Employee Awards and Accolades

Education, community outreach key initiatives for Stairways

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

From television commercials to professional development offerings, Stairways Behavioral Health upholds a long tradition of community mental health and wellness education. Two recent examples include a lunch and learn event for staff from two referral sources, and providing panelists for the Oct. 13 Community Care Recovery Conference.

Lunch, Learn and BLOOM

Ten Stairways program directors hosted a Lunch and Learn at BLOOM Collaborative for staff from Saint Vincent Hospital’s inpatient behavioral health program and Safe Harbor Behavioral Health’s Crisis Residential Unit (CRU).

Guests learned about the services and programs offered at Stairways, met with clinical staff from Stairways and toured BLOOM Collaborative’s five-acre wellness campus, getting a taste for its brand of healing arts. Program directors provided overviews of blended case management, mobile medication management, psychiatric rehabilitation and peer support services, as well as Stairways' new Long-term Structured Residence Program.

This meeting of the minds was the brainchild of Stairways Blended Case Manager Laurie Bizzarro, who, as part of her targeted outreach at Saint Vincent, Safe Harbor’s CRU and Millcreek Community Hospital, introduces patients to the programs available upon discharge. This outreach helps individuals to better understand and consider their support options, and aids their conversation with the hospital social workers responsible for external patient referrals.

“The meeting at BLOOM was an opportunity to invite other mental health workers who partner with Stairways services onto BLOOM's beautiful campus, and to continue to work on strong professional bonds with our community providers,” Bizzarro said.

Peers Promoting Wellness

Stairways Certified Peer Specialist, Theresa Abbey, and program director, Marilyn Goss, joined three other community mental health professionals in a panel discussion regarding Recovery and Wellness Strategies in the Community at the Bayfront Convention Center.

As part of the Oct.13 Community Care Recovery Conference: Promoting Wellness to Improve Our Health, these Stairways mental health professionals provided their experience and expertise in focused discussion about the relationship between behavioral health challenges and physical health, how recovery strategies can be used to help with physical health challenges, and the role of behavioral health with physical health.

Goss said that Stairways staff served as an excellent example of the recovery process.

“One of the themes stressed throughout the day was the need for providers to act as role models for recovery to the people receiving services,” she said. “It was exciting to be able to share Stairways' recovery initiatives and to discuss how we are empowering our staff to do just that.”

It was clear from the conference that peer specialists continue to play an important role in the recovery movement, added Stairways Director of Treatment Services Becky Clark, LCSW, CPRP.

“The morning sessions focused on the myriad wellness domains one can struggle with - for all of us, but particularly folks served by Stairways services,” she said. “Since Stairways was invited to participate in this regional conference, it's clear that the system that funds the majority of our services, both Community Care Behavioral Health and the Erie County Department of Human Services, continues to support meaningful peer services in helping to promote overall wellness, which will help Stairways continue to pursue our mission." 

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