Links We Love: November

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  • To support families who are struggling with hunger this season, give back to your community by donating to your local food bank.
  • According to NAMI, 68% of people living with a mental illness report that the holidays make their conditions worse. To combat this, NAMI shares ways to manage the "Holiday Blues."
  • Children who are on the autism spectrum can experience everyday situations differently–one of which is processing sensory information. Due to the commotion that comes with public events, Autism Speaks is partnering with the Noerr Programs Corporation to host Sensory-Friendly Santa programs on November 20 and December 4, where extra care has been taken to support these sensory and developmental needs of children who are on the autism spectrum.

Celebrating Success

We have a lot to be thankful for this year. We grew our range of services, created new partnerships, and continued to help our members recover their hopes and dreams.

This month, our members took the time to reflect on the services they received, and how being at Telecare has helped them in their recovery. The videos below are some of the success stories that they have shared with us. We are inspired by their spirit and truly touched by their kind words. We hope you enjoy them too. 


Los Angeles Older Adults

The Los Angeles Older Adults (LAOA) Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) program was designed to assist underserved older adults 55 and over with various levels of behavioral health risk. The prevention component of the program promotes positive cognitive, social, and emotional development, and encourages a state of well-being. The early intervention component of the program aims at recognizing warning signs and addressing risk factors with the goal of avoiding the need for more extensive behavioral health treatment.

In the video below, we hear from Tom, a graduate of LAOA, who shares how learning the proper coping skills led to his renewed hope and take on life. 


Jay Mahler Recovery Center

The Jay Mahler Recovery Center is a voluntary, unlocked crisis residential unit that provides intensive mental health and psychiatric treatment services in a safe, welcoming environment.

Tatyana, shares what brought her to Jay Mahler and why it is so important to get help if you need it. 

San Diego County Recognizes Behavioral Health Court Program

This month, the DA NewsCenter in San Diego commended Telecare's Mental Health Collaborative Court program.

"Behavioral health court offers a win-win solution where the offender becomes an integrated member of society," said San Diego Chief Deputy District Attorney Summer Stephan. "It avoids further victimization of other members of our community and it solves the root issue."

San Diego Mental Health Collaborative Court was created to support incarcerated individuals to successfully reenter the community. Assessment begins while the individual is still in jail, and services start as soon as they are released. Individuals must commit to the full 18 months in order to participate in the program, regardless of how many months they have left to serve in jail.

One graduate, Michael Bradus, spoke about his time at the program.

"I was on the streets because I didn't want to live anymore. It was the caring people here that said I had some self-worth," Michael said. "Because of the program, I am two years clean now and I am dedicating my life to giving back to other people."

Michael is currently participating in a Department of Rehab program where he is studying to be a drug and alcohol counselor, and hopes to become a social worker. 

"I am very proud of the people that are graduating today that are in behavioral health who agree to take on this probation because it's a hard program to get through," said Superior Court Judge of San Diego County Polly Shamoon. "For a lot of these people, everything about them is monitored every day and they could easily quit and walk away and they don't and we have a lot of great success stories."

Keep Going on the Road to Recovery

Telecare’s CHANGES program in East Oakland, CA, offers co-occurring services to individuals who are diagnosed with mental health and substance use issues, and who are also frequent users of emergency psychiatric care. The staff there are supportive and patient—they understand that recovery is far from a neat process.

Jordan Boehler, Team Leader at CHANGES, has shared a story about Sasha, a member who is learning about the highs and lows of recovery, and, most importantly, to never give up.  


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Sasha and Jordan

Sasha and Jordan

Beginning the Journey

When Sasha moved to Alameda County from San Francisco two years ago to flee an eviction, she brought some of her roommates and all of her cats with her. She, like her roommates, struggled with daily heroin, alcohol, and cocaine use. Heroin allowed her to temporarily ignore the pain in her right hand, now completely numb from carpal tunnel syndrome. Alcohol drowned out the depression and the guilt for the choices she made that had landed her in this financially-strained, drug-filled situation again. Cocaine helped her focus on her job, and helped keep her awake. She used to be a nurse, working full-time in a hospital. She felt she had become nothing, with nothing to show for it.

