What we are doing to help people.
Intake, Assessment and Outreach
Intake, Assessment and Outreach
For many people with serious mental illnesses, starting the path to recovery is the most challenging – and most important – step on their journey. At Places for People, our Welcome Center and the services it offers give the people we serve the resources and the hope to build a successful recovery.
The Welcome Center is the gateway for services at Places for People. It has several roles:
- The Outreach Team seeks to connect with people who are homeless and living with an untreated mental illness. Because the symptoms of severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia can distort reality, individuals who are not receiving care may not realize they would benefit from assistance. Our Outreach Team visits sites where homeless people congregate – shelters, homeless encampments – and seek to engage individuals who exhibit signs of mental illness. Through careful and sensitive interactions, the Outreach Team works to bring them to Places for People for assessments and services.
- Assessment services, including developing a psychiatric diagnosis, help staff to determine individuals’ needs and prioritize services. Welcome Center staff work to address any immediate needs, by providing or connecting with services to provide shelter and food, for example, and to link a new client to psychiatric care.
- New clients are connected to appropriate services quickly – whether related to trauma therapy, medical care, support groups, or to address specific goals, such as education or employment.
In addition to these services, many clients who have started their path to recovery through the Welcome Center have observed that beginning services at Places for People was as much about creating hope as it was getting connected to the proper programs and resources. The outlook of staff and the belief in the possibility of recovery is a message that can energize new clients and restore their capacity to hope for a better future.
Levels of Care
Levels of Care
Places for People believes that a major component of promoting recovery from serious mental illness and substance abuse disorders is recognizing that different people need different degrees of support and assistance. For that matter, the same person may need different levels of support at different times.
Places for People features three levels of care to meet the needs of the people it serves and, where appropriate, to gradually decrease their reliance on services. For individuals who want to reduce usage of services, we have safeguards in place to increase the intensity of services quickly, if an individual wants or needs more support.
- Assertive Community Treatment (ACT): The highest level of care we offer, our ACT Teams are specially designed to meet all of the needs of people with the most serious of mental illnesses and the most complex additional challenges. ACT is frequently referred to as a hospital without walls, providing all the services typically provided in a hospital setting but instead, in the community. In addition to community support workers, staffing for ACT teams include a psychiatrist, a nurse, a vocational specialist, an occupational therapist, a substance abuse specialist, and a peer specialist – an individual who is living with a mental health diagnosis who is now helping to provide services to individuals just beginning their journey towards recovery from severe mental illness. Places for People’s four ACT teams (of 10 total in the state) includes one team that specializes in helping people transition from the criminal justice system.
- Comprehensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center (CPRC): Places for People’s 5 CPRC teams help people with serious mental illnesses progress toward personal recovery goals. While services can be intensive, the team model promotes individuals receiving psychiatric and medical services outside of the team, often in the community. The services that individuals receive vary depending on their interests and goals, but often include assistance with housing, medication management, financial management, assistance with daily living activities, assistance finding a job or completing an education, and health and wellness education. CPRC services can be a bridge to Transition services, or they may be a long-term support system, depending on each individual’s needs and readiness to increase his or her level of independence.
- Transition: Places for People also has 2 teams dedicated to helping people decrease the assistance they receive and to increase their independence. For individuals seeking to transition to lower levels of care–or to exit public assistance–we have structured programs to identify current or potential barriers to independence, to develop necessary skills (including managing an illness and employment), to assist in building a strong personal support system, and to ensure that access to increased levels of care are available, if needed.
Studies indicate that people with serious mental illnesses die an average of 25 years earlier than the general population.Typically, the causes of death are medical illnesses that were not treated or risk factors that could have been modified, including high blood pressure, diabetes, or substance abuse.
Accessing medical services has been a challenge in the past for people with serious mental illnesses. Often, mental and medical health services operated in separate, unconnected facilities. For someone with a serious mental illness, accessing multiple venues for assistance often proved to be unrealistic, resulting in untreated chronic illnesses.
At Places for People, medical services are readily available through innovative partnerships and an overall commitment to holistic health with a primary care clinic, on-site psychiatric services, and a pharmacy all located in the 4130 building of Places for People.
