Training Materials

NAMI Family-to-Family Program at CVMC!

The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program is a FREE 12-week course structured to help families and friends of individuals with mental illness understand and support their loved ones while maintaining their own well-being. Class begins on March 30th and will meet in a Central Vermont Medical Center Conference Room. There is limited seating, so register today!

Who Should Attend: The course is designed specifically for parents, siblings, spouses, teenage and adult children and significant others of persons with mental illness. Many family members describe the impact of this program as life changing.
Please share this information with anyone you think would benefit from taking this course.

Trained family members of individuals with mental illness teach the course.
All instruction and course materials are free to class participants.
Evidence-based curriculum draws on the most current scientific research.
Over 300,000 family members have graduated from this national program.
To register, call NAMI Vermont at 802-876-7949 or visit:
http://namivt.org/education/family-to-family-class/

Executive Director Corner: January 2017

It’s been a busy month for VCPI as we continue to discover the many ways we can have a positive impact on the Vermont system of care.  Our membership is increasing and, with bigger numbers, the benefits also grow. Our collaborative participation allows us to add to our initiatives and the opportunities for members to participate in professional development opportunities at no cost.  If you and/or your organization are not VCPI members yet, visit the Membership area of the VCPI website where you can learn more about the membership process and access a listing of current members.  Any of us are happy to talk with you further and you are welcome to call the VCPI office, as well.

To be specific regarding initiatives, we are very excited to announce that the Core Orientation for Direct Service Providers project is officially back underway. Some of you may be aware that this project hit a bump in the early developmental stages, but it has continued to be considered an essential offering for our members as it fills a very important need.   You can read more about the overall project on our website.  At present, a small work-group has established a work plan that allows us to feel confident we will be able to share the content of Module 1 by April 1, 2017.  It seems very appropriate to start with the module that focuses on the values, principles and beliefs that we share as the Vermont System of Care.  The module is being designed to give new staff the opportunity to hear about the importance of these directly from those who have participated in supports and services.  In addition to an on-line module, there will be supporting materials to assist in integrating the information into practice.  We will provide regular updates on our progress, but for those who would like to play a more active role in development, we are currently looking for advisory committee members who are willing to review our progress along the way.  If you’d like to talk more about this, please contact Rita Johnson at r.johnson11@snhu.edu.

Additionally, we are kicking off the second iteration of the successful Co-Occurring Competency E-Learning Community Project, piloted last year.  The information about that first round is available to you on the website and we will soon be updating with new logistical details.  However, we are intending to use much of the same format.  Absolute commitment to the number of sessions, scheduling, etc. will not be made without input of the potential participants.  We are currently asking those who may be interested in participating in this round to submit the form that can be found here.  Also, know that you can call the VCPI office for more information.  Click here to download the form.

Please feel welcome to keep in touch and share your thoughts and ideas about VCPI and the places we are headed.  Maybe you’d like to submit a commentary for the newsletter, or join a work group or just chat about some things.  Call or e-mail anytime:  (802) 503-2857  k.crowley@snhu.edu. Also, we welcome you to join us for our upcoming Steering Committee Meeting, January 24th from 10-1 at the Best Western Windjammer in South Burlington. Visit the VCPI Calendar for details and email us to be added to the invite list!

Flourishing/ Self-Healing Communities

The Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement and Innovation, VCPI, is quickly gaining recognition as being an aptly named organization.  As you will see throughout this newsletter, there are multiple initiatives underway that support the opportunity for Vermonters to work together in innovative ways to improve the practices and services we are able to offer across multiple settings and modalities of care.  The model allows for exponential increases in skills and knowledge, while being cost effective and efficient.  Importantly, the directions are informed by those with lived experience and/or in the role of representing advocacy organizations.

As outlined in the project descriptions here and on our website, there are several ways that VCPI plays a role in the success of the initiatives with which we are involved.  One of the approaches that has been particularly successful is the development of Learning Communities.  Sometimes also called Learning Collaboratives, this method of improving practice is not new.  It is a well-researched way of efficiently and effectively producing results.  When multiple sites across Vermont are focusing improvement efforts in the same topic area, the opportunity to have a regular and facilitated process for connecting with one another is invaluable.  VCPI provides the groups with access to national experts in particular subject areas, and adeptly manages the logistics of coordinating and organizing the process.   With those ingredients in place, the participants can focus on the important opportunities to grow and learn and on building a supportive community that will sustain that focus over time.  For all of those reasons, VCPI will continue to seek out opportunities to develop learning communities.

One such potential new initiative presented itself just this past week and I’d like to tell you about it. First of all, did you know that there is a county in Washington State that has reduced youth suicides and suicide attempts by 98% in the last 15 years?  We all know that here in Vermont and most other states, the suicide rate among adolescents is growing at an alarming rate.  Were you aware that similar statistics are popping up in many communities which have chosen to tackle issues such as high school dropout rates, substance use, and arrests?

Have you heard the newest findings in neurobiology, especially as related to early-trauma, and how they are quickly increasing our ability to develop effective interventions?  Or that the field of Epigenetics is revolutionizing our understanding of health, well-being and resilience?  Perhaps you’re just finding out that Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression (active versus inactive genes) that does not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence — a change in phenotype without a change in genotype — which in turn affects how cells read the genes.

