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County Spotlight - Del Norte


Facts about Del Norte County

The Service Center

The Service Center provides a therapeutic and rehabilitative atmosphere for Seriously Mentally Ill adults. The primary delivery of services follows a group model with some flexibility for individual processing and symptom reduction. The clients create a mutually supportive community and use the Center and the many skills groups as a way of working through issues. This also helps to develop social skills. MHSA-MHB had several FSP participants meet their goals of finding affordable permanent housing, employment, and continuing education. The Consumer Council (formerly the Client Council) continues to meet on an “as needed basis” and decided to have one regular participant of the consumer council join the Local Mental Health Board as a consumer member.

The Center continues to offer individual and group counseling services. Established consumers were able to attend a variety of daily group activities including Community Awareness, Social Skills, Men and Women’s Bipolar support, Stress Management, Life Management, Women’s Depression, and Emotional Regulation. A budgeting group was initiated and included a trip to Eureka. Community Workers were utilized in leading peer facilitated support groups. The Nutrition and Independent Living Skills Group was revised, focusing on activities of daily living, nutrition education and training, as well as budgeting for health. The "Acting on Emotions Group", was started to help consumers identify their emotions and The “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder group” was started for women suffering from this condition. The "Emotional Regulation Groups," one for men and two for women (one consumer facilitated) help consumers recognize their emotional responses in daily living and improve inter-personal communication. This group utilizes both Dialectic Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is able to be added as the result of the additional hiring of an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW) to staff.

The “Problem Solving Group” was added allowing groups leaders to teach consumers basic problem solving skills. The Service Center provided consumers with a safe environment to learn daily living, social skills, as well as integrating peer support and stabilization. The Consumer Council provided regular feedback and guidance to the professional staff for the purpose of improving services. The feedback is reviewed at the weekly Supervisors meetings.

The Bridge Team

The Bridge team continues to serve as a gap between traditional mental health services and the Rehabilitative Model which included identifying and supporting the needs of the consumer and community. It provides short term counseling and linkage to appropriate community based services, which is designed to reduce the need for crisis intervention services. The Bridge Team collaborates with family members, other consumer supports and resources to create a “safety net’ to improve consumer outcomes. We utilize family and local community support in lieu of out-of-the-area hospitalization, keeping them close to their home and family members.

The Service Center, working with the Bridge Team, is instrumental in consumer success in thriving independently in the community. Staff are easily accessible, able to closely monitor consumer needs, and are available for immediate response should a crisis situation arise. FSP funding helps participants meet their goals of working on their Mental Health and staying in the community. Through the extra support they are able to find affordable permanent housing, employment, and establish ongoing medical and medication support. These services were supported by the use of two additional Community Workers (Peer Professionals) as this program continues to expand.

The ARCH Team

The Arch Team continues its Collaboration with local medical providers and referring appropriate consumers to the care of their Primary Care Providers. We monitored Continuity and Coordination of Care with Physical Healthcare and other Human Service Agencies through a Non Clinical PIP. The ARCH team expanded the use of Community Workers – in monitoring clients on the weekends with the promotion of independence and stabilization of consumers. We continued to utilize Full Service Partnerships (FSP) to “do whatever it takes” to help consumers maintain independence in varying degrees within the community. The ARCH Team successfully collaborates with mental health professionals at Institutes for Mental Disorders (IMDs) to bring long-term residents back to the community through the FSP program and the support of the Adult Service Center.

The ARCH team works with these consumers, providing stable housing and intensive supports. We support consumers in obtaining and maintaining independent living skills. Based on individual need, we work with consumers to learn and practice skills such as personal hygiene, maintaining a clean and safe living environment, shopping, cooking skills, managing their medications, finances, and keeping medical appointments. They also learn to locate and utilize resources within the community, and work on improving interpersonal skills so they can establish and maintain an appropriate support systems consisting of peers/family. The ARCH team also filled an additional Community Worker (Peer Professional) position.

Coastal Connections

Coastal Connections targets the TAY population between the ages of 16 and 25 years old who are at risk for mental illness. Coastal Connections in house Resources include, Art Class, Basic Life Skills, Independent Living Skills Program, Substance Abuse Groups, Baby Steps, Expanding Youth Horizons, American Indian Life Skills, Wraparound, Youth Advocates, and Domestic Violence Prevention. Coastal Connection also provides links to outside community resources including, Independent Living programs, Cal Learn, MHSA TAY, and Foster Care ILP. CC implemented trainings to provide the TAY Council and Collaborative with Leadership and development, Proposal writing, Event planning and production, Media production, Music production, and Community organizing. A Website has been developed, launched and, maintained and the TAY Council also launched and administered a social networking site utilizing a Facebook page.