Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare strives to break down the barriers that prevent people with mental illness from gaining access to quality health care and health information. These efforts have led to the creation of our award-winning Integrated Healthcare Clinic, our partnership with Heartland Health Centers, and the establishment of Illinois’ first Occupational Therapy Program in community-based mental health. Our Integrated Healthcare Program (IHC) ensures that our clients have access to an array of healthcare options so they can find the wellness and nutrition program that will help them reach their goals.
Each May, Trilogy joins with Mental Health America in celebrating Mental Health Month. For more than 65 years, May has been recognized as Mental Health Month by people across the country and seen as a time to raise awareness about mental health. This year the theme of Mental Health Month is B4Stage4, which is aimed at getting people to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and reaching out for treatment of mental health disorders before they reach Stage 4.
Last year, we posted a recovery story from Barbara S., who began working with Trilogy and our Housing First Program in October 2013. Trilogy’s Housing First Program is designed to serve homeless persons who are living with a serious mental illness and/or who have co-occurring problems with alcohol and/or substance abuse. In Fiscal Year 2013, Trilogy was awarded $237,109 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Program to assist 25 HUD-qualified homeless people in transitioning from the streets into permanent supported housing.
2014 was a very important year in the field of behavioral health care. In January, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented, giving all Americans access to affordable health insurance options. The ACA expanded access to mental health services for 62 million Americans who were unable to access these important services before, making it the most monumental legislation involving behavioral health care since John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Act in 1963. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) received a $144 million increase in federal funding, which meant more support for Primary Behavioral Heath Care Integration (PBHCI) and evidence based programs, among other things. In April 2014, President Barack Obama signed The Excellence in Mental Health Act into law. This legislation will establish pilot Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) programs in eight states and will increase access to community mental health and will create models for the standard of care at behavioral health centers across the nation. And, in July, the final rules for The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) were implemented. The law now requires “group health plans and health insurance issuers to ensure that financial requirements (such as co-pays, deductibles) and treatment limitations (such as visit limits) applicable to mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits are no more restrictive than the predominant requirements or limitations applied to substantially all medical/surgical benefits1.” This final ruling demonstrates that our federal government views behavioral health care services as an essential health benefit.
Last Friday, Trilogy hosted an Open House Extravaganza for nursing home residents who are considering moving out into the community as a Williams or Colbert Class Member. Many of the people Trilogy serves have been living in nursing facilities for years and some have never lived on their own. For these individuals, the thought of taking steps toward a more independent living situation can be overwhelming. The Open House gave people an opportunity to learn about the services we provide and to speak with peers who have already made the transition and are living independently. Attendees also got a sneak peak of our newly remodeled Beacon space, where they had the chance to get a free haircut, a free manicure, win raffle prizes, and socialize with each other.
Advocacy is an important means of raising awareness on mental health issues and ensuring that mental health is on the national agenda of governments. Advocacy can lead to improvements in policy, legislation and service development.
Last month, Regina Moffett, Certified Recovery Support Specialist and Trilogy advocate, was the keynote speaker at the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Trauma-Informed Care Learning Community for Addictions Programs kick-off conference in Baltimore, MD. Her presentation, The Intersection of Trauma and Addictions: A Trauma-Informed Recovery, focused on Trilogy’s trauma-informed approach to addiction treatment.
Tags: recovery, trauma-informed care, trauma, mental illness, mental health, IDDT, substance abuse, national council for behavioral healthcare, Cheryl Sharp, peer specialist, mental illness awareness week
Less than a month ago the world received news of the passing of award-winning actor, Robin Williams, who completed suicide after years of publicly talking about his struggles with depressive moods and substance use. With Williams’ passing, the world joined together in mourning for a public figure who was admired by many and began conversations across social media platforms about suicide prevention and the stigma associated with both suicide and mental illness.
In 2010, Trilogy partnered with Heartland Health Centers (HHC) and became one of 45 mental health organizations across the country to be awarded a competitive multimillion dollar, four year federal grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in support of expanding our Integrated Healthcare Program (IHC). As participants in SAMHSA’s Primary and Behavioral Healthcare Integration (PBHCI) program, Trilogy became a part of a nationwide collective of innovative behavioral healthcare organizations that are addressing barriers to quality primary healthcare for individuals with serious mental illness which normally exist in the traditional, parallel treatment methods employed across the United States. Since 2010, the number of PBHCI grantees has grown from 45 to 100.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Trilogy was a $10,000 winner in the Guaranteed Rate Ultimate Neighborhood Giveback Challenge. The award is being used to partially fund our Beacon revitalization project, which we began at the end of July. The goal of the Beacon revitalization project is to expand Trilogy’s capacity to serve individuals in Rogers Park and the surrounding community who self-identify as having a mental illness by offering them a safe space to work on their recovery. Jesse P. has been participating in the Trilogy Beacon for almost three years and he credits the services he receives in the Beacon, and other Trilogy programs, for helping him turn his life around.