Her roommates’ addictions, like her own, were sustained by part-time employment. Sasha was a home health aide and while she was in significant debt, she didn’t hold her roommates accountable for their financial obligations and never squeezed them for rent. Chaos became the status quo. People—some she knew, some she didn’t—coming and going 24 hours a day made the house seem more like a multi-service center than a residence. Nights were filled with anguish and no sleep, and turned into days with occasional violence and recuperation from the drug use the night before. On top of the guilt, shame, pain, and loneliness Sasha felt, her financial burden continued to pile up to the point where she felt that there was no way out. She wanted to kill herself again—she had tried three times before—and was quickly running out of options. It was at this point when the Oakland Community Support Center referred Sasha to CHANGES.

After completing an intake on the Intensive Case Management (ICM) team, Sasha was connected with a staff therapist to address her depression and suicidal ideation. She consistently met with both her therapist and her case manager every week. She and her therapist developed a strong therapeutic rapport and would go on walks together or to get coffee at Philz. She engaged actively in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) exercises to stop and evaluate the negative automatic thoughts, mindfulness activities to ground herself in times of emotional distress, and Recovery-Centered Clinical System exercises to address individual problems as they came up.

Slowly, as Sasha practiced these techniques, she began to apply them without external prompting or conscious effort—replacing the unhealthy habits of her past. Her mood improved and she acknowledged that while her suicidal thoughts remained, they were less distressing. Over a period of months, Sasha grew more confident in her ability to make decisions that she wouldn’t be ashamed of afterwards: she didn’t take in an old friend that she knew she couldn’t care for, she began asking for rent, and she continued to check in weekly with her CHANGES case manager. She began to put her own wellness first over the dependent needs of her roommates and she began to set boundaries with them.

Additionally, Sasha attended orientation at Sparkpoint at Eastmont Mall for debt management and financial assistance. She connected with a personal care provider at PATH Lifelong Medical Center and finally got surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome in her right wrist. She signed up at the methadone clinic with a roommate and attended daily. Things seemed to be looking up, and for a month or two all was well. This was her first time off of IV-heroin in more than 10 years.

Pushing Through Relapse

These changes, however, were hard to maintain. Due to the absence of heroin and the presence of ongoing stress, Sasha’s cocaine and alcohol use both increased. Dealing with the debt and the consistent interpersonal issues with her roommates was taking its toll and she felt she was again without anywhere to turn. While she continued to attend the methadone clinic each morning with one of her roommates, her appointment attendance both at Sparkpoint and at CHANGES declined significantly. She didn’t return calls. Her debt increased. She grew angrier with herself, guiltier, and more fed up with her roommates. Finally, when she had to put down one of her cats because she couldn’t afford the veterinary care, she called her therapist at CHANGES and reconnected. She was lost, felt guilty and suicidal, and needed help.

Recently, she participated in the Clinics on Demand Tele Detox pilot at CHANGES to detox from her daily alcohol use. After seven days of healthy, successful, in-home detox, she is no longer drinking and has been tapering off her daily cocaine use with the help of the CHANGES psychiatrist and Strattera, a non-stimulant based medication designed to help her focus. She no longer reports any suicidal thoughts, and has been successfully navigating her interpersonal relationships with healthy boundaries. She is increasing her hours as a home health aide, and her sights are currently set on restoring her license to practice as a nurse. While she knows she still has a long way to go, she is proud of how far she has come with the help of CHANGES.

This is what recovery looks like.

A Family's Thanks to the Sonoma ACT Team

Sonoma ACT Team

Sonoma ACT Team

Approximately 33% of the homeless population in America are individuals living with serious mental illness.

Stable housing is critical not only because it provides a roof over members' heads, but also because it offers members new ways to gain independence and learn important life skills.

Telecare's Sonoma ACT Team has been providing mental health services in Sonoma County for 10 years—and for the past three years, has been running an innovative housing project with HUD and Sonoma Housing Authority. 

What makes this housing project special?

The four-plex apartment building offers affordable housing to eight ACT members.  

“This has been a great model for making a real difference in our members' recovery,” said Alice Jean "AJ" Rylaarsdam, Administrator. “Members often say it's the best housing they've ever had—it really is this community of recovery and support for each other.”

“By providing a stable, supported living situation with other ACT members, our members have created a community of kindness, friendship and mutual support in all aspects of recovery and daily living,” AJ said. “We're very proud of our program here at Sonoma ACT.”

