Continuum of Care: Beyond and Adult Mental Health Crisis

CT Style

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) —  We are joined by John Labieniec, VP, Acute and Forensic Services along with Elsa Ward, Director, Continuum South Central Peer Services from Continuum of Care, Inc. to share what they offer.

When a person hits a mental health crisis, where do they go?

Typically, they end up in the hospital emergency room. They are often assessed, put through detox if drugs have been used, and then they are sent back to wherever they came from, or they may be admitted for a short while into the psychiatric unit of the hospital, and then discharged.

When the crisis over, is that it?

Often, after the crisis, they are simply sent back to where they came from — the original environment that wasn’t working for them; the streets; a sober house that may help with drug use, but it doesn’t address the mental health needs; or wherever.  They sometimes are admitted to sober houses, but too often the environment does not take them beyond the situations that can adequately address their mental health issues or help them truly go onto a path of mental health recovery.  It takes a very holistic approach to help people learn to live differently, more healthfully, and in control of their mind, body, spirit, and future.  Sober houses can’t do it, hospitals can’t do it, and typically families can’t do it alone. 

Where can they go for such a holistic approach?   

Continuum of Care has a very comprehensive model that continues from the point of crisis all the way through living a full life in recovery.

Many organizations have used the term, Continuum of Care, but they often lack the full spectrum of what is needed to help clients rebuild their lives. In order to move forward and avoid the potential relapse and recidivism, it takes a multi-prong, and multi-phase approach.  For example, when a person comes to us with a significant mental illness crisis, we assess which pathway would be appropriate for him or her. 

  • Do they need intensive 24/7 support?
  • Do they need 12-hour support?  How is the family relationship?
  • Does the family need support and training? 
  • Is the client plugged into the therapies and services then need, etc. 
  • Do they need life coaching?

Many of their adult clients are unskilled at budgeting, job interviewing, getting around on the bus.

To recovery, many need to start eating more healthfully, exercise, obtain ongoing therapies, and obtain and regularly monitor proper medication.

Once these areas are properly addressed, Continuum of Care helps individuals integrate more fully into the community. Some need job or volunteer opportunities.  Elsa has a unique training & apprenticeship program that was recently recognized and awarded.

Elsa, shares what the program offers. 

Most individuals with mental illness want to live meaningful and purposeful lives.  They want to work in some way, but they don’t have the training or confidence that they can do it.

Continuum of Care offers several opportunities that help individuals with mental illness who have been stabilized for a fair amount of time to learn new skills and put those skills to work productively and get paid for it.

  • Landscaping Services
  • Moving Services
  • Cleaning & Custodial Services
  • Peer Services

Providing a comprehensive 12-18-month training and apprenticeship, along with staff supervised work for individuals and companies in the Greater New Haven area.  For example, they are the cleaning service provider for DOT offices and go to people’s homes as well.

If you or an adult loved one are in a mental health crisis, give John a call, free of charge, and he can help you determine the next step. If you are interested in hiring their services for cleaning, landscaping, or even moving, call Elsa.

Upcoming Event: On December 7th, Continuum is hosting a Holiday Bazaar.  There will be 40 vendors, and about 10 of them are clients of Continuum who make their own goods (such as jewelry, art, hand-made soaps, and a myriad of other items).  There will also be some beautiful items available from some very popular vendors around Connecticut.

Go to the ContinuumCT.org website to learn more about the event and the vendors.

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