician's office in the Medical Office Building. Patients meet with their providers anywhere from one to four times a week for individual sessions including their therapist, psychiatrist, and social worker.
This is an example of a social worker’s office. Social workers serve a dual role as individual clinical caseworker and as the family liaison contact for anyone that a patient wishes to involve in their treatment here. Social workers serve as a co-therapist with a patient's individual therapist in family work and family sessions. Each social worker has a screen in their office so they can host telehealth sessions with a patient's family and so they can host videoconference sessions for family meetings and family work.
The Austen Riggs Library, located on the second floor of the Medical Office Building, hosts over 18,000 volumes of books, textbooks, and journals that support both the clinical mission and the research mission of the institution.
Just a short walking distance from the Medical Office Building is our main residential facility called the Inn. This is where all patients stay for the initial six weeks of their treatment and evaluation phase. Let me take you in and show you around.
Here we are at the Inn. The Inn Residential Program is our highest level of care at Austen Riggs and it's where all patients come in for at least the initial six-week treatment and evaluation phase. They may continue to stay in this program longer.
Here on the main hallway, we have the Inn living room, which serves as both a group space and also as a space for patients to relax and hang out in between sessions. There’s a TV and it’s a nice quiet space. Additionally we have the patient library. The library also serves as a group space and it's also actually run by a patient who’s elected every eight weeks as part of our patient government term and they manage the periodicals and books and offerings in the library.
Here behind me, we have a space where there's almost always a nursing staff member or a therapeutic community staff member available, so that as patients come into the main hall, there’s always a staff presence. This allows also for patients who had a difficult therapy session or need someone to just sit with to have someone available immediately.
Here we are in the Inn dining hall. The dining room serves three meals a day at blocks of time to allow for fluctuations in patients’ schedules. Our dietary staff work with our registered dietitian to accommodate any dietary and specialty needs of our patients and also to provide well-balanced meals for all of our patients and staff. We provide vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options at all meals.
Here in the Inn we have three different types of rooms. All patients have a private room. When they first come in, they stay in an admissions room, which is a little bit closer to the Nurse's Station and has shared bathrooms on the hallway. Then we have suite rooms, which are two rooms joined by a bathroom, so you'd only be sharing a bathroom with one other person. Here we have an example of a prime room, which is one of the larger rooms with a private bathroom attached. In all of the rooms on campus, patients will have a landline with a Riggs extension, but we don't restrict devices here and there's Wi-Fi in all the buildings so patients can utilize their cellphones and other laptops and devices here on campus.
On the second floor of the Inn Residence is the nurse's station. The Inn is staffed 24 hours a day by psychiatric nurses and mental health workers. This means that at any time, patients can come to the nurse’s station for scheduled check-ins or for emergency services. Additionally, patients come to the nurse’s station area to obtain their medications from the medication dispensary during posted hours.
Because physical health is so closely aligned with mental health, we do have a full gym on campus. Patients can access the gym 24 hours a day. They also have access to a personal trainer whom they can sign up with for individual sessions. Adjacent to the gym, in this multifunctional space, we have a number of gaming tables available. This space is accessible 24 hours a day and it's available for patients to come hang out together and spend some time together. Additionally, as part of supporting our philosophy of patient autonomy and independence, we have a laundry area where patients can do their own laundry.
Behind me is the Edward R. Shapiro Community Center. The Community Center was built as a place for all members of the Austen Riggs community to have a space to come together. Here we are in the Community Center living room, it's one of the largest spaces on campus and it’s multifunctional. It hosts groups, events, and sometimes even music lessons. Daily, there's a Community Meeting that's held here that's hosted by patients and includes clinical staff, and every other month there's an All Center Meeting that includes all staff and all patients and it's an opportunity for the entire Riggs community to come together and discuss how we're working together.
This is the Community Center kitchen. It's a fully functioning kitchen, open for the use of all patients. Sometimes patients want to cook their own meals or pop in a batch of cookies. Maybe they just want to stop by and get a cup of coffee or tea inbetween sessions.
Here we have the Garden Room. The Garden Room is often used for yoga or guided meditation–it's also a nice quiet place to get away and just reflect.
Here we have the Elms–one of our step-down programs. It's still a residential level of care, but focuses more on independent living in a small group setting. Here, follow me in and I'll show you around. This space is utilized for groups, reflection, relaxation, and interaction among the patients that live here. In keeping with the focus of independent living in the Elms, patients can utilize this recently renovated kitchen to cook for themselves or with each other. This is an example of one of the seven bedrooms at the Elms. Each bedroom has its own private bathroom.
Just a short walking distance from the main campus, here on Main Street, is the Lavender Door. This is the art studio to our Activities Program. Here, patients are students. Let me take you inside and show you a little bit about what they do. So much of the work here at Riggs is internal. Here in the ceramic studio, patients as students have an opportunity to work with their hands and express themselves creatively. This is our visual arts studio where students can come and create anything that might come to mind utilizing supplies provided by Austen Riggs. In the fiber art studio, students have access to looms and fiber material to do things such as weaving, knitting, dye processes, and creating jewelry. Here in the woodworking studio, students have access to a variety of tools and machinery. First they put their ideas to paper and then they work them out to wood. It's always in this studio direct one-to-one with the instructor. Twice a year, this small black room theatre hosts two live productions–in the spring and winter–overseen by a local Shakespeare & Company director. The productions include current patients and local actors from the community and are open to the public for viewing.
In addition to the Lavender Door, our Activities Program also includes the nursery school and greenhouse, both of which you see behind me. The Activities Program offers an opportunity for patients to step outside of the rigors of treatment, to get creative, use their hands, or get involved and work in the community.
I'd like to thank you for joining me today. If you have questions or if you would like to initiate the admissions process, you can contact admissions. We’re available Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern time. You can also reach us via the contact page on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.