Earlier this year, Sarah Fletcher, Director of Intensive Outreach Services at Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare, embarked on a month-long assignment in Karachi, Pakistan. Fletcher traveled more than 7,500 miles to launch a training course for mental health professionals. Most of the participants in the course were staff at The Recovery House (TRH), an organization that has been treating and caring for adults living with mental illness since 2010.
By Torrie Baker, Trilogy IPS Supported Employment Program Manager
Trilogy recently hosted an Open House at our Edgewater location to promote our nationally recognized Supported Employment Program. Our Supported Employment team in the Chicago neighborhood of Edgewater actively assists clients with finding employment in the community and is funded through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Illinois State Senator Heather Steans attended the event and spoke about the importance of the program not only for the more than 200 people that Trilogy has assisted with finding employment, but for the community as a whole. Torrie Baker, Trilogy’s IPS Supported Employment Program Manager, shared her thoughts on the role employment plays in recovery:
“For the past eight years, I have witnessed firsthand the overwhelmingly positive impact that employment can have on a person’s quality of life. An individual’s entire outlook can change the moment they hear the words, “We’d like to offer you… [Insert title of position you have been seeking for days, weeks, or even months].” Work is important to all of us. It provides us with a sense of purpose and direction. Often work challenges us and allows us the opportunity to grow, hone a new skill, meet a friend, or create lasting connections. And last, but certainly not least, working provides us with the means to support ourselves and provides us with an avenue to becoming an active and contributing member of society.
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.
A person’s physical health and mental health are inextricably linked. Individuals who are living with a mental illness are more likely to live with co-morbidities, including heart disease; diabetes; and obesity, while exercise has been shown to decrease symptoms of certain mental illnesses, including depression. Trilogy focuses on fostering overall wellness for each employee and person served. We believe that people can and do make good choices for themselves when offered accurate information, a wide-array of recovery options, acceptance, and support which is why we have declared the summer of 2014 our Summer of Wellness!
In 1990 the U.S. Congress designated the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week in recognition of the effort of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to educate and increase awareness about mental illness. Since its inception, Mental Illness Awareness Week has been a time for mental health advocates to join together and promote community outreach and advocate for recovery from serious mental illness.
Yesterday, Trilogy and some of our healthcare partners—Chicago House, Rush University College of Nursing, Heartland Health Centers, and Housing Opportunities for Women (HOW)—hosted our first annual Passport to Wellness Fair! More than 100 Trilogy clients, employees, and Beacon consumers picked up their wellness passports and traveled through our fun, educational, campus-wide event, where they had the opportunity to learn about managing their health through informative presentations and health screenings.
At Trilogy, we are always looking for ways to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, so when the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare asked us to partner with them and support Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation by representing behavioral healthcare at the Chicago stop of the foundation's Born Brave Bus Tour, our response was a resounding "Yes".