What is the Behavioral and Therapeutic Service Program?
Behavioral and Therapeutic Services Program (BTSP) is the cornerstone for our supportive services. The basic foundation of BTSP is an Individual Service Plan (ISP) that outlines goals to be achieved while housed at Hyacinth's Place. Activities in which to be involved are related to issues identified by the resident that have resulted in their homelessness. Prepared by a Licensed Social Worker, ISPs are the guiding tool to assist a woman in the rehabilitation process. This format allows our staff to link residents with resources available in the wider community, work closely with other Providers, and monitor progress as it relates to identified goals.
A Licensed Practical Nurse educates consumers on the various types of medication and their purpose. They are taught about side effects and the purpose of specific medications. They learn about signs of de-compensating and they are empowered through education to discuss their medication regime with their Psychiatrist.
In this portion of the program, popular street drugs are discussed. Staff explains the effect of these drugs on the body, particularly the brain. Consumers are educated on its short and long term effects on their health, There is emphasis on nutrition and general rebuilding of body, mind and soul. In addition the effects on the family when abusing these drugs are discussed. This workshop is interactive and audio-visuals are widely utilized.
Residents/Consumers are taught about
They are also educated about aspects of Social Security Disability Insurance and benefits for which they may qualify because of their financial and mental health condition. This is a very interactive process where there are activities such as taste tests of popular products from a “high end” vs. a basic community supermarket.
The women of HP are diagnosed with mental health disorders ranging from schizophrenia to bipolar disorders, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, domestic violence, sexual/verbal/physical emotional abuse etc. Psychotherapy is individualized because of issues around privacy, honesty and confidentiality. It is recognized that most of our participants are addressing trauma and sensitive areas of their personal history. Hyacinth’s Place, which provides a secure home environment, also allows each woman a private unit. This, we feel, is a contributing factor to a woman’s emotional stability. Therapists work closely with our LPN to ensure information regarding resident/consumer emotional stability is being appropriately addressed by the Psychiatrist.
Depression is a common mental health diagnoses among women and is often combined with other mental health disorders such as post-traumatic Stress and bi-polar disease among the women of HP. With depression there is neglect of personal care and lack of insight regarding this condition. This training also includes such areas as interpersonal communication, anger management, appropriate dress for the season/weather and occasion, matters relating to relationships and issues that can have an effect on the emotional well-being of the resident/consumer.
Realistic vocational goals are discussed when the ISP is developed. Vocational goals are based on qualifications, experience skills and capability. Vocational preparation workshops allow each participant the opportunity of an assessment that further explains chances of vocational success. These workshops cover areas such as “interviewing skills: expectations in the workplace and Effective communication”. IUL-Hyacinth’s Place has developed a relationship with a number of community based training programs. In addition staff communicates with the vocational specialist at the Community Service Agencies and with the DC Rehabilitation Service Administration (RSA) that supports this population in their vocational efforts.
Mental illness carries enormous stigmatization. We believe the women of Hyacinth’s Place and those who have worked hard to stabilize themselves deserve to return to a world where they are comfortable to function regardless of a diagnoses. It is our belief that educating the general public about mental illness may also open the door for some folks to seek the help they need. To this end, Hyacinth’s Place has started quarterly educational symposiums where contact is made with various sections of the community for a day of education empowerment and entertainment. This forum is used as a stage to discuss our work with the homeless mentally ill and to educate about the challenges and success that is involved.