Catalyst Enid celebrates one year of helping men overcome addiction

Edie Nayfa, LADC-S (left), CEO for Catalyst Behavioral Services, and Tonya Kennedy, program director, speak during an interview about the Enid facility’s one-year anniversary Sept. 3, 2020.

ENID, Okla. — Catalyst Behavioral Services celebrated the one-year anniversary Thursday of opening its men's addiction and mental health treatment center in Enid.

The facility, at 1820 S. Van Buren, previously was operated by Catalyst as a women's halfway house. Catalyst transitioned the facility to the men's treatment center last summer, after its contract to operate the halfway house for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections expired.

Edie Nayfa, CEO of Catalyst Behavioral Services, said transitioning the facility to a men's treatment center had some hurdles, but Catalyst had the experience to lean on from operating men's and women's treatment centers in other parts of the state, principally in Oklahoma City.

Nayfa said getting the 100-bed treatment center running smoothly was facilitated by bringing in Tanya Kennedy, who serves as program director at Catalyst’s Enid facility.

“Thank God for Tanya coming in," Nayfa said, "because she’s made it go a lot smoother than it would have without her.”

The facility is certified by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to treat both addiction and mental health needs, but Nayfa said addiction is the Enid facility’s primary focus.

Due to COVID-19 prevention measures, the facility has had limited capacity since March. When the pandemic hit Oklahoma, Catalyst cut its capacity back to 30 men, and has since slowly worked back up to a capacity of about 60 men.

Men in the Catalyst program receive 37 hours of treatment each week, including both individual and group counseling, peer support group services and other support and therapeutic services. The program lasts about 60-90 days, depending on the needs of the individual.

Residents in the Enid program must be 18 years or older, male, and must undergo an assessment prior to being admitted. Women also may be assessed by Catalyst in Enid, and then receive treatment at one of its women's facilities, including one in Oklahoma City.

Kennedy said residents typically are transferred from a hospital, a treatment provider such as Northwest Center for Behavioral Health, or by direct admission at Catalyst.

Catalyst is a nonprofit treatment provider, and accepts most private insurance plans. Nayfa said funding from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services covers indigent patients.

More than 150 men have completed the program at Catalyst over the last year.

Kennedy, who's worked in addiction treatment since 1985, said she wants to help the community overcome and lingering stigma surrounding addiction, which is classified as a mental health disorder.

“The people who come here are your fathers, your sons, your brothers and your friends,” Kennedy said. “They’re people just like anyone else.

“The prejudice against addiction is sad, but I do think we’re doing better,” Kennedy said.

Nayfa said Catalyst's Enid facility accepts men from across the state, but they want to make sure Enid's needs are met first.

“We want to serve Enid first, and we want the Enid community to know we are here for them," Nayfa said, "because the community has been so good to us.”

For more information on Catalyst and its services, visit http://www.catalystok.org.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also operates a nationwide addiction and mental health crisis line at (800) 662-HELP, or visit https://www.findtreatment.gov to locate treatment services in your area.

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Neal is health, military affairs and religion reporter and columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @jamesnealwriter, and online at jamesrneal.com.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for James? Send an email to jneal@enidnews.com.

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