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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Phoenix Area

Desert Visions Youth Wellness Center


Desert Visions Facility

Mission Statement

Desert Visions Youth Wellness Center provides Native American people culturally relevant behavioral health treatment to intervene in addictive lifestyles, to assist in the development of dignity and self-respect while instilling hope and promoting wellness in adolescents, families and communities.

Vision Statement

Desert Visions Youth Wellness Center is the path to wellness for Native American youth who are in need of behavioral healthcare.


Our facility is a co-ed, open and continuous enrollment residential treatment center and is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

We offer a bio psychosocial treatment approach for youth between the ages of 12 and 18. We primarily serve Tribes from the states of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and parts of California. We are operated by the Indian Health Service (IHS), Department of Health and Human Services. Desert Visions is located on the Gila River Indian Community, 40 miles south of Phoenix in Sacaton, Arizona.



climbing the wall Assessments are in the areas of:
  1. Chemical Dependency
  2. Emotional Behavior
  3. Spirituality
  4. Psychiatry
  5. Psychology
  6. Nursing
  7. Vocational Training
  8. Education
  9. Recreation
  10. Nutrition

Individual Programs include:

MENTAL HEALTH support for substance abuse, through counseling, individual psychiatric and psychological sessions, chemical dependency education, art therapy, development of appropriate health and social skills, family involvement, a 12-step program, and after care planning.

EDUCATION is provided through a continuation of appropriate grade level curriculum, computer instruction, and field trips such as: Project Challenge, Job Corps, and local community colleges.

CULTURE is taught and practiced through traditional, spiritual and cultural awareness activities, such as: sweat lodge, talking circle, food, art, music, songs, dance, etc.

RECREATION is provided through physical and social activities such as overnight camping, hiking, swimming, aerobics, basketball, volleyball, and rock climbing.

NURSING is available 24-hours a day for medication administration, liaison with local hospitals, and through health education.



Here you can printout a copy of our intake packet. All necessary forms and supporting documents must be completely filled out and necessary forms must be signed by a parent or legal guardian. If you have any questions or need help filling out forms. Please contact Terry McDowell at 1-888-431-4096 ext. 4210.

Please fax all completed intake forms to fax number 1-520-562-3416 for a prompt response

Please click on link to download intake packet. [PDF-270KB]


Youth & Services

Youth shall:
    tent and fire pit
  1. Gain knowledge and pride in their Native American heritage;
  2. Learn respect for self and others;
  3. Take care of community and personal property;
  4. Take responsibility for their treatment plan and schedule;
  5. Seek their spirituality for guidance;
  6. Find comfort in a 12-Step approach to substance abuse recovery;
  7. Experience joy in expressing yourself through music, humor, prayer, writing, and art;
  8. Develop strength and physical well being through daily recreational activities such as : team and individual sports, swimming, weightlifting, ropes course, and other on-campus activities as well as weekly outings to various recreational sites.

Services shall:

  1. Be culturally sensitive and relevant;
  2. Be efficient and effective;
  3. Be individualized;
  4. Be responsive to changing needs and resources;
  5. Incorporate best practices;
  6. Promote individual growth;
  7. Include collaborative planning which accesses a broad array of community resources; and
  8. Maximize all fiscal resources.


Contact Information

Main Phone Number: 1-888-431-4096


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