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MCES Supporting Work Of The Montco Commitment Office

Monday, January 29, 2018

MCES has a multifaceted relationship with the Montgomery County Department of Behavioral Health/Developmental Disabilities (BH/DD). This goes back to MCES' founding in 1974.

One example is the Montgomery County Commitment Office, which is managed by Paul DeMarco, RN, the Chief Mental Health Delegate, and includes full and part-time Mental Health Delegates.

The main function of the MCCO is to process petitions for involuntary psychiatric evaluations (also known as "302s") in the county. The office does much more than that but this is the role best known to the community. The MCCO is based at MCES but it carries out its mission under the authority of BH/DD through a contractual arrangement.

MCES Crisis Department staff, like their counterparts in other counties, provide basic information about the 302 process and assist both petitioners and Delegates. However, all decisions regarding petitions rest with the MCCO and the Delegates.

The MCCO and BH/DD staff are looking at ways to facilitate use of the 302 process in dealing with psychiatric emergencies.

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MCES Continuing Its Evolution

Thursday, January 25, 2018

MCES has gone through a number of significant changes and challenges over the past two to three years.

While "work in progress" applies to some changes, most have taken hold and are working well. The support and assistance of the Montgomery County Office of Behavioral Health, the other free-standing psychiatric facilities, and the hospital-based psychiatric units with the decentralization of the 302 function for adults in the county is much appreciated.

The crisis, social work, nursing, and medical staffs of emergency departments in the county are working with the MCES Crisis Department to assure that all patients needing inpatient care are appropriately placed as soon as possible.

We are building our capability so that we can meet more of the region's growing need for inpatient psychiatric care in the near future. Our law enforcement partners remain our largest referral source and continue to work with us to reduce the risk of inappropriate incarceration of persons with serious mental illness who have police contact because of their psychiatric symptoms.

Most of all, we also recognize and value the commitment and resilience that our staff have demonstrated during this ongoing period of adjustment.

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OARS Helps Patients Stay On Schedule

Monday, January 29, 2018

MCES serves many patients with a primary mental health diagnosis and a co-occurring substance use disorder (COD). Drug and/or alcohol abuse complicates recovery and often precipitates a recurrence of psychiatric symptoms necessitating rehospitalization.

The Ongoing Abstinence Recovery Schedule (OARS) is intended to minimize that outcome by helping COD patients create a plan for their daily activities after leaving MCES.

"These patients are encouraged to complete an OARS Mike Melcherfor their first week after discharge – the beginning of a sober lifestyle," said Mike Melcher of the MCES Allied Therapy staff.

This involves detailed daily planning covering time for family, work, shopping, and other routine activities as well as time for mindfulness, recreation,
spirituality, and peer support through AA, NA, and other groups. It usually takes several days to complete the plan and patients draw on individual and group counseling to guide their efforts.

Patients receive a certificate acknowledging completion of their plan. MCES is monitoring the program's effectiveness and exploring plans to add a post-discharge follow-up component.

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Harcum Students Learning At MCES

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Allied Therapy Department has hosted Level II Occupational Therapy Assistant students from Harcum College in Bryn Mawr for a number of years.

The current two-month rotation started on January 8. After graduation, the students will go on to work with Registered Occupational Therapists (OTR) in using every-day activities to help people prevent, lessen, or overcome disabilities affecting independent living. Serious mental illness is one such disability.

At MCES, the students apply their skills and knowledge to help our inpatients get ready for their return to community living and enhance their life satisfaction. Their efforts are always greatly appreciated by our patients.

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Suicide Prevention