Health Care Home
Part of the Affordable Care Act, Health Care Home established a service and funding model for the integration of primary care into community mental health Centers. Individuals with chronic health needs who access mental health services via Places for People are connected with Health Care Home personnel who work with clients to coordinate their physical health care needs in conjunction with their psychiatric conditions.
Family Care Health Clinic
Family Care Health Centers Satellite Site, located inside the 4130 building of Places for People, opened its doors in February 2015. A doctor and medical assistant from Family Care Health Centers work on-site at the Places for People/Family Care Health Centers’ satellite office two days a week for a total of eight hours per week. The site includes two exam rooms that are equipped for a full range of medical services including testing lab samples to providing women’s well visits. Clients pay through a sliding scale. Those who have Medicaid benefits pay $2 for an office visit while those without Medicaid benefits have an out of pocket cost of $20 to see a physician. Donations provided by West Pine Pharmacy and St. Anthony’s Charitable Foundation underwrite the co-pay cost for those individuals with no financial resources.
Funding for the creation of the site was provided by a two-year grant via the Missouri Foundation for Health.
West Pine Pharmacy
Located within the 4130 building of Places for People, West Pine offers an on-site pharmacy, providing both psychiatric and medical prescriptions. It also offers clients the opportunity to learn how to order and receive prescriptions, lessons that can be transferred to community settings when the clients are ready to increase their independence. Pharmacy staff also work closely with Places for People clients to provide education about prescriptions and can advise community support staff or serve as a liaison to the prescribing doctor.
Places for People is also seeking to improve long-term health outcomes by promoting healthy activity. Our Wellness Center, launched through a donation of exercise equipment from Express Scripts and St. Anthony’s Charitable Foundation, serves hundreds of Places for People clients and staff annually.
In our more than 40 years of experience in providing housing and mental health services, we can affirm that the Housing First model works. “Housing First” simply means that housing is the beginning, rather than the end, of a successful recovery from mental illness, substance abuse, and chronic homelessness. Our wrap-around supports assist individuals in maintaining housing while they work on their recovery goals. Annually, more than 80% of our clients live independently in the community.
Housing Options for people enrolled in services at PfP
Places for People provides long-term housing assistance to enrolled clients with serious mental illness who are living independently. We subsidize rent through HUD and Missouri programs that allow individuals to lease from private landlords. Places for People also owns and operates 68 units of housing, as well as emergency respite beds. Participants pay a percentage of income toward the cost of housing, with the hope that as skills and income improve, tenants take on more responsibility for their rental contribution.
Places for People annually assists hundreds of people with serious mental illness who are living independently. Through our community support teams, we provide different things for different people to promote successful independent living housing. These services include:
- Assistance with budgeting, including payeeship
- Medication management
- Assistance accessing entitlements, including rental subsidies:
Supportive Community Living (SCL) is Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) voucher for consumers with a disability, to assist with living in an apartment or Residential Care Facility.
Shelter Plus Care (S+C) is a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funded voucher for people with a disability who meet certain criteria of homelessness.
Supportive Housing Program (SHP) is a HUD-funded program providing case management and housing vouchers to families who are homeless and have a head of household with a disability.
- Education about and/or assistance with activities of daily living, including cooking and cleaning
- Coordination of donations to furnish apartments
- Moving services for clients
Array of Housing for people enrolled in services at PfP
West Pine Group Home
The West Pine Group Home opened in 1983 as the first psychiatric group home in St. Louis. The group home provides 9 beds to individuals who live with severe mental illness and lack the skills to live independently. 24-hour staff assist with medications, symptom management, and crises. Staff support and communal space promote skill-building and social activity among the residents. Residents cook meals together with the assistance of staff, and work on other daily skills necessary to maintain an apartment. They also engage in social activities outside the building. Many residents have moved to more independent settings in the community or in our other properties.
One of the few of its kind in the nation, CJ’s has helped provide stable housing and treatment to many residents for the first time in their lives. Featuring 18 efficiency apartment units and funded by HUD since it opened in 2004, CJ’s Place utilizes a harm reduction model for individuals living with severe mental illness, substance abuse and/or HIV. A harm reduction model includes a specific set of strategies aimed at reducing the negative consequences associated with drug use. The typical tenant at CJ’s has been affected by a frequent history of homelessness and evictions due to poor choices around boundaries. A 24-hour support team assists with crises and monitors controlled-access points to the building to ensure that residents have a safe, drug-free apartment. Staff help tenants to make good choices in having visitors to the property. In addition, staff assist with accessing other resources in the community, building skills to live more independently, and working towards other personal goals such as employment.
