Services for adults with severe and persistent mental illness are based on evidence that major mental illness are brain diseases, which result in chronic illness. Symptoms are often life long, causing impairment in the persons’ thought process and their ability to function in expected daily life activities, including employment, independent living and interpersonal relationships. Eligibility require- ments include a diagnosis of serious mental illness accompanied by poor social and occupational functioning and a history of or expectation of persistence of the illness over time. With appropriate treatment, rehabilitation and support, individuals can live successful lives in the community.

Case Management services are an integral part of all ARS services. These services include:

  • Monitoring of symptoms and coordination of psychiatric and medical care.
  • Linking to community resources (e.g., Social Security, Food Stamps, Housing).
  • Addressing activities of daily living (e.g., hygiene, grocery shopping, financial management, assistance with transportation, daily structure).
  • Assisting with medication compliance.
  • Coordination with other services (e.g., Court, Probation and Parole, Community Corrections Department, Department of Social Services).

 

The service components of the ARS programs include:

CASE MANAGEMENT & ASSESSMENT
This unit assesses all consumers entering ARS services and often provides immediate crisis intervention. The staff carry large caseloads of consumers (60:1) who show relative stability of their illness or are felt to be able to achieve stability in a short period of time. Services provided may include: assessing needs, supportive counseling, education to the consumer and family, monitoring symptoms and medication compliance, assisting with obtaining entitlements, outreach, nursing services, and planning with state and local hospitals for inpatient treatment and discharge.

 

DUAL DIAGNOSIS
Dual Diagnosis services include outreach and treatment (individual and group) services to adults with a long-term mental illness and a co-existing substance abuse disorder or problem. Consumers often abuse substances in an attempt to self medicate their symptoms, but in reality they exacerbate their symptoms and decrease medication effectiveness. Educational and treatment groups are provided.

 

PSYCHOSOCIAL REHABILITATION
Lakeside House provides day support and employment related services to consumers. The program involves members in all aspects of the program and its work-ordered day. Individuals who desire to work may participate in supportive or independent employment programs, which include job coaching and placement. Psychiatric rehabilitation services are designed to assist consumers to manage their illness effectively and to compensate for functional deficits associated with the illness.

Program hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with social programs on Saturday.

 

ASSERTIVE COMMUNITY TREATMENT
This is a service delivery model intended to decrease the time persons with severe and persistent mental illness spend in hospitals and to facilitate community living. The team provides intensive case management, rehabilitation and support services, in addition to education about illness and medication, coordination of medical and psychiatric services, assistance with daily and com- munity living skills, and social and recreational support in an integ- rated team approach.

The ratio of consumers served to team staff is no greater than 10:1. Staff are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

The principles that underlie the model are:

  • A multi-disciplinary team approach where different work together in a team format.
  • A very mobile approach where consumers are served in their homes and communities.
  • A heavy emphasis on the medical/psychiatric aspect of care.
  • An ability to have frequent contact with consumers based on their needs, including responding to crises.
  • A strong employment or employment preparation emphasis.
  • Continuity of Care.
  • Intensive outreach even if the person with mental illness is resistant to treatment.

RESIDENTIAL SERVICES
Currently, there are two group homes which provide a structured home environment with a focus on independent living. The home has a live-in staff member who provides intensive support, training, monitoring of symptoms and medications.

 

SUPPORT SERVICES
This program offers a wide variety of services, all of which are provided in the home and community. The services address three areas of need:

  • medication management;
  • monitoring health, nutrition, and physical conditions; and
  • functional skills in health and safety, activities of daily living, and use of community resources.

Training and support are provided in all of the areas listed.