Garrett Johnson joins Psynergy as Administrator for Nueva Vista in Morgan Hill
January 24, 2020 - Psynergy Programs has hired career residential behavioral health specialist Garrett Johnson, MHRS to fill the Administrator role at its flagship Nueva Vista property in Morgan Hill. His resume details 19 years in the field, most recently as Program Manager at Momentum for Mental Health’s Litteral House Crisis Residential facility. His role there included acting as primary liaison for managing the relationship and communications between the program and its contractors, including Medi-Cal and Kaiser. He was also responsible for executing the agency’s strategic plan and corporate goals at the program level. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, Johnson has also worked as Team Leader at Day Rehabilitation Service and as Administrator/Manager at Front St. Inc.
“Garrett Johnson has impeccable credentials in our field, and a wealth of compassionate experience managing people with serious mental illness,” says founding partner Jean Edwards. “He was actively recruited by one of our staff who had worked with him previously because we saw him as a good fit for Psynergy’s values and treatment philosophy. He is off to a great start here in Morgan Hill.”
Johnson says he will facilitate further developing Nueva Vista’s group services related to dual recovery and co-occurring disorders.
“We will be incorporating more Harm Reduction-based support to address substance use disorders, and creating groups to help people identify where they are in their own stage of recovery,” says Johnson. “This is critical in helping them identify their own individual and internal motivation to change. We are combining common practices with newer trends in treatment such as WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan)-based recovery and harm reduction-based treatment. We are seeking to increase the role of peers and consumers in the program, which is another way of saying we will be continuing and reinforcing the goals and practices of a therapeutic community.”
Johnson says that Nueva Vista, the first property developed by Psynergy Programs in 2004, created a new standard for board and care facilities in California.
“There is still a housing crisis for the mentally disabled in California. It’s not only that there are not enough facilities like Nueva Vista. There is also no place for people to graduate to when they are ready to ‘step down’ from Nueva Vista. Psynergy is working to address both of those problems with its growing group of board and care facilities and Supportive Housing Programs, each of which is positioned to serve specific needs,” Johnson said.
Johnson was clear about why he is choosing to continue his career as part of the Psynergy team.
“For me, what sets Psynergy apart is the high quality of board and care services that they provide,” says Johnson. “Their facilities are beautiful and extremely clean, and the food and meal service is restaurant quality. Psynergy provides an environment on par with hotels and resorts, which in the past, was unheard of in residential services for mentally disabled adults.”
When describing his own goals as Nueva Vista’s Administrator, Johnson was both compassionate and positive.
“We want both the public and the county agencies we serve to know that we can provide a higher quality of care than they knew was available, and that their folks are getting the most current treatment available,” Johnson continued. “Our goal for each of our residents is for them not to need us. For some folks, that is a realistic goal, and for others, not so much. But in each case, our overarching mission is to help them connect with community resources and transition to a higher level of independence. We work to instill hope and convince them that life can be better. We teach people how to envision a future and go for what they want their life to be.”
In addition to his professional credentials, Johnson speaks conversational Spanish and has seven years of coaching experience as a Provost-level saber fencing instructor and a USAA level II archery instructor, which he credits with informing and assisting his career in mental health. He and his wife Carina enjoy the outdoors, and hiking in California’s Bay area.