Places at Page
Places at Page consists of 23 units of efficiency including 1 and 2 bedroom units. Page was a historic rehab of the Missouri Blind Girl’s home which utilized tax credits and a variety of other public and private funding.
Individuals and small families receive on-site support for mental health and substance abuse recovery. This 24-hour team assists with crisis intervention, symptom management, and making good choices to maintain housing. The team also assists residents in navigating services in the community and working towards other personal goals such as employment.
Places for People owns an additional 18 apartment units in south city. These tenants benefit from community support teams that assist them in their recovery. As a landlord, we can be more supportive of some of the unique issues that some tenants face. Of these, 8 are 2-bedroom HUD-funded units near Tower Grove Park serving smaller families with children. A 10-unit building on Morganford serves individuals that are working on managing their symptoms. A few of these units are used as an emergency units for homeless individuals until a long-term housing option can be identified.
These apartments are supported, in part, by the Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 Program.
Nurturing Children and Youth
Nurturing Children and Youth
Places for People provides two unique and specialized programs designed to nurture children and youth through early interventions to address behavioral health concerns before they result in severe disruptions. Research demonstrates that early interventions for youth with behavioral issues can reduce mental health disorders and rates of involvement with the juvenile court system later in life.
Multisystemic Therapy (MST)
Places for People provides Multisystemic Therapy (MST) for youths and their families who are usually referred by the city’s juvenile court system and certain St. Louis public and charter schools. This early intervention for youths and teens consists of engaging the entire family and extended support system in developing strategies to reduce risk and promote positive resolution of conflicts.
This early intervention therapy has several key goals:
- To preserve family placement for youth who are at-risk of disruptive and costly out-of-home placement due to ongoing delinquency, family conflict, untreated mental health issues, and substance use/abuse issues.
- To stabilize families who are experiencing high levels of conflict, and/or disorganization, resulting in recurring crises that interfere with optimal development of youth and the family system.
- To strengthen youth and families so that future challenges experienced during adolescence can be resolved by the family and a system of more natural supports.
In addition to benefiting the youth and his or her family, this early intervention also reduces the use of public-funded services, specifically out-of-home placements such as incarceration, residential treatment, and hospitalization.
MST is funded through the St. Louis Mental Health Board and St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund.
Incredible Years Program
The Incredible Years program facilitates early intervention/prevention parenting groups in neighborhoods and communities throughout the greater St. Louis area. We partner with local agencies such as churches, day care centers, and schools to bring the program to sites where parents are already connected. The program utilizes group discussion to provide a blend of skill-building, education, and support with the goal of assisting parents in becoming more confident and more effective, less stressed and less frustrated, while at the same time helping their children develop more positive social behaviors. In this way, many behavior problems are prevented before they fully develop.
This early intervention program is available to parents of newborns to age 12 and the program is free of charge. Groups meet weekly, typically for 10 to 12 weeks, and daycare and an evening meal is provided to all participants. The curriculum for the 12 week class includes:
- Promoting learning through play for children: self-esteem, cooperation, competence, creativity, problem solving, etc.
- Bringing out the best in children through praise and positive reinforcement
- Motivating children to do the right thing
- Developing clear and effective routines, rules, and limits
- Decreasing poor behavior
- Defining consequences for negative behavior
- Developing effective communication and problem-solving skills
For more information regarding MST please contact Mike Lamping at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information regarding the Incredible Years program, please contact Kevin Wells at email@example.com.
The Recovery Center
The Recovery Center
Places for People’s day program, “The Recovery Center,” is open seven days a week, providing opportunities for clients to work on health/wellness, social/recreational, and vocational/educational recovery goals.
Founded in 1975 and known for more than 40 years as the Club, this program was the first psychosocial rehabilitation center in Missouri. The Recovery Center program operates in the main floor PfP building at 4120 Lindell Boulevard. In this program, clients build skills, develop interpersonal relationships, and support each other in a positive community environment.
