How do families usually learn about Vista?

Many of our students and their families are given specific recommendations from educational consultants. These consultants are specialists whose expertise is in identifying schools and programs that most appropriately meet the academic and therapeutic needs of the student. While their services are not required for admission to Vista, we do highly value and recommend their professional guidance and their careful attention to each family. Please do not hesitate to call us if you have questions about that process.

Do students have access to computers, cell phones, or other internet use at Vista?

Students do not have their own cell phones or laptops while at Vista. However, each of our classrooms is equipped with desktop computers that are used for research, writing papers, and for any accommodations students may need in completing assignments.


What is the dress code at Vista?

Students are allowed to wear their own clothing from home, and Vista staff members will help to ensure that the clothing is appropriate in presentation and in content (i.e. images, themes, and physical condition or fit).

I worry that my son would not respond well to an environment that feels like a hospital or a locked-down facility such as a detention center. Is Vista different?

Yes. Vista is very intentionally built to look and feel like home. Outside and inside, our buildings are meant to resemble a more normalized environment. Bedrooms are usually 3-4 beds per room, and families are encouraged to send out bedding and other décor that helps to emphasize the home-like setting in the bedrooms.

I see that Vista Magna is a boys campus. Are there opportunities for co-ed communication?

Yes. Vista also operates two small residential programs for girls located just 20 minutes away. This allows us to arrange for co-ed activities that encourage healthy boundaries between students and provide opportunities to practice important social skills. A common piece of feedback directly from our students is that these co-ed activities are very helpful and empowering in a healthy way.

What are the policies or rules around scheduling visits and having my son at home for holidays and special events?

At Vista we recognize that pre-determined calendars for visits during enrollment are not necessarily convenient or even appropriate for many students and families. Instead, we support a more individualized process of scheduling visits and home passes, including during holidays and family events. Together with each student’s primary therapist, families create and manage a schedule that is most appropriate for them. In general we recommend that parents come for their first visit about 4-6 weeks following enrollment, and continued visits followed later by home passes are encouraged.

What are the benefits of being located in Magna, Utah?

Magna is a relatively small community located just 10-15 minutes west of Salt Lake City. This gives us access to fun social activities in Salt Lake City’s popular downtown area – such as movies, concerts, festivals, and community parks – while still providing us with a quiet and more rural setting on our campus in Magna. Our local geography allows us to spend time every week in the mountains and canyons to the east and to take advantage of the four seasons with a very wide variety of recreational outings. We consider Magna to be the “best of both worlds” when looking at the benefits of both rural and urban areas.

My son in very interested in music and art. Will he have access to this at Vista?

Yes. As a regular part of our curriculum at Stansbury Academy (the private school here at Vista), art and music classes are available to all students. Please feel free to mail out musical instruments or art supplies after speaking with your son’s primary therapist. Whether a student is quite talented and experienced already or just interested in learning a new skill through our art and music courses, we strongly value their participation.

I see that drug and alcohol use is commonly an issue among students in residential treatment programs. What is that like at Vista?

Not every student at Vista struggles with drug or alcohol use. For those that do, however, there is strong clinical support in the form of two full-time drug and alcohol counselors who meet individually with the students on their caseload and provide services that are designed to meet the needs of the individual. AA/NA support is also available in the community to allow students to experience those groups off-campus and in a setting similar to what they would see following residential treatment. This process of normalizing their engagement in community support helps to ensure that students will confidently continue to participate in recovery services after leaving Vista.

Are the students at Vista coming from previous programs or other therapeutic settings?

Yes, this is often the case. Wilderness therapy programs and other short-term therapeutic placements serve as an effective way of carefully evaluating the needs that each student has. These professional insights can then be further addressed in more depth in a residential program like Vista. While previous program participation is not a requirement for enrollment, it is certainly something that many students will share in common.

Is it possible to have some of the costs covered by my insurance company?

Vista is an out-of-network provider so any residential treatment benefit you may or may not have will be affected by this status. The primary therapist will communicate with your insurance company upon admission. If there is an RTC benefit available, the therapist will proceed with a “pre-authorization”. The insurance company’s case manager will determine whether or not the student meets their criteria for medical necessity. Please note that definitions for medical necessity are not universal and vary between insurance companies. If approved, the case manager and therapist will continue their communication until there is a denial. While we do our best to assist our families, it is beneficial for you, the member, to know your own plan and to be prepared for any outcome regarding your policy.