RECOVERY SERVICES OFFERED TO INMATES

MHA has launched an innovative and very well-received discussion group for men incarcerated in the Rockland County Jail. Co-facilitated by our clinic’s director, Juliet Stiebeck, and clinician Jennifer Conforto, the group draws ten men each week who choose to participate in discussions about their lives, hopes, and dreams. Some of the participants will likely be released shortly while others will be serving long-term sentences upstate.
The topics have included how addiction took control of their decisions, how their resilience has helped them to survive, and what they still have control over while incarcerated.

The participants have been tremendously open with and supportive of each other, which speaks to the safe environment that the facilitators have helped create with the group’s assistance. While Juliet and Jennifer come prepared with a particular topic for discussion, they make it clear that this is the participants’ group and will follow their direction.

Juliet reflects on this new endeavor as one of the most meaningful projects she has taken on at MHA. It helps her to see the participants in the group as people who “want the same things out of life as I do.” Unfortunately, she says, “the drugs took over their lives and they lost all sense of self.” This group is intended to help them reconnect with who they are and envision a better future.

After piloting and learning from this experience, we plan to expand the program and start a group for women.

Trauma Informed Care

Trauma Informed Care

 

Here at MHA of Rockland, we are incredibly proud of our 65 year history of providing exceptional services to more than 50,000 Rockland County residents affected by mental health and/or substance use issues. An important part of that history has been keeping abreast of research and innovation, thereby providing evidenced based practices at all times. Currently, our dedicated staff are trained in 10 different best practice models which are implemented with children, adults, families, and significant others. Now, we are expanding our horizons yet again, as we have embarked upon an agency wide initiative to be a trauma informed care organization. Trauma informed care realizes, recognizes, and responds to the widespread impact of trauma on the individuals we have the privilege of supporting every day. Through utilization of six key principles of trauma informed care, we help people find a path to recovery, promoting strength, empowerment and resilience. The six principles all staff are being trained in are:

  • Safety
  • Trustworthiness and transparency
  • Peer support
  • Collaboration and mutuality
  • Empowerment, voice and choice
  • Cultural, historical and gender issues

Every single staff member will receive this training, from our receptionists and drivers to our clinicians and doctors. It is yet another way that we continue to be committed to excellence, providing outstanding supports and services to our Rockland County residents.

New Program in Recovery Services

According to recent research published by The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, approximately 50% of prison and jail inmates meet the clinical criteria for substance abuse or dependence. Data from a national study in five major American cities show that at the time of arrest, 63% – 83% of arrestees have drugs in their system. These statistics speak to the importance of individuals who need substance use treatment having access to quality care, before, during, and after periods of incarceration.

MHA of Rockland is proud of our Recovery Services program, a medically supervised outpatient clinic offering prevention and treatment services for children, adolescents and adults impacted by personal and familial drug and alcohol use. This program serves more than 500 individuals a year, helping to break the family cycle of addiction, and supporting people in building positive and meaningful lives.

In addition to our Recovery Services program, we are excited to announce that our trained staff will now be providing weekly drug treatment groups in the Rockland County jail. Separate groups will be offered, free of charge, for men and women who wish to access support and treatment during their incarceration. Prior to release, individuals will also be helped to connect to community based resources, both at MHA and other agencies, to further their recovery efforts. It is yet another new initiative that strengthens our mission of connecting people, educating families, and rebuilding lives.

SOS Group

How do we console someone who has lost a loved one to suicide?

Many people who have lost a loved one to suicide tell us what they want most is to know that people care about them and are not judging them or the loved one they are grieving. The death of a loved one through any cause is painful, but losing someone we love to suicide adds another layer of pain and emotions to the experience of loss.

In our attempt to help, we can listen to what has helped others in this situation:

* Be there even if you don’t know what to do or say. The comfort of food, flowers, donations to causes, offers to help with final plans, and babysitting, can bring some comfort to those who are grieving

* Mention by name the person who has died and talk about his/her positive qualities and what you loved about him/her. People don’t want their loved one to be forgotten.

* Listen to your friend’s experience and try to understand what he/she is going through. Sometimes we need to stop ourselves from saying what we might think is helpful, but doesn’t really help those in sorrow, such as “You’re so strong”, “time heals all wounds”, “you will love again”. Our best intentions can be offered in words like “We love you and ________ (lost loved one)”, “What can we do to be helpful right now?” and “How are you getting along?”

* Be aware that other relatives and friends such as children and grandparents can often be overlooked.

* Take care of yourself and know your limitations – when a friend is hurting it takes its toll on you, too.

* As time passes, people appreciate those who remember the anniversary date and birthday of their loved one because they don’t want that person to be forgotten and never mentioned.

* Suffering a loss to suicide is a long-term bereavement. Your acceptance of that and not expecting a person to “snap out of it” will be appreciated.

Marcella Amorese 845 267 2172 x324

amoreseM@mharockland.org

Please join us at our next meeting. Download a copy of our flyer here.

Resources:

American Foundation of Suicide Prevention Toll-Free: 1-888-333-AFSP (2377)

SOS Support Group for Survivors of Suicide, MHA of RC 845-267-2172

(A professionally facilitated group for those who have lost someone to suicide)