Participants in The Flourishing Communities Summit, held December 1st & 2nd at Lake Morey, now know a great deal more about all of this and are gearing up to find ways to spread their knowledge and collaborate to develop exciting ideas for using the knowledge to support improvement in our Vermont communities.  Approximately 300 people, representing all geographic areas, professional roles, ages, personal histories and experience with the topic of trauma, spent two days together in an environment carefully orchestrated to actively engage them in the process of learning and planning together. Some of you were there for this experience.  The summit featured Laura Porter and a particular framework called Self-Healing Communities.  You can learn more about Laura and this approach at http://www.aceinterface.com/index.html

I’m sharing this with you for a couple of reason. When 300 people in our small state get excited about something, you’re likely to hear about it within your own work and will have some foundational understanding of what the buzz is about when it comes your way. My other motive is to begin to think together about the potential role for VCPI in moving this work forward. The summit provided an opportunity for regional groups to begin to build a collaborative process for using the Self-Healing Communities Framework to address challenging issues in their own communities. We didn’t just talk about how that should happen- we actually met in regional groups and planned initial action steps. Momentum in building. Seems to me there will be ways that the Co-op can support these important efforts.

If this topic and potential VCPI focus area is of interest, we would love to hear from you. We can establish an e-mail group to keep us all up to date as the statewide conversation begins to take shape, and then we can morph into some specific planning meetings. Just drop me a line or give me a call!

Connect with Karen Crowley!

Culture of Wellness Project

VCPI is supporting the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) in a collaborative effort to focus on the issue of wellness. Mental health and physical health are fundamentally linked and a focus on overall wellness is becoming commonplace in practices that have traditionally treated either physical or mental health—but not both. With an increased understanding of the fact that people living with a serious mental illness are at higher risk of experiencing a wide range of chronic physical conditions, now mental health practices, as well as the doctor’s office and hospitals, are being called upon to focus in more holistic and integrated ways.  Similarly, we have gained in our understanding of the importance of attending to both the physical and mental well-being of those who work in helping professions. Health challenges can impact a staff member’s abilities in their work and sometimes the challenges of the work can impact the health of the staff member.

The Culture of Wellness project is designed to assist practices in addressing both of these issues, while maintaining the flexibility to allow each participating provider to focus their efforts in their individual priority areas.  The initiative is using an array of strategies including the use of a national consultant who focuses specifically on developing and supporting initiatives to address these complex issues. Participants will also have the opportunity to share emerging best practices with one another, and the benefit of VDH’s significant experience in supporting behavioral change to improve health.

Lastly, we are using proven technology for maximizing the potential of sustainable cultural change in these settings, such as beginning this work with a group of change champions from participating organizations who will play an important role in integrating the new efforts.

We look forward to keeping you updated about the progress of this new project and welcome your questions and ideas.

 

Read about SAMHSA’s Block Grant Funding surrounding FEP

Serious Mental Illness: A New Block Grant Priority

Mental health treatment practitioners have, over the years, observed that most individuals who have a serious mental illness (such as bipolar disorder, major depression, and schizophrenia) typically experience the first signs of illness during adolescence or early adulthood. Yet there are often long intervals between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis, referral, and treatment. In response, Congress has directed SAMHSA to require that states set aside 10 percent of their Community Mental Health Services Block Grant to address these needs.

Read the article

First Episode Psychosis Project- Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Visit Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Specialized Treatment Early in Psychosis (STEP)

Specialized Treatment Early in Psychosis (STEP)

STEP is a clinic staffed by mental health providers in different fields – psychology, psychiatry, nursing, and social work. This "interdisciplinary" team seeks to provide comprehensive care for individuals who are early in the course of a psychotic illness in order to prevent symptoms from becoming disabling.

Visit Yale School of Medicine

First Episode Psychosis: An Information Guide

The purpose of this information guide is to provide information about a first episode of psychosis, its treatment and recovery. It has been written for people experiencing a first episode of psychosis and their family members, to help them gain a better understanding of this illness. Increased awareness of the signs, symptoms and treatment may improve the outcome for people with a first episode of psychosis.

Go to: First Episode Psychosis: An Information Guide

First Episode- Results from a 2011 NAMI Survey

 

 

Download the Results from 2011 NAMI Survey

RAISE Early Treatment Program Manuals and Program Resources

NAVIGATE is a Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) treatment model developed by the RAISE Early Treatment Program  (ETP). See available NAVIGATE resources  on the ETP project site including Director Manual, Family Intervention Manual, Individual Resiliency Training (IRT) Complete Manual, Psychopharmacology Manual, Supported Employment and Education (SEE) Manual, and Team Guide Manual.

Components of Coordinated Specialty Care for First Episode Psychosis Webinars

Components of Coordinated Specialty Care for First Episode Psychosis Webinars

Webinars were created for state mental health program directors in order to provide further guidance related to the development of CSC programs for FEP. These webinars were held on:

May 2, 2014 

May 12, 2014 

Can We Prevent Disability from Serious Mental Illnesses? Examining Outcomes of New Youth Psychosis Treatments

http://www.thenationalcouncil.org/conference-365/wp-content/blogs.dir/7/files/2016/01/FEB_Blog.jpg

 

Read the blog post

Coordinated Specialty Care Fact Sheet and Checklist

Coordinated specialty care (CSC) is a general term used to describe recovery-oriented treatment programs for people with first episode psychosis (FEP). CSC uses a team of health professionals and specialists who work with the client to create a personal treatment plan based on the client’s life goals and preferences.

The team offers recovery-oriented psychotherapy, medication management geared to individuals with FEP, case management, employment and education support, and family education and support. The client and the team work together to make treatment decisions, involving family members as much as possible.

Compared to typical care for FEP, CSC has been shown to be more effective at reducing symptoms, improving quality of life and increasing involvement in work or school. There are many different programs that can be considered coordinated specialty care. In the United States, examples of CSC programs include (but are not limited to) NAVIGATE, the Connection Program, OnTrackNY, the Specialized Treatment Early in Psychosis (STEP) program, and the Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA). For help finding a CSC program in your area, visit the Patients and Families section of the RAISE webpage: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/raise.

Download the Coordinated Specialty Care Fact Sheet and Checklist
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