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The Bridge Launches Partnership with DMH to Advance Innovative CT-R Therapy

2018-01-01

The Bridge is pleased to announce our partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health in a grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) – to expand the practice of Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R) across the state.

Pictured, L-R: Dr. Aaron Brinen, University of Pennsylvania Dept. of Psychology; Andrea Wolloff, Director of CBT Services, The Bridge; Rob Walker, External Consumer Engagement Liaison, MA Department of Mental Health; Ken Bates, President & CEO, The Bridge; Emily Sherwood, Deputy Commissioner of Child,Youth & Family Services, DMH; Stefanie Gregware, Director of Clinical Services, The Bridge; Dr. Margaret Guyer, DMH Clinical and Professional Services Division

The Bridge will help DMH to develop statewide capacity for CT-R trainers and expand the delivery of this evidence-based practice within the community-based mental health system.

CT-R is an innovative, evidence-based practice that trains and empowers staff to operationalize recovery and resilience in a person-centered, trauma-informed way. Individuals with serious mental illness collaborate to identify and achieve the life of their choosing, including the choice to overcome the challenges they face.

Research demonstrates that CT-R reduces symptoms of psychosis, isolation, inpatient stays, and aggression. It has also been shown to improve staff attitudes towards the individuals they care for, and increase job satisfaction.

Over the past two years, The Bridge has pioneered CT-R implementation in collaboration with the Aaron Beck Center at the University of Pennsylvania. The Bridge piloted the implementation in four group living environments designed to support adults with serious mental health challenges through transitions to community integration and participation.

Since 2016, Bridge instructors have trained 35 multi-disciplinary staff including peer providers, direct care staff, social workers, case managers, psychologists, nurses and psychiatrists in CT-R practices and principles. Across four treatment teams CT-R has produced remarkable changes in the attitudes and practices of staff and has been associated with individuals achieving meaningful goals, engaging in activities of their choosing and overcoming roadblocks to their recovery. As a result of the training, teams use language that is more strength-based and person-centered, and individuals are identifying and actively pursuing desirable experiences that they have never discussed before.

These programs have reported significantly higher participation in program activities – from arts and crafts clubs, to movie nights, dining out, nature hikes, and even skiing and snowboarding. For individuals with mental health challenges, these activities aren’t just recreational – they are vital to tap into their personal interests, build their confidence to engage in community settings, and promote a trusting relationship with staff.

The Bridge will provide CT-R training and implementation support, in collaboration with the Aaron Beck Center for 4-6 multi-disciplinary teams from DMH contracted behavioral health providers over a 7-month CT-R Learning Collaborative

RTP NEWSLETTER Issue 13 December 2017

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