The Brief Care Program is an open, 15- bed, subacute residential program. It is a voluntary program for clients who are in need of stabilization but who don’t meet the criteria for a psychiatric hospitalization. A Brief Care admission may also be used as a step down transition following an inpatient stay. The program offers a full treatment team including an APRN, nurses, social workers, and mental health workers. Staff is on site 24 hours a day and hold weekly treatment team meetings to discuss progress, barriers, and discharge planning. Community support staff and family are encouraged to participate in the weekly meetings for continuity. Clients are often linked to programs during their stay to provide continued support upon discharge. Referrals for the Brief Care Program should be faxed to (860) 859-4787.
The Mobile Outreach Team provides a wide range of crisis services: 24-hour crisis assessment and intervention services for people experiencing mental health and/or substance abuse challenges; hospital and crisis bed screening; referrals for temporary respite; support phone calls and visits; brief crisis counseling; and referrals to appropriate inpatient and outpatient services in the community. The Mobile Outreach Team is able to respond in the community from 8:00am to midnight daily to assist individuals, families, and community agencies when an individual is experiencing a psychiatric and/or substance abuse crisis.
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) provides training to the police in the best practices for responding to calls involving people with mental illness. CIT training has resulted in fewer injuries to officers and the people in crisis, reduced use of force by the police, fewer involuntary commitments, and reduced officers’ time off patrol. Along with training, SMHA social workers accompany local police from six police departments, including Norwich, New London, and Troop E State Troopers. They assist officers to de-escalate conflicts and crises involving people with mental illness, and provide follow up to ensure people have access to needed services. This program has been a success for several years in the Norwich/New London area, benefiting both the community and the individuals in crisis.
OPtions is an outpatient program for adults 18 years and older with behavioral health needs. A multidisciplinary team provides individual and group therapy, as well as psychiatric evaluations and medication management. Trauma informed care is at the foundation of our services, and a talented clinical staff offers a wide range of treatment options for recovery such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Dialectical and Behavior Therapy (DBT).
COMMUNITY CLINICAL AND SUPPORT SERVICES
The ACT Team is a multidisciplinary clinical team that delivers comprehensive services to clients who are diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness and whose needs have not been met by more traditional service delivery approaches. Individuals served by the ACT team have often experienced frequent psychiatric hospitalization and use of hospital emergency rooms, involvement with the criminal justice system, substance abuse, and lack of engagement with traditional outpatient services. By basing treatment in the community the team can better assist the client with challenges they face. The team provides community support services interwoven with treatment and rehabilitative services and regularly scheduled team meetings with the goal of individualizing client care.
The Wellness Recovery Advocacy Program (WRAP) is a recovery-oriented, multi-disciplinary Community Support Program (CSP) with a team consisting of a prescriber, nurses, social workers, and rehabilitative staff. The program provides intensive, rehabilitative community support, crisis intervention, individual/group psycho-education, peer support, medication management, linkages to other community-based providers/services, coordination of services/care, and individualized skill building in activities of daily living in order to maximize each individual’s level of independence and functioning. The majority of services are provided to clients in the community and are personalized to meet the clients’ expressed needs/preferences
YOUNG ADULT SERVICES
Young Adult Services (YAS) is designed to help young adults (ages 18 to 25) transition successfully from the Department of Children and Families to the adult mental health system and to achieve the necessary skills for adulthood. In addition, young adults who have been deemed eligible for intensive mental health services through DMHAS may also qualify. The YAS Program is multi-disciplinary in nature and consists of a prescriber, social workers, nurses, case managers, occupational therapy staff, rehabilitative/recreational therapy staff, and vocational staff. YAS provides a wide array of services including, but not limited to, individual/family/group therapy, case management, life skills development, vocational/educational supports, medication monitoring, community integration, coordination of medical/dental care, and assistance with housing. In addition, we have residential supports/programs in place through our network providers for young adults who are actively engaged in treatment and determined to be in need of this level of placement.
