Our History & Philosophy

Our Director, Candace Beardsley, LICSW, founded Spruce Mountain Inn in 1982  in response to a perceived gap in services available to young adults struggling with mental health issues.  Located in the former President’s House of Goddard College, Spruce programming has evolved over the years in houseresponse to the changing mental health and substance abuse treatment field without losing the small, home-like feel that we believe is especially conducive to growth and healing. The cornerstones of the program have never changed in over 35 years of operation, and we have helped hundreds of young men and women make the transition to a healthier, more stable and bright future.

Our treatment philosophy centers around the notion that a “whole picture” approach will be more effective than treating mental health diagnoses and symptoms in a vacuum. To this end, we have carefully crafted our program model around four key components, which we refer to as our “Four ‘Cs’” :


  • Comprehensive: Our holistic treatment approach integrates emotional wellness, career and educational development, and skills for transitioning to independence  under one roof with the help of a dedicated treatment team.
  • Case Management: Inter-disciplinary teams are coordinated by a dedicated Master’s-level clinical case manager who partners with residents in goal setting and tracking progress and serves as the main point of contact for families and collateral service providers.
  • Continuous: Residents are served by dedicated multi-disciplinary treatment teams that include our psychiatrist, the Clinical Case Manager, a therapist, a residential support worker, our Career & Education Development Coordinator, and our Addictions Counselor, if needed. This team will follow the resident over time as they “step down” to greater independence, less structured living situations, and increased responsibilities throughout our programming continuum.
  • Community-Based: Our small size allows us to cultivate an intimate support community that enhances the efficacy of our treatment model and allows residents to build and benefit from peer relationships. Additionally, residents are supported as they engage in “real world” activities outside of Spruce, including school, volunteerism, work, recreation, and community recovery supports. Community integration allows them to build skills and practice what it is like to maintain their mental health while living a “regular” life in the community.