Estimates indicate that, compared to the overall population, HIV/AIDS occurs 10 times more frequently in people with serious mental illnesses (0.3%-0.4% compared to 3.1%), conservatively.
Places for People’s PATH team works with clients who are HIV positive and have co-occurring mental illness and/or substance abuse problems. The goal of the PATH team is to advance the health of those served by improving mental health, decreasing substance abuse, and improving access to physical healthcare. Team members partner with clients through:
- Substance abuse counseling
- HIV wellness interventions
- Sexual risk reduction
- Primary and psychiatric healthcare coordination
- Practical psychosocial assistance
In order to best identify and serve people with co-occurring HIV, mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder, Places for People has developed collaborative partnerships with the St. Louis City Department of Health, Ryan White Case Management, Saint Louis University’s New Hope Clinic, Washington University Infectious Diseases Clinic, and the Saint Louis University Department of Psychiatry. PATH receives federal funds authorized under Ryan White legislation to provide services. The Places for People Path team is also the only provider in Missouri utilizing Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) philosophy with its clients. To learn more about ACT services click here.
Survivors of Torture
Survivors of Torture
Places for People’s Faith team provides coordination of care for refugees who have endured foreign state-sanctioned torture and require mental health services while learning to live in a new culture.
Some of the barriers experienced by this group of individuals include locating stable housing, lack of health coverage, limited personal resources, issues related to trauma and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a lack of English language competency, concern for friends and relatives for whom they have been separated, discrimination due to culture, clothing and/or religion, and legal issues.
Services provided by Places for People, via the Faith team, include:
- Coordination of all mental health needs, including therapy and psychiatric visits
- Assistance obtaining appropriate benefits
- Assistance with housing
- Linkage to other community resources including providing assistance with obtaining citizenship
- Legal services
- Translation services
- Finding Employment
Last year, the Faith Team provided services to 304 people from 33 countries.
For many people living with severe mental illness, an important recovery goal is to be productively employed in a meaningful position. However, finding appropriate employment and maintaining it while living with a mental illness can be challenging.
Places for People provides Individual Placement and Support (IPS) to help people with severe mental illness get and maintain competitive jobs. Research demonstrates that IPS, an evidence-based practice, is the most effective way to assist and support competitive employment in the community for people with severe mental illnesses.
Support provided to clients seeking employment by PfP’s vocational specialists includes:
- Assistance with job searching
- Assistance with resume development
- Assistance with job applications
- Skill building and education to develop coping skills
- Counseling about and assistance to access appropriate benefits
- Ongoing support during employment to maintain position
Support provided by Places for People to employers:
Our IPS program is designed to meet employers’ needs, as well as clients’ needs. Accordingly, PfP’s vocational specialists reach out to prospective/current employers to address employers’ needs, including:
- Matching qualified candidates to open positions
- Providing assistance identifying appropriate accommodations
- Educating on tax incentives for hiring people with disabilities
- Providing on-site support if needed
- Educating staff about mental illness
Places for People provides a range of individual, group, and family therapies to meet the unique needs of each person living with mental illness. Staff receive extensive training to deliver therapeutic interventions backed by by scientific research, demonstrating they are effective methods of promoting recovery for people with specialized problems, including trauma, co-occurring substance abuse, and major mental illnesses.
Our therapy practices that have been identified as evidence-based practices include:
- Illness Management and Recovery (IMR): An intervention designed to help people with severe mental illness identify personal recovery goals and to learn how to manage their illness more effectively in pursuit of those goals.
- Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA):A comprehensive substance-abuse treatment which utilizes social, recreational, familial, and vocational reinforcers to assist consumers in the recovery process.
- Motivational Interviewing (MI): A goal-directed, client-centered counseling method which helps clients to explore and resolve unclear or uncertain attitudes relating to mental health, substance abuse, and recovery.
- Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment (IDDT): A philosophy of providing both mental health and substance abuse treatment concurrently and throughout all services and programs.
- Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM): An intervention program designed for survivors of trauma to address issues of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse.
- Seeking Safety: A treatment model for clients with a history of trauma and substance abuse, focusing on coping skills and with a special emphasis on promoting safe behavior and thought processes.