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.
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 After enrolling in our program, Richard initially presented himself as quiet, reserved, and withdrawn.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.