Another cooperative housing project will be opening soon. This will be in coordination with a behavioral health program which will run a 12-bed board and care. All 12 residents will be men transitioning from out of county locked facilities, back into the community and will become members of the ACT program to support their success.

The ACT team recently received the following accolade from the family of one of its members.


Dear Board Members and County Administrators:

The Ernst family wishes to express its deepest appreciation to Telecare Santa Rosa, for the excellent care they have provided our family member, Ben, the past three years. We fully realize Ben has been a taxing client for more than 30 years, and his care has involved many of the county's best efforts to assist him while he went from relapse to relapse.

I am not wise enough to fully understand why his placement with Telecare proved to be the successful one, but I can personally testify that he felt he was a partner in planning a better future for himself during his intake interview when Alice Jean "AJ" Rylaarsdam, Program Administrator, kindly asked him how the program might help him in his recovery. From there, he was placed in a newly remodeled duplex, with a very compatible roommate, and was able to have his medications delivered to him. Ben knew he had 24-hour access to staff and fully agreed to follow the program's client-centered rules.

This Recovery-Centered Clinical System (RCCS) works for our son. He still battles with his delusions, but has made full use of the psychological counselling offered by Telecare. For the last year, Ben has been volunteering at the food pantry adjoining  his church and has a perfect record in showing up on time every week. He has profited much from this work and is proud to give back to the county that has given him so much. 

Ben frequently expresses the wish that his friends who are still living in board and care situations could find placement with Telecare. He is certain their lives would be improved by the high quality staff and encouraging program offerings. It is our hope that that greater numbers can be accepted in the future. Meanwhile, we thank God and the Sonoma County Behavioral Health Administrators operating under the leadership of Mike Kennedy for continuing to fund this amazing program.

Nursing Employment Opportunities

Thurston and Mason Counties, WA 

The Telecare Thurston Mason Crisis Triage program is a secure, 10-bed evaluation and treatment center serving the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Telecare provides recovery-centered crisis treatment, including initial screening and assessment, onsite medical screening, stabilization services, medication management, and linkages to ongoing treatment services. The customer is currently Thurston Mason Behavioral Health Organization, which covers both counties.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
The Acute LPN provides services related to the safe and appropriate administration of medication as prescribed by the physician. The Acute LPN provides documentation to the treatment team of response to treatment and notifies all parties of clinical changes of condition, provides direct client support, and coordinates services to assigned clients using psychiatric rehabilitation principles and Telecare's recovery philosophy.

Registered Nurse Supervisor (RNS)
The Acute RNS supervises and performs activities that are carried out by professional and paraprofessional nursing personnel using psychiatric rehabilitation concepts and Telecare's recovery philosophy. The
RNS is in charge of coordinating care provided on each shift and focuses on maintaining the highest quality possible
of services rendered.

Getting the Chance to Give Back to the Community

For many members in sub-acute facilities who are transitioning from state hospitals, reintegrating into the community can
be a daunting task. The Recovery Center at Woodburn (RCW) in Oregon offers its members the opportunity to empower themselves through activities like volunteering in their local community.

Sarah Lahey, a Rehab Therapist at RCW, has shared a story about the recent recovery success of RCW member, Alan, below.

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(L-R) WOODBURN VOLUNTEERS CHRIS R., ALAN S., OLIVER P., WITH FOOD BANK SUPERVISOR WILBUR

(L-R) WOODBURN VOLUNTEERS CHRIS R., ALAN S., OLIVER P., WITH FOOD BANK SUPERVISOR WILBUR

It began last spring when one of our residents, Alan, came to me with a confession that he’d been keeping to himself for a while. Initially, Alan shared that he had been wanting to do something outside of the Telecare walls, something to help people, to give back in some way, or perhaps find something that could give his own life more meaning. We discussed the idea of volunteering and Alan really got excited when I mentioned volunteering at a local food bank. Almost in the same moment, however, Alan's hopefulness seemed to fade; something else was bothering him.

Sarah Lahey, Rehab Therapist

Sarah Lahey, Rehab Therapist

After a little encouragement, Alan confessed that he was terrified of putting himself out there. "What if people want to know things about me?" he asked. "What if they ask me questions about myself that I don’t want to answer? What if people find out about the things I have done? What if they judge me?" Alan confided this was not something he wanted to face, and in fact, has strategically avoided every day since being released from the state hospital. I had to confess too that I couldn’t protect him from what we did not know. However, I did promise that I would do everything in my power to help him find a place to volunteer where he would feel safe and respected. 

