Sovereign Health Group introduces Charlene Templet
Program Director, Sovereign Health of El Paso
Charlene Kaye Templet – pronounced “Tom-Play” – is the program director of the Sovereign Health Group’s El Paso treatment center. Her experience includes serving as the clinical supervisor of La Frontera in Las Cruces, New Mexico, until July 2015. Previously, she managed inpatient, outpatient, individual and couples therapy for Aliviane, Inc., in El Paso, where she provided treatment for substance abuse, mental health conditions, co-occurring disorders and eating disorders. Under her leadership, Sovereign Health of Texas opened its doors in January.
About our new facility
Sovereign Health of Texas is a 70-bed facility offering residential and outpatient treatment for adult female and male patients. Our bilingual staff can provide care in both English and Spanish.
What sets Sovereign apart from our competitors is our comprehensive approach to treatment. Substance abuse is rarely, if ever, a standalone condition. Most addicts and alcoholics present with underlying mental health conditions. Conversely, substance abuse is prevalent among the individuals with mental illness. These individuals get caught up in a vicious cycle of illness exacerbated by substance abuse. The only end to the perpetuation of the cycle is to address both conditions concurrently.
Challenges to overcome
El Paso presents unique challenges for behavioral health treatment. There is a mix of working class and migrant workers here. We know treatment is most effective when the family is involved, but in El Paso, many Mexican families are divided. They literally live on both sides of the border. We also have to be aware that drug cartels work just across the border. Drugs and drug trafficking are a major concern in this city.
The greatest challenge facing anyone who works in the mental health field is measuring results. Mental health treatment is not like working with widgets. With widgets, at the end of the day, you can show tangible products. The behavioral health field works with human beings, so success is not always so obvious. This often results in people with behavioral health needs getting ignored and left behind by the community.
My background includes working with New Mexico’s Governor Susana Martinez and the New Mexico Mental Health Counselors Association to work on legislation that improves the lives of individuals with behavioral health disorders, but there is still a great deal of work left to do. Just recently, Governor Martinez shut down 15 mental health agencies, turning patients out into the street. Our work in Texas will help ensure that patients here have a place to go.
A commitment to the community
Every location has problems in need of treatment. In El Paso, we have our share of patients with depressive disorders, substance abuse and substance abuse-induced psychosis as well as PTSD cases. Problems vary, but the dynamic remains the same. People need dedicated professionals and effective, affordable treatment. That’s what we deliver.
I am truly excited about this facility and what we hope to accomplish. Our center will flourish and provide a tremendous service to this community.