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Four Rivers Behavioral Health’s Creative Enterprises celebrates 35th anniversary with fall festival and picnic for clients and their families

PADUCAH, KY –Four Rivers Behavioral Health’s Creative Enterprises will celebrate the program’s 35th anniversary this Friday with a fall festival and picnic for program participants and their families.

The family-focused event will be held at St. John’s Knights of Columbus Hall and will include games, a picnic lunch of barbecue and hot dogs, along with a hayride and more.

Creative Enterprises is a day training program for those diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability.

“Creative Enterprises is such a huge part of what we do at Four Rivers. We really wanted to recognize that and celebrate the anniversary with clients and their families.” Said Terry Hudspeth, ceo of Four Rivers Behavioral Health.

In 1983, Four Rivers Behavioral Health recognized a need to provide life skills training for those with an intellectual or developmental disability such as Down Syndrome. In response, the organization launched the Creative Enterprises Program. At the time, there were only a handful of programs in the region that addressed developmental disabilities and there was such a demand, that Four Rivers Behavioral Health surmised this special population could support an additional option.

Creative Enterprises works to provide job training and daily living skills, along with recreational activities, for adults with a developmental disability. The ultimate goal for those participating in the day training program is to become independent and self-sufficient in daily life and the community.

The program operates weekdays and includes lunch. Throughout the day, participants learn essential skills such as cooking, cleaning and how to shop for food and clothing. In addition, several times a month, the group participates in recreational and learning activities, like going to the movies or visiting the National Quilt Museum.


The Creative Enterprises program serves a total of nearly 100 participants in two locations. One program is housed at Four Rivers Behavioral Health’s facility in downtown Paducah and the other is at Four Rivers Behavioral Health’s William H. Fuller Memorial Center in Mayfield.

Many participants are able to live on their own or in a group home setting, as opposed to being in a managed-care facility, because of the Creative Enterprises program.

Sharon Jones, vice-president of community based services at Four Rivers Behavioral Health said, “It wasn’t that long ago that the standard treatment for people with a severe mental illness was to put them in an institution. That started to change with President Kennedy’s Mental Health Act of 1963.”

Those living with a developmental disability or severe mental illness – along with their families – struggled for years to find help that didn’t involve institutionalization. Programs like Creative Enterprises, coupled with Community Mental Health Agencies like Four Rivers Behavioral Health, turned the tide of institutionalization and created programs to teach the skills necessary for people to support themselves and live on their own in the community.

Because Creative Enterprises is part of Four Rivers Behavioral Health, participants can avail themselves of a myriad of services specifically designed for them. These include regular therapy, medication, case management, supported employment and more.

All of these services are in place to ensure that “being institutionalized” remains part of the past.


Four Rivers Behavioral Health is a private, not-for-profit agency that for more than 50 years has provided comprehensive mental health, substance abuse and developmental/intellectual disability services to clients in Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, McCracken, and Marshall Counties.

For more information about services available for those with an intellectual or developmental disability, like our Creative Enterprises Day Training Program, contact Four Rivers Behavioral Health at 270.442.7121 or visit the company’s website at

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