Amazingly, the next day, Alan and I walked into the local food bank in Woodburn, where we met Wilbur, the Supervisor for the Woodburn Food Dispensary. Right away Wilbur made a connection with Alan. He had good eye contact, a non-threatening demeanor, and made a few silly jokes, just enough to remind us he’s fallible. He said he desperately needed volunteers and asked when Alan could start. Even better than that: he required no resume!

Almost eight months later, Alan is now working three days a week, is recognized as a leader on the floor, and is often asked to be in charge of locking up at the end of the day. Along with two other residents, Oliver. and Chris, these individuals have developed a strong reputation for their willingness to do what it takes to keep our local food bank running.

When I asked Alan what he does at the food bank, he responded, "Whatever I can do. I unload trucks, I sort and shelve food, I wash floors, I help customers, and I help my co-workers. Basically I'm there to help with anything, and anything they want me to do, I’ll do." I asked him if he still feels afraid of people, or if anyone has ever asked about his life. He said, "No one cares because we’re too busy! I still feel vulnerable, but I'm conquering my fears by keeping focused on my job. I work with all kinds of people–parolees, poor people, people who speak a different language–and I think: maybe they’re as scared as I am sometimes, so I just try to be kind."

What Alan has yet to be recognized for is the way he takes ownership of the place. From cleaning up the messes that others ignore, to restocking missing items without being asked, simply because, in his words, it gives him a great sense of satisfaction knowing it has been done, that he gets the job done. 

When I checked in with Wilbur a few weeks back he said, "I sure like these Woodburn Recovery guys, they’re dependable, trustworthy, and respectful! Any chance you have any more guys for me?"

LA Step Down Member Finds Success

Telecare's Los Angeles Step Down program offers services to members who are determined to be mentally incompetent to stand trial (MIST). The MIST program provides defendants direct linkage from the Los Angeles County Mental Health Court/Department 95  to receive treatment in Telecare's Step Down program, where clients receive structured housing support, competency training, and an array of mental health services in the community.

Telecare LA Step Down has shared the success story of member Richard Davis.

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Richard Davis, Graduate of Telecare LA STEP DOWN Program

Richard Davis, Graduate of Telecare LA STEP DOWN Program

Growing in Recovery

Richard Davis became a member of our program on December 23, 2015 when he was found incompetent to stand trial for a misdemeanor charge. After enrolling in our program, Richard initially presented himself as quiet, reserved, and withdrawn. Over time, he gradually began to open up and interact with his peers and the team. His love for the library, where he could read books and access the internet, was a significant source of support that helped him cope with his symptoms. After returning from the library, he would often share with the team what books he had read and tell the team how grateful he was for their assistance in locating a nearby library.

Another sign of Richard's recovery and growth was his participation in groups where he would share with other members what his symptoms were and what he was doing to keep them from interfering with what he found enjoyable in life. Richard frequently reached out to others in the program and provided encouragement and support. "I'm in a better place now and happy where I'm at because of what the Step Down program has helped me with," he said.

Richard's positive attitude and willingness to utilize the various resources the program provided to him helped facilitate
his growth and recovery. After being in the program for less than seven months, Richard indicated that he felt ready to be referred to an adult Full Service Partnership (FSP) program after his final appearance in mental health court on
October 19, 2016.

Sharing Insight to Receiving Services 

On September 2, 2016, Ashley Mills, Project Director for the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, asked the Public Defender's Office if they had candidates who could share their personal experiences receiving mental health services in the MIST/CBR program at the commission's subcommittee meeting on September 21, 2016. The Public Defender’s Office identified Richard as a candidate and he happily accepted the invitation to speak.

Christopher Lee, Public Defender Psychiatric Social Worker, attended the meeting Richard spoke at and shared his perspective on Richard’s talk.

"I wanted to let you know what a great job Richard did at the Mental Health and Criminal Justice Subcommittee meeting this morning. He spoke very highly of your program, and how your team has helped him gain insight into his mental illness and provided him with support in his recovery. He was very articulate, and everyone who attended greatly appreciated what he had to say," Christopher offered. "By speaking at the meeting, Richard was able to provide the subcommittee with insight into what has helped in his recovery, and demonstrated to them how important the MIST/CBR program is. I also want to commend your team for all that you do for our clients. Your program has given Richard stability, which has allowed him to focus on his recovery, and improved the quality of his life. Richard is just one client of the many who have benefited from your program."

