Archive | January, 2011

Interventions for Schizophrenia

21 Jan

I’ve obtained a spiral-bound workbook for staff that could be very useful entitled  Interventions for Schizophrenia.  This manual  has programmed modules full of easy-to-use instructional materials, worksheets, and short tests falling into 5 broad areas:

1)         Engagement and treatment preparation

2)         Individual analysis of person and schizophrenia

3)         Understanding and managing positive symptoms

4)         Maximizing mental health

5)         Bringing it all together

It’s potentially a whole curriculum for a schizophrenia class.  This book could be useful for class lesson plans as well as help with IRP goals.

I’m especially interested in the material on working with positive symptoms – such as auditory hallucinations.


Borderline Personality Audio Resources

21 Jan

Tami Green is a coach who specializes in Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  She runs online and telephone skills building groups, as well as 1-on-1 telephone coaching for Borderline PD.

I have purchased 4 audio lessons (about 4.5 hours of material) from her covering a wide variety of useful skills for our Borderline clients.  These are live recordings so our clients will also be able to hear Q&A between Tami and her BPD students.

These materials are now part of our library and available for use by clients.  As interest may indicate, I am open to forming a group to listen and discuss the material.

Harford County does not appear to have any DBT (Dialectical Behavioral therapy) skills groups so I am introducing what material I can for persons with Borderline Personality.  These recordings join my existing Emotional Management class largely utilizing the STEPPS material out of University of Iowa.

Online Free WRAP Plans!

21 Jan

Maryland residents have access to a free online WRAP plan development system.  This is located on the Network of Care website for Maryland.

Basic information about WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plans) can be found here and also through our previous blog articles located here and here.  WRAP plans are a strong organized method by which consumers can create their own living recovery plan for recognizing triggers, daily self-care, and emergency plans for what to do when mental health deteriorates.

Consumers can access it in the following way:

Click on your county on the map

Here are a few direct links for convenience:

On each of these nearly identical county pages in the lower left-hand corner is a “Learn More About WRAP” consumer training link.  This contains a slideshow and a video about WRAP.

In the button bar on the upper right-hand side of the screen is a link entitled “My Folder / WRAP”.  This link will let you create a logon account.  It gets a bit confusing at this point because it talks more about Personal Health Records (PHR) here for awhile.  The state of Maryland is mixing the ideas of storing all your vital health records online where doctors can see them with the idea of having an online WRAP.

Once your account is created, there will be a link to WRAP in the left-hand column when you are logged-in.  You will first have to create a new subfolder for personal information before this WRAP link shows up.  From this point follow the online directions to create a complete online WRAP plan.

I am very happy to see this online tool become available.  It’s a bit confusing the navigate to, but easy to use once you’ve found it.   Various agencies around Maryland periodically offer WRAP trainings, including On Our Own of Maryland and our local Aberdeen SPIN client drop-in center.   You can also obtain a book on the subject from Amazon by clicking here.

— Michael

Staff Training in Online Tools

21 Jan

We recently conducted a two-hour online training for staff in some of the tools available to mental health consumers.  I have previously mentioned Ecouch, MoodGYM, and Optimism Online.  Staff got a refresher course in how to utilize these tools with clients.   We also covered:

Online WRAP – Maryland state residents now have access to a free online version of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan.  Key Point’s company trainer Cyndi Lewis has previously run classes for clients in WRAP plan construction.  The nearby SPIN client drop-in center is currently teaching a several week-long class in this topic too.

BlueBoard – An online discussion group for persons with depression.

Beacon – A database aimed at mental health professionals.  It contains peer-reviewed critiqued website links to all manner of mental health topics.  I will be exploring these suggestions for more online programs to utilize at the PRP as time permits.

BluePages – Psycho-educational materials on depression, short depression quizzes, and expert ratings as to the effectiveness and scientific evidence for dozens of depression treatments.

ACHIEVE Classes Update

21 Jan

Meghan and Rebecca have been busy getting the ACHIEVE movers group up-to-speed.  They are the exercise leaders for the experimental/exercise portion of the exercise study seeking to test a system of fitness for mental health consumers.  Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the community room is now busy with an energetic group of clients stepping and moving and clapping.  Lots of tables and chairs are being swiftly moved back and forth too.  We are all adjusting to the changes and the project seems to be going well.  Some clients are very enthusiastic.  A number of my staff are also diving right in participating and helping members.

Leslie reports that the ACHIEVE study is up to 29 participants as of today with a few more expected to join.

The ACHIEVE Healthy Lifestyles Trial is a weight loss study for people with severe mental illness. It involves a multi faceted weight loss lifestyle intervention which includes group exercise classes, behavioral weight management classes and individual weight loss counseling sessions, at Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programs across all of Maryland.

Psychological Study Program

21 Jan

The Harford County PRP has implemented a program for clients to study recovery-related topics in accordance with their goals.  Clients and PRP staff agree ahead of time on a course of study, such as a workbook on anxiety reduction, a CBT online program for depression, or a self-esteem workbook.  Clients are afforded notebooks and pens, access to our workbook library, access to our computer lab (with paid staff at times), and are excused from one structured class per week.  Rehabilitation counselors meet roughly weekly with each client to observe that materials are being studied and homework completed.

This program meets several goals:

  • Client choice in recovery topics
  • Enhancing sense of self-efficacy
  • More in-depth information
  • Improved custom-tailoring of individual client programs
  • An opportunity for higher-functioning clients to be excused from one class per week that may not suit their needs.

The PRP has been slowly stocking up on workbooks and increasing the array of supported online programs over the past few years.  This program, along with a short daily Goal Time for individual client goal pursuit, allows these materials to be better utilized.  We have a wide variety of expert-recommended materials on depression, anxiety, bipolar, borderline personality, self-esteem, schizophrenia, and much more.

This program is also an opportunity for therapists, in conjunction with their client’s wishes, to set-up a semi-structured course of study that compliments their limited therapy session time.  So a therapist working with a client on depression and grief might focus in session on the unique circumstances of that client’s situation, while over time arranging for CBT psycho-educational modules in depression, bereavement, self-esteem workbooks, and the like.

It is our hope that we can extend our mission through this client empowerment.  The PRP maintains its full usual array of staff-led structured activities for the large percentage of clients not able or desiring to take advantage of this program.

Liz Passes CPRP

21 Jan

I neglected to post a month or so ago that Liz Tutino passed her CPRP (Certified Psychological Rehabilitation Practitioner) exam!  With flying colors no less.  Congratulations Liz!

CPRP certification is granted by the U.S. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA), the professional association for practitioners of the field of psychiatric rehabilitation and persons and families living with psychiatric disabilities.  The CPRP is a test-based certification that shows mastery of a wide range of subject matter relating to recovery from serious mental illness.  The certification also shows a commitment to an ethical code and requires both significant experience and ongoing professional training.

Liz joins Jeff and Michael as CPRP certified professionals at our PRP.