All Kinds of News for March 07, 2018
Selecting a voluntary young adult program typically involves a different level of client "buy-in" than with adolescent programs. Adults sign themselves in and out of care which affords them more "skin in the game", and at times can be a benefit to their treatment outcomes. A 2015 study in Norway demonstrated that program participants who had a voice in their own admissions process gained enhanced confidence in the program and in their ability to cope with life (Oslo, et. al.) Study participants noted that because of the "self-referral" process they were taken more seriously because in part they had exercised their own judgment in making the decision to engage in a particular type of treatment.
Onward Transitions is a non-residential, service-delivery program, and yet their admissions process involves some of the same tenets found on the American Residential Treatment Associations website (www.artausa.org) including client readiness and matching treatment with identified condition. The process for Onward Transitions however is notably different than with primary levels of care. "It's less like a psychiatric admission and more like the college selection process," says Co-Founder Darrell Fraize, M.Ed., LCPC, LADC. "We have some clear and strict rule outs, and we wind up rejecting probably five times as many clients as we do even begin the process with."
Psychiatric hospitalization typically occurs within a number of hours, whereas the Peterson's Guide to Four-Year Colleges coaches applicants to take months and even years to come to a decision. "An emerging adult who goes through our admissions process is essentially choosing a city -- Portland, Maine -- to likely spend the next year of their life. They are choosing us, and simultaneously and maybe more so choosing the draw and resources of the city itself. Along those lines, we become their best neighbors and resources to lean on as they work towards attaining their goals at this, their own chosen level of care," says Fraize.
The admissions process at Onward Transitions includes:
Introductory, remote interviews with the applicant, applicant's family, referral source and prior treaters.
Completion of all admissions materials: releases of information, formal application, personal surveys, transcripts, discharge summaries, etc.
Co-creation of a working, extensive and functional treatment plan with the applicant, family and prior treaters.
On-site visit and interview of the applicant and family, and meeting with currently enrolled Onward Transitions emerging adult members.
Onward Transitions works with emerging adults who have mild to moderate anxiety, depression and executive functioning challenges. The emerging adult members of the program have two defining shared characteristics: they are kind and they are tolerant. Remaining within this distinction helps keep the community and culture free of a resource depletion scenario. "I can remember trying to provide group therapy to adolescents with conduct disorder early on in my residential treatment career. Coming out of graduate school, I knew what the research said, but the program just always did it that way," Fraize recalls. "It was a total drain on the system for clients, staff, everyone. If we admitted someone to Onward Transitions who was philosophically not tolerant of others, or had a characterological issue that really got in the way of their ability to be kind, it would really upset our apple cart. So we just don't do it. Our thorough admissions process really helps to not only inform us, but also to inform an applicant that they may need something different than what we have to offer. That's a win-win for everyone."
https://artausa.org/choosing-a-residential-mental-health-facility/ Oslo, et. al., International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 2016,
About Onward Transitions
Onward Transitions is a comprehensive, non-residential living service that supports emerging adults ages 18-29 living independently in the neighborhood of their choice in Portland, Maine. Our members choose and live in their own apartment from day one. They do not ever live with us. Members' challenges include anxiety, depression, executive functioning and meeting the requirements of moving towards independence.