As Richard continued to engage with the team and get close to his graduation, he reflected on his time with the team and reiterated, "I'm so grateful for all you have done for me."

Moving Forward and Continuing in Recovery

Richard has now transitioned to another residential setting and shared with the team during his final court appearance how happy he was that they were able to find a residence for him within walking distance of a public library. "I'm overjoyed how close it is to where I now live," he said.

Richard will shortly begin utilizing adult FSP services to further his recovery journey, and the LA Step Down team is sincerely grateful to have been part of it. 

Celebrations for Gateway to Recovery

We are pleased to announce that Telecare's Gateway to Recovery (GTR) program in San Diego County was awarded a re-bid on October 3. GTR provides specialized services for high utilizers of mental health services and those who are transitioning from long-term care, and offers housing subsidies for members who are at risk for homelessness through their Project 25 ACT component.

As the largest Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) provider in San Diego, we are happy to be able to continue providing mental health services in the county.

To find out more about the program, we caught up with Hector Sanchez, a recent graduate of GTR, to hear how he benefited from the services he received there.

Improving and Refining JIMH Program Models

According to a recent article in USA Today, people who have a mental illness are 16 times more likely than others to be killed by police. Police departments and policy makers are exploring strategies to break this trend, including training in
de-escalation techniques.

At Telecare, however, we believe that effective treatment is the best approach. Our hope and goal is to prevent crises and avert tragedies before they ever begin.

How are we doing this? We're constantly implementing new approaches to improve our ability to help clients with serious mental illness address their criminogenic needs to live more stably and successfully in the community. 

RNR & MRT

Two tools we’re starting to use are Risk Needs Responsivity (RNR) and Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT).

  • RNR is a model that programs can use to properly identify the people who are at highest risk for going back to jail or re-offending.
  • MRT is a cognitive-behavioral counseling program that combines education, group and individual counseling, and structured exercises designed to foster moral development.

Why Do They Matter?

Regional Director of Telecare's Central Coast and CORE LA program

Regional Director of Telecare's Central Coast and CORE LA program

"Those tools are extremely important for people who are in justice-involved mental health programs to transition into lower levels of care," said Cheryl Malinowski, Regional Director over Telecare's Central Coast and CORE LA program. "Increasing that awareness and knowledge, and having the expertise to help with the people out of incarceration is how our programs can ensure that they are setting up their clients for success."

"That's really our goal," said Gary Hubbard, Vice President of Operations of Southern California and Arizona. "We truly want our clients to be able to live successfully on their own in their community and make sure they have what they need to create a better life for themselves."

Gary Hubbard, VP Operations of Southern California and Arizona

Gary Hubbard, VP Operations of Southern California and Arizona

What's Next?

We're researching and testing an array of targeted risk assessments to help us quickly identify people with the greatest risk and the greatest need.

"By developing an assessment for people who are at the highest risk for reoffending or going back to jail, we begin to understand the criminogenic needs that are getting in the way of them being able to stabilize in the community. Once we figure that out, we can focus our treatment and services around those specific needs," Gary said.

Learn More

Telecare currently has 13 justice involved mental health (JIMH) and seven court-ordered care programs. 

Our programs are working to address all seven criminogenic needs using a variety of interventions and approaches. The most notable right now include: trauma-informed care, Thinking For A Change, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CTB). We have found that including our own RCCS with these interventions can give clients the specialized help they need to lower the likelihood of re-offending or being involved in police altercations. 

Click on the links below to read about two JIMH success stories.

One Celebrity's Confession Sparks an Important Conversation About Mental Health

On October 5, hip-hop artist Kid Cudi announced on Facebook that he was checking himself into rehab for depression and suicidal thoughts. 

"Its been difficult for me to find the words to what I'm about to share with you because I feel ashamed. Ashamed to be a leader and hero to so many while admitting I've been living a lie," the letter starts.

"I am not at peace. I haven't been since you've known me. If I didn't come here, I would've done something to myself. I simply am a damaged human swimming in a pool of emotions everyday of my life."

