HCN News & Notes

MiraVista Welcomes New Bilingual Clinician

HOLYOKE — MiraVista Behavioral Health Center recently welcomed Harold Ayala, the organization’s newest bilingual clinician in its Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).

Ayala comes to MiraVista with many years of social-work experience, having previously worked with children and families, as well as provided mental-health support to active service members in the National Guard. He accepted the MiraVista position to continue his passion for supporting community members. He calls working in IOP “a rewarding experience” and feels well-supported by the outpatient services team.

MiraVista’s IOP provides adults with an opportunity to enhance the process of their individual recovery in a group setting.

“They learn from other people’s experiences, and they provide support for each other,” Ayala said. “They have a place in which they can clarify their ideas and receive valuable information that can help them to reach their own expectations.

“I found at an early age that I was good at helping others, hearing others,” he added. “I believe my motivation to do this was grounded in an understanding that, in helping others, we are creating a better society, and in helping ourselves, we become better individuals.”

Motivation is a key component of the IOP, in which participants share their personal stories and receive additional educational and therapeutic support. While relapse is not uncommon with substance use, studies have shown IOPs to be of benefit because of the increased support offered weekly to participants as they live out their lives in their community. MiraVista’s IOP sessions follow a four-week curriculum and are being expanded to include evening hours and sessions in Spanish. Transportation to and from the daytime IOP is available at no cost.