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NEWS

Mission Moment: School Based Interventions Lead to a Major Comeback

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When a high school student was experiencing anxiety, depression, and trauma symptoms in January of 2023, Adult & Child’s School Based Services and Lola Mahner, LSW, were there to provide support. Lola quickly learned that despite the past trauma, current trauma was still ongoing. This client and their family were facing possible homelessness, along with a lack of access to healthcare and food.

Considering all of these experiences, Lola’s first goal was to help the client regain a baseline and control over their emotions. This involved psychoeducation, providing their family with weekly case management and family sessions (which led to stable housing, healthcare, and food access), targeting peer and social functioning, and utilizing components of CBT and DBT to target thought monitoring and emotional control. This required the client to test their limits, to learn new coping skills and communication strategies, and to develop a different outlook on life.

“This was no easy task and resulted in the client leaving the office due to intense emotions more than once, and them wanting to quit therapy on several occasions,” explained Lola. “I never gave up on them. Eventually, I was able to help the client learn that it is okay to have bad days, but these bad days did not define them. Through our therapeutic relationship, they learned how to cope, to communicate, to have more control over their thoughts and emotions, and this hard work paid off.”

This client was nominated by their school for the “Comeback Kid” Award, given each year to a student who faced adversities and hardships that impacted their school functioning and abilities, and who demonstrated resilience in overcoming these obstacles by remaining successful in their academic career. Lola had the honor of being one of three individuals present at the award ceremony to support her client.

“The smile on their face when they saw me there to support them is something I will never forget. When they gave their acceptance speech after receiving their award, my client introduced me proudly and stated, ‘My therapist is here for me today, and I just want to thank her for all the things she has helped me with over the past year. There were a lot of things I didn’t think I would make it through, and I did it with her help.’ This recognition is rarely something that mental health providers receive, and it will be a moment that I will remember forever,” said Lola.

“This moment encompassed all the hard work that we did together. The validation and recognition that my client and I felt that day reminded me of my purpose in this job and was certainly a mission moment for both of us.”

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Agency News

Adult & Child Health Receives CCBHC Designation

Adult & Child Health, a leading community mental health center in Central Indiana, is thrilled to announce it has been designated as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). This designation is announced alongside the exciting news that Indiana was selected as one of 10 new states to join the CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration Program. By becoming a CCBHC, Adult & Child Health can unlock critical resources to address the growing need for mental health services in Indianapolis. This includes crisis care, improved staff recruitment and retention thanks to sustainable funding, and the ability to expand their service offerings. CCBHC will allow Adult & Child Health to offer competitive compensation and top-of-market wages, making them a more attractive workplace for qualified providers. With the rich history and commitment of Adult & Child Health to making a difference, they can achieve even greater impact through this transformation. “Indiana’s selection for the CCBHC program is a major step forward in strengthening mental health resources for residents,” said C.J. Davis, CEO, Adult & Child Health. “This designation allows us to make a significant impact by expanding access to essential mental health services in Central Indiana. We’re committed to ensuring our community members have the resources they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.” The Biden-Harris Administration announced the additional states being added to the CCBHC program earlier today. Adult & Child Health had been selected by the state to be a CCBHC if Indiana was selected, but the decision of which states would be selected to join the program had been pending until today. CCBHC is a transformational program that provides sustainable funding for designated organizations and has been shown to increase access to mental health and substance use care, reduce homelessness and substance use, decrease use of emergency rooms and hospitalizations and improve overall health outcomes. It requires that designated CCBHC organizations provide 24/7 crisis services, outpatient care within 10 business days, medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder, care coordination and support services, as well as other evidence-based treatments.

School Based Services

Perry Township School Enjoys a Successful Summer SEL-ebration

Students and families at Glenns Valley Elementary enjoyed a Summer SEL-ebration on May 15 thanks to the planning and preparation of Glenns Valley Elementary SEL Specialist, Miranda Mellendorf, and Glenns Valley Elementary Social Worker, Amanda Craig, along with support from the GVE PTA, GVE teachers, and additional members of the A&C SEL team. Attendees made tie-dye t-shirts, slime, decorated some petunia plants to take home, added to the GVE Gratitude Banner, helped with a collaborative sticker mosaic, played outdoor games, and discovered how all of these fun activities can help promote SEL. The event was free for students and their families and was made possible by a Family Engagement Impact Grant from the Perry Township Education Foundation.

Sarah Miller, PMHNP-BC

Sarah Miller works with the addictions team, general psychiatry for adolescents and adults, and the competency restoration team. She is board-certified as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her specialties are working in addictions and with people who experience serious mental illness.

Miller graduated from Indiana University with a psychology degree and went back to school for nursing. She received her nursing degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and worked in a nursing home and also spent time working in a group home with adolescents. She received her master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

She enjoys hanging out with her family and her two dogs, and going to sporting events.

Joanna Chambers, MD

Dr. Joanna Chambers is a psychiatrist who began seeing Adult & Child Health patients in November 2021. She graduated from Medical College of Georgia with her Doctorate of Medicine in 1996 and completed her residency in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to bringing a wealth of experience, she currently serves as an associate professor at Indiana University School of Medicine where she teaches Clinical Psychiatry. She is certified in Addiction Medicine and has a special interest in treating pregnant and postpartum women. She is President of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry Organization as well as a sitting member of many medical association boards. Recently, she has won the Residents’ Award for Teaching Excellence in 2020 from Indiana University and has received “Best Doctors Award” in 2010, 2011, and 2014. Dr. Chambers is incredibly active in the medical, academic, and research realms of medicine. She is currently accepting new patients on Wednesdays.