In the letter, Kid Cudi highlights his everyday struggle with anxiety and depression, and apologizes for letting others down. He notes that although he feels shame about his illness, working to address what is going on with him outweighs his job responsibilities and public opinion.

"I deserve to have peace. I deserve to be happy and smiling." 

The confession has sparked a discussion on social media with #YouGoodMan. According to BuzzFeed News, the hashtag is meant to create a space for black men to share their experiences with mental illness, which is a trait often associated with weakness and being less of a man.

With one in five Americans living with a mental illness, having a way to start conversations about mental health is more crucial than ever and given proper support, it can save lives.

The first week of October was Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) sponsors MIAW as a way to increase considreation and understanding of mental health issues, fight stigma, and advocate
for care.

Whether it is on social media or within your close social circles, here are some other ways to continue raising awareness:

Telecare Celebrates National Recovery Month

Campaigns such as #itsoktotalk and #mentalhealthfeelslike promote awareness and encourage large-scale conversations about Mental health.

Campaigns such as #itsoktotalk and #mentalhealthfeelslike promote awareness and encourage large-scale conversations about Mental health.

National Recovery Month, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), takes place every September to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders, and to celebrate recovery.

In addition to National Recovery Month, September 5 through 11 was National Suicide Prevention Week. At Telecare, we created suicide prevention graphics and resource cards that were distributed to all of our programs. The two infographics provided facts on suicide in adult or adolescent and Transitional Aged Youth (TAY) populations. Resource cards with age-specific warning signs and hotline numbers were provided as well.

If someone you know is considering suicide, talk to them. Listen to them. Let them know that you are there for them and that they are not alone.

We have made the graphics below available to download so you can print, share, and post to help continue raising awareness all year long. 

Telecare Opens New Crisis Triage Program in Washington

On September 14, Telecare opened the Thurston Mason Crisis Triage program, a new short-stay crisis triage and stabilization center located in Tumwater, WA. The secure, 10-bed facility was created in partnership with Thurston Mason Behavioral Health Organization and serves as an alternative to incarceration for individuals who are experiencing an acute psychiatric crisis and who have been involved with law enforcement. This crisis triage is the fourth acute program in Washington state. 

A unique component of the program is its use of a Designated Mental Health Professional (DMHP) who evaluates individuals that are referred to the Crisis Triage program for involuntary psychiatric commitment by local law enforcement and the Thurston County jail. The DMHP will determine if the referred individual can be served effectively in the community.

Prior to its official opening, the Crisis Triage program held an open house on August 25 to meet with community members.

“Telecare has taken on one of our most challenging projects to date, a triage/evaluation and treatment facility that specifically focuses on jail diversion and partnering directly with local law enforcement and the criminal justice system for individuals with behavioral health needs,” said Kristy Lysell, Physicians of Southwest Washington Provider Network. “The experience, knowledge, and philosophy on the recovery-based, client-centered approach that Telecare offers provide real outcomes and results. This is exactly what this project will need to be successful. Thurston Mason Behavioral Health Organization is thrilled to be partnering with Telecare and they are a welcomed addition to our growing Provider Network.”

Peer Supports in Crisis Settings

Peer support is an essential part of many of our programs. For many clients in crisis or acute settings, it can be invaluable to have the support of a staff member who has faced similar challenges and is successfully living with mental illness. The peer staff in Telecare's crisis and acute programs are invaluable when it comes to providing that hope, support, and a calming, healing environment.

Click on the video below to hear from the administrator and clinical director at Telecare’s Crisis Assessment and Treatment Center (CATC) in Multnomah County, OR, on how peer services have helped create a program culture built around respect and dignity, and how they give clients a glimpse of what recovery can look like.

Walking With NAMI in Santa Clara

Telecare's Partners in Wellness program showed their spirit at Santa Clara County's first National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Walk on Saturday, September 17.

Telecare was a sponsor for the lively 5k walk, which aimed to raise awareness, educate, and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health. The day's events and activities began with a performance by Aztec dancers and drummers, and ended with feasting at food trucks.

“We had such a great time participating as a team in the Silicon Valley NAMI Walk! Every journey begins with that first step,” said Partners in Wellness Administrator Lillian J. Fillpot. "Together, we raised $660 for the event. It was a wonderful way to begin building our relationship with and presence in the county.”

