Allies of Mental Health: Serenity Park Recovery Center
In 1972, Joe McQuany founded what was then Serenity House, a refuge for substance abusers in Arkansas. In 1990, it was renamed Serenity Park and moved to its current location in Little Rock next to a jail and across from a cemetery — which was fitting, as McQuany believed addicts have three eventualities: locked up, covered up or sobered up. For 35 years until his death, McQuany made Serenity Park a place for addicts and alcoholics to receive world-class treatment and find sobriety.
Today, Serenity Park Recovery Center is privately owned by CEO Tara Tinnin. She, clinical director Scott Passafiume, and the entire staff are dedicated to carrying on the legacy and passion of McQuany every single day.
“I have strived to be a mental health ally since the beginning of my own recovery journey in 2012,” Tinnin says. “I began by addressing my own mental health. I knew that I needed to take care of my own mental well-being if I was going to be able to be of use to myself or anyone else in this world. I began to serve as a mental health ally in a professional capacity in 2013 when I began working as an emergency medical technician (EMT) in San Francisco.”
Passafiume also has personal experience with the subject.
“I have been successful in my personal recovery from substance use for more than a decade. Also, in 2005, my first wife of 17 years committed suicide, which later helped me to work on a career in mental health,” he says. “I am not quiet about my own past struggles and use parts of substance abuse and mental health as analogies whenever I speak in front of people. The more we talk about mental health the less power it has over as us. I do think we have been chipping away at the mental health stigma but lag behind when it comes the stigma which comes with substance use issues.”
It is through these experiences that Serenity Park Recovery Center feels it has a unique perspective, which it is proud to deploy for each and every one of its clients. And they don’t just stop at who walks through the door, rather they are determined to find remedies to help the entire state’s mental health and substance use afflictions.
“We need to pass state-wide legislation that makes the insurance companies do the right thing,” Tinnin says. “The leading policies in the state of Arkansas absolutely do not take care of people. At Serenity Park, we routinely take losses to provide the necessary and vital care that our clients need, but most places cannot afford to do that. But when a facility discharges someone because the insurance company won’t pay anymore, the facility is seen as the villain. Everyone is working on a shoe-string budget in this state, doing the best they can with what they have, but there just simply are not enough resources (money) in the state of Arkansas to provide adequate care to the people who need it.”
Serenity Park Recovery Center is committed to providing holistic, evidence-based treatment to those it serves, which will empower them and their families to live sober and productive lives. The center strives to provide tools enabling a lifetime of recovery and healthy living.
• Individualized evidence-based treatment protocols.
• Holistic approach to healthy recovery by addressing body, mind and spirit.
• Safety and utmost respect for patients, families and staff.
Serenity Park strives to provide a healthy atmosphere for our clients and their loved ones, as well as its employees and team members.
Serenity Park has medical staff on-site providing a treatment environment where health and safety is a top priority. Led by medical director Leslie Smith, MD, and healthcare coordinator Robert Keech, RN, its medical team is following all CDC and Arkansas Department of Health guidances regarding COVID-19.
“Our goal is for those who complete our program to be free from mind and mood-altering substances and be confident in their ability to live life on life’s terms,” the center’s team proudly states. “In all we do, we will strive to be guided and our actions will demonstrate a mindset of care that is spiritually based on the considerations and guidance of a higher power. It is our hope each individual will see this power as it impacts them through the care received from those who provide services at Serenity Park.”
Serenity Park is also committed to educating the public concerning the disease concept of substance abuse related to recovery. Stating clearly on its website:
We are committed to perpetual study, evaluation, and implementation of proven programs in the field of substance abuse.
We can, in most cases, provide:
• Immediate admission for medical or observational detox.
• Residential treatment admission in 4-6 hours, not 4-6 days!
• Luxurious sober living homes for post-treatment transitions.
We believe nothing is impossible in recovery.
serenityparkrecovery.com | 501-313-0066