*All videos are Closed Captioned on Youtube*
"I have been working at the Hospital to Home program at Open Door Mission. One day I was walking around in the court yard, and a resident approached me. He had been at our Southmore program a couple of times, and he remembered me.
He shared he had been at Open Door Mission for about eight months and was doing really well.
I suggested that he apply for a Peer Navigator position. He did, and shared with me that he got the job! He's so excited. I'm so happy for him."
- Karen Botkin, RN
What makes a good listener? Common responses to this question include someone who is attentive, engaged, non-judgmental, helpful, knowledgeable and empathetic.
The phone rang at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday night at the Crisis Line. Isabella Rowe, a fairly new member of the Crisis Line team, answered the call. The caller shared he was having a really rough time getting through a terrible divorce and was currently homeless. He was feeling desperate and so hopeless that he had thoughts of dying by walking in to traffic earlier that day. Many of these feelings were due to the love he felt for Sanaa, his service dog of 7 years, who helped him due to a seizure disorder. The caller had a really hard time finding a spot in a shelter since most won't take Sanaa. The caller reported feeling increasingly worried about caring for her properly on the street.
The Harris Center Psychiatric Emergency Service (PES) located at the NeuroPsychiatric Center (NPC) is one of the major public mental health emergency programs in Harris County. Started in 1999, services are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to anyone in Harris County experiencing some type of mental health crisis.
All of us need support from time to time. Whether we need to have a good cry or a good laugh, knowing we have someone to turn to in a time of crisis is a comfort many of us take for granted.
For individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), finding that help is not always easy. The same is true for those who serve as caregivers for loved ones with IDD. At The Harris Center, the IDD Intensive Needs Program is available to help provide the support and compassion that many need.
While the IDD Intensive Needs Program provides community-based supports throughout Harris County, it also has a component that focuses on providing crisis care. Implemented in 2016 as an initiative of the State of Texas and led by Clinical Team Leader Amanda Willis, LCSW-S, the three person staff is composed of master level clinicians who provide assessments, support and linkage to on-going community-based services for individuals with IDD who find themselves in a crisis.
Recovery: one word with countless possibilities. Because there is not one definition of recovery, everyone has their own meaning and their own story.
“The Agency slogan is Transforming Lives, and so, when we think of that and we think of recovery, it means to help someone progress in finding meaning in their life. They are not merely progressing towards eliminating symptoms, but to be able to live a meaningful life past the mental health challenges that they face,” said Ana Oyarvide, Recovery Manager for the Mental Health Outpatient Services Division of The Harris Center.
While the recovery journey is unique for each individual, it is a tie that binds. Those who have lived experience in recovery from mental illness, commonly referred to as peers, offer an insight that is invaluable to those who are either just starting their process or those who find it beneficial to talk to others who understand what it is like to live with a mental illness.
Carla* came to The Harris Center's Peer Re-entry Program in 2019 while she was at the Harris County Jail. She struggled with substance use and felt overwhelmed not knowing how to begin her journey to recovery. She was eager and willing to make the necessary changes, but needed help.
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The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD strives to provide high quality, efficient, and cost effective services so that persons with mental disabilities may live with dignity as fully functioning, participating, and contributing members of our community, regardless of their ability to pay based on a sliding scale rate schedule.
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