Partners in Wellness, which opened on August 1, was created through Santa Clara County’s Pay for Success (PFS) project, a funding model in which the government pays for services only if a service provider achieves clearly defined results. Telecare teamed up with Santa Clara County and Third Sector Capital Partners to create the Full Service Partnership (FSP) program to provide intensive case management services in San Jose, CA. Partners in Wellness is the first PFS project in the country that is designed to serve residents with acute mental illness. 

Telecare Welcomes SVP of Finance and CFO, Leslie Davis

This month, we are pleased to welcome Leslie Davis as SVP of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Telecare Corporation.

As Telecare's newest SVP, Leslie hopes to help the organization plan and prepare for growth. She is excited about implementing new systems to improve efficiency, as well as deepening Telecare's capacity to serve a broader mix of customers. These could include managed care organizations interested in alternative payment models beyond cost-reimbursement. Leslie is well-suited to lead this change since she comes to Telecare with more than 20 years of healthcare experience. She spent 11 years at UnitedHealth Group and was the CFO of Optum Specialty Networks, which included UnitedHealth Group’s behavioral health services platform.

Leslie has an MBA in Finance from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA and a BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley. She is attracted to the opportunity to apply her extensive educational and professional experience to a culture like Telecare where there is such a strong commitment to quality and service.

Links We Love

Reaching Out at the NAMI Northern California Conference

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) hosted their annual California Conference in Burlingame, CA on August 26 and 27. NAMI provides invaluable resources and is a lifeline of support for people who need information about mental health.

This year’s conference, “Back to the Future: Building on the Past for a Better Tomorrow,” featured sessions and workshops that focused on advocacy, criminal justice, consumer and family engagement, transitional aged youth, and diverse communities. The conference’s keynote speakers were Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, and Professor Cyndi Shannon Weickert, a leading researcher on schizophrenia. 

Telecare is proud to partner with NAMI branches in all of our communities. We were thrilled to chat with consumers and families at the conference and learn about the issues that are most important to them. 

Laura’s Law Program Celebrates Its Open House With Their Community

Telecare’s San Diego Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program opened the doors to their new facility on August 26. Created in partnership with San Diego County Behavioral Health Services, the San Diego AOT program celebrated their new facility with an open house which was attended by many community providers and San Diego County Administration.

The San Diego AOT program launched on April 1 and is the first Laura’s Law program in San Diego County. Laura’s Law is legislation that allows for court-ordered intensive outpatient mental health treatment to individuals who have not accepted treatment and meet the nine criteria listed in the law.

Referrals for the San Diego AOT program are coordinated through the county’s two In Home Outreach Team (IHOT) providers— Telecare and Mental Health Systems Inc.— to ensure that services are available to all residents. Originally created as an alternative to Laura’s Law programming, IHOT staff go into the community to engage hard-to-reach individuals who are in need of mental health services. If the individual refuses, but meets the nine criteria, they then may be court-ordered to receive treatment in the AOT program. 

Learn More:
Explore Our Court-Ordered Care Newsletter.
Explore Our Roundup of Telecare’s Court-Ordered Care Programs.
Click to see the success of Telecare’s AOT program in Orange County

Educating Others on How to Facilitate Hope

This month, Telecare presented at the 2016 National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD) in downtown Denver, CO, from August 18-21. The conference provided educational sessions for professionals working in addiction prevention, treatment, and management.
 
"How to Reach the Unreachable: Engaging People with SUDs in Pre-Contemplation Phase" was presented by Scott Madover, Regional Director, David Heffron, Vice President of Operations, and Shannon Mong, Director of Innovation Initiatives.

The presentation aimed to educate others on how Co-Occurring Education Groups (COEG) encourages individuals to make healthier lifestyle choices by identifying what inspires and motivates them, instead of solely focusing on their substance use.

“Participants were very interested to hear how Telecare measured participants' hopefulness and found, not surprisingly, that individuals who have higher levels of hope tend to attend more sessions,” Shannon said. To emphasize this point, Scott and David invited 11 attendees to join in a mock session, where they engaged in the "Hopes and Dreams" lesson of the curriculum.

“People were particularly curious about the curriculum’s harm-reduction approach and were asking if the curriculum is available for use outside of Telecare,” Shannon said. “Given the number of people asking us to share the COEG system, I guess our next step is figure out how to do just that!"

You can email Shannon Mong, Scott Madover, or David Heffron for more information about their presentation.