The Forensic Services Team provides conditional release supervision for clients who are under the Psychiatric Security Review Board. Staff provides case management and monitoring to acquittees with a Conditional Release Plan that is designed to meet the client’s specific needs. This team also conducts a Jail Diversion Program designed to meet the needs of persons with a psychiatric disability who are involved in the judicial system. The Diversion and Trauma Recovery Program for Veterans operates under a Federal Grant to support local and statewide expansion of jail diversion programs in order to divert veterans with trauma-related disorders from the criminal justice system to trauma-integrated treatment and recovery services. The CT Offender Re-entry Program (CORP) serves offenders with a mental illness returning to the Norwich/New London area after extended incarceration. Emphasis is on skill development, case management, and linkage to housing and community services.
The SMHA Network Housing Office was established in November of 1995 as a collaborative effort between three community agencies dedicated to providing quality housing services. Its mission is to assist persons who are in recovery from mental health and/or substance use disorders by providing housing opportunities and resources. Available Housing Services:
DMHAS Emergency Housing Assistance Funds (EHAF)
A DMHAS funded temporary housing program providing Rapid Rehousing Rental Assistance (1-3 months) or in special circumstances (determined on a case to case basis), up to six months of temporary housing assistance. All referrals must come through the Coordinated Access Network (CAN) process. Eligible persons must be homeless (priority is given to chronically homeless individuals and families) and DMHAS target population. Approval or denial of EHAF applications may also be based on available funding.
Housing Developer Funds
A DMHAS funded program that assists with homeless/shelter diversion by providing temporary rental assistance, utility assistance, damages, moving expenses and other housing related expenses. Eligible referrals come through the CAN process and must be DMHAS target population. Approval or denial of applications may also be based on available funding.
DMHAS Continuum of Care (CoC) Permanent Supportive Housing Rental Assistance Programs/Pilots
HUD funded rental assistance programs that provide permanent supportive housing and supportive services to chronically homeless individuals/families who are disabled and require supportive housing. All referrals must come through the CAN process.
Other Services Include:
- Assistance in identifying and securing housing
- Community education on consumer rights, and advocates for equal opportunity for housing resources
- Acting as a liaison between tenants, landlords and other service providers
- Acting as a resource to consumers and service providers on housing related issues
HOUSING OFFICE CONTACT INFORMATION
Housing office hours of operation are Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm. For questions and referral information contact:
- Erik Clevenger, Team Leader 860-859-4647
Housing Coordinator, SMHA
- David Pascua, Housing Director 860-859-4755
Reliance Health, Inc.
SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES
Supported Employment Services are available to clients served by SMHA. For those clients enrolled on the Young Adult Services (YAS) Program, these employment services are provided directly by the vocational staff assigned to the team. For clients receiving services from programs other than YAS, referrals are made to the area network providers who have established vocational programs in place. SMHA and our affiliates follow Individual Placement and Support (IPS), an evidenced-based employment model, in order to maximize employment outcomes for the clients we serve. If a client’s employment efforts have been unsuccessful despite vocational supports, a referral to the Department of Rehabilitative Services (formerly known as the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services – BRS) for more intensive services can be explored/made. For more information, contact Janet Mundle, Supported Employment Coordinator at (860) 859-4506 or Janet.Mundle@ct.gov.
Person-centered planning, at its core, is about recognizing that people with mental illnesses generally want the exact same things in life as ALL people. People want to thrive, not just survive. Person-centered planning is a collaborative process resulting in a recovery oriented treatment plan. It is directed by consumers and produced in partnership with care providers and natural supporters and supports consumer preferences and a recovery orientation. The primary focus of recovery planning is on what services the person desires and needs in order to establish and maintain a healthy and safe life in the community.
Trauma Informed Care
SMHA is committed to providing trauma informed care for all who are engaged in our person centered system of care. This means that regardless of the service that is provided – housing supports, employment services, for example – these services are provided in a manner that is welcoming and appropriate to the special needs of trauma survivors.
