DMHAS: CMHC-Social Integration

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The Connecticut Mental Health Center

Social Integration Services

Social Integration Services comprise a range of psychiatric rehabilitation and peer support/consumer-run programs developed in collaboration with community agencies and institutions to foster the recovery and community re-integration of patients of the CMHC. The major programs are: 1) Jump Start Program; 2) Supported Socialization; 3) Welcome Basket Program, and; 4) Peer Support Groups. These are described below.

1. Jump Start Program: assists patients in achieving their educational, vocational, and social aspirations by directing them to supported education, supported employment, and social rehabilitation programs and other community resources. The program also will provide advice on how employment affects Social Security entitlements, how to obtain additional resources (e.g., utilities, clothing), and will post and maintain bulletin boards and literature cases throughout the CMHC which will provide information about low cost social, enrichment, and recreational activities in the New Haven area. The easily accessible literature cases will inform patients and their families about various mental illnesses, addictions, and steps toward recovery and community integration.

2. Supported Socialization Program: assists individuals who are withdrawn, socially isolated, and/or afraid to leave their apartments to participate in social or recreational activities. Program staff at first work with patients on a one-on-one basis with each person in his or her home to identify the obstacles keeping them at home, and to come up with strategies for overcoming these obstacles. This leads to the person choosing community activities to take part in, again at first with staff. Finally, staff organize small group outings to community activities and events when patients feel ready to broaden their social networks.

3. Welcome Basket Program: provides community-based support to patients recently discharged from inpatient care who are considered at risk for future hospitalizations and to those who have recently been housed after being homeless. Now in its fifth year of operation, this program is a fully consumer-run service initially funded by a federal research demonstration grant. Welcome Basket operates on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays conducting both outreach to individuals, and organizing group activities, all of which are intended to assist patients in their transition to community living. This is done by connecting patients to peer-led activities such as peer support groups, the consumer- drop-in center, and social activities such as Welcome Basket's weekly outings to "fun spots" in the community for socialization and recreation. Welcome Basket staff also assist patients one-on-one in meeting a variety of personal needs experienced in settling into the community, e.g., transporting them to appointments, taking them grocery or clothes shopping, or helping them fix up their apartments.'

4. Peer Support Groups: sponsored jointly by the CMHC and Fellowship Place, there are currently 17 peer support groups meeting on a weekly basis on-site at CMHC, Fellowship Place, Yale Behavioral Health Services at Harnden, and other community locations. All groups are voluntary and free, and open to individuals with a range of difficulties. Some groups have specific foci, such as groups for people with depression and anxiety disorders, dual diagnoses (co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders), and trauma survivors. Each group is led by a trained and experienced facilitator who has a personal history of mental illness and/or substance abuse. This person provides a focus in the groups that emphasizes each member's contribution to the group, and members' greater involvement in their own treatment and recovery.

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Content Last Modified on 1/7/2013 8:42:25 AM