In trauma informed care, people are looked upon as a whole individual and are appreciated within the context in which they are living their life. Rather that looking at a person from a diagnostic/symptom-only perspective, there comes a different approach in attempting to understand the person. The goal is to return a sense of control and autonomy to the consumer-survivor. This is done by all staff, from maintenance to administrative staff, by adhering to 5 principles: Safety, Trustworthiness, Choice, Collaboration and Empowerment.
The SMHA Faith Initiative, spirituality, and recovery recognize the importance of interconnectedness between persons and the essential elements of hope and possibility. Recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit and community. The Southeastern Mental Health Authority strives to provide holistic care and support services to the individuals whom it serves. The Faith Initiative is involved in enhancing spiritual and cultural training and education for staff and offering consultative and training opportunities for area faith leaders with respect to mental illness and addiction recovery. Being sensitive and responsive to both the strengths and needs that individuals may have in relation to their own beliefs and spiritual journeys of healing and recovery, is essential to person-centered care. By partnering together with communities of worship and faith leaders from all traditions, as well as with community pastoral care resources, SMHA seeks to enhance the avenues for offering professionally competent spiritual care when needed and to ensure a holistic approach to recovery services.
SMHA has created and utilizes data Dashboards for each of its clinical programs. These dashboards offer a monthly up to date “snapshot” view of statistical information such as number of Admissions and Discharges per month, number of Clients Served per Month, Employment data, Hospitalizations, Homelessness, Revenue Generation, Client Demographic/Ethnicity data, Community Integration Activities, and Productivity regarding hours spent in direct service to clients.
Community Support Program (CSP) and Recovery Pathways (RP)
Services implemented through the Community Support Program/Recovery Pathways will be available to DMHAS clients with psychiatric or co-occurring psychiatric and addiction disorders who demonstrate a need for these services. All services delivered must build upon and complement DMHAS’ focus on developing a recovery-oriented system of care that is responsive to the needs of persons served and shall be strength-based, recovery-oriented, and driven by the individual receiving services.
Community Support Program (CSP) consists of mental health and substance abuse rehabilitation services and supports necessary to assist individuals in achieving and maintaining the highest degree of independent functioning. The service utilizes a team approach to provide intensive, rehabilitative community support, crisis intervention, group and individual psycho education, and skill building for activities of daily living and self management. Case managers are moving from the traditional role of “doing things on behalf of the individual” to “teaching and coaching an individual to do things on their own.”
Recovery Pathways (RP) is a level of recovery support services intended for individuals who need minimum levels of routine or intermittent support. The function of this level of care is to assist individuals in cultivating greater self management and problem solving skills, resolution of problematic situations, skill building towards improved self sufficiency and improving affiliations with social and community supports and assets toward self defined recovery goals.
“Around the Community” Initiative
The recommendations for community integration recognize that there are many challenges to building broader opportunities for integrated social participation for those with serious mental illnesses, i.e., basic transportation, stigma, motivation, but that normalizing social interactions is a vital step in the process of recovery. In order to move forward in this area, SMHA has implemented a community integration initiative called “Around the Community.” Each week community events and volunteer opportunities, taken from local newspaper listings, are compiled and forwarded to all SMHA programs. Program staff encourage and assist clients with attending and participating in these community events. SMHA’s goal is to expand on the numbers of people who take the chance of going beyond their comfort level by venturing into new territory, such as one of the many community events offered weekly in the
In order to more effectively communicate with families about trainings, program services, new initiatives, etc., SMHA is collecting e-mail addresses from family members and caregivers. Any family member wishing to have their name and e-mail address added to the E-Family Program list should contact Cindy McGrath at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deaf/Deaf-Blind/Hard of Hearing Services
SMHA provides culturally and linguistically accessible behavioral health treatment for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Staff can assist individuals to access sign language interpreters for treatment related services. Treatment includes but is not limited to individual and group psychotherapy, prescribing services, case management, care coordination, health education & promotion, and psychosocial programming.
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