Subject: Briefs from The Bridge: Spring 2017

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Briefs from The Bridge

~Spring 2017

Aging Services Program Helps Older Tenants Age In Place
Of the more than 820 men and women housed in The Bridge's residential programs, there is a growing number of older adults: People over the age of 55 now make up 46% of our tenants. Many of these older residents struggle with chronic physical health problems and other age-related conditions in addition to mental illness. To provide better care for these individuals, The Bridge created its Aging Services program three years ago.

The Aging Services program, led by a multi-disciplinary team, includes a nurse, a peer specialist, a social worker, and a case manager. Residents over the age of 55 are referred to the Aging Services program if they present with an age-related problem or concern. Once referred, the Aging Services team does an assessment to determine how best to assist the client. For example, the team may note that a client needs a staff person to accompany them to medical appointments to help them fully understand health care information received from their physician.

In addition to completing assessments and identifying potential areas of assistance, the team visits clients in the hospital, completes basic health monitoring, provides educational information, liaises with the client's loved ones, and runs therapeutic and social groups. The team can also support aging tenants by enrolling them in Medicare and Medicaid, setting up a meal delivery service, or making a referral to a home care agency. 

The primary goals of the team are to reduce preventable hospitalizations and ER visits and to help clients remain independent and in their home for as long as possible. But if it becomes necessary, the team can also assist with finding an appropriate nursing home and connecting clients to end-of-life care and information.

The Aging Services Team
The Aging Services program is made possible through the generous funding provided by the Fan Fox and Lesley R. Samuels Foundation and the New York City Geriatric Mental Health Initiative. For more information on this program, please visit our website
Program Spotlight: The Chemical Dependency Outpatient Treatment Program
The Bridge's Chemical Dependency Outpatient Treatment Program provides comprehensive treatment to adults with a substance use disorder. The program specializes in providing behavioral and medication-assisted treatment to those diagnosed with a co-occurring mental illness. Substance Abuse Specialists Jada Andino and John Saunders spoke about the program and their work as part of the Treatment team.
Jada Andino and John Saunders, Therapist LP/CASAC, are Substance Abuse Specialists in The Bridge's 
Chemical Dependency Outpatient Treatment Program. Jada has been with 
The Bridge for four years, and John has worked here for eight years.

As Substance Abuse Specialists, how do you interact with clients? 

Each client is assigned a case manager, and we work with each person to create a client-centered treatment plan. This plan is a road map for how they can meet their individual goals, such as sobriety, employment, and family reunification. We meet with each client weekly to provide individual therapy and to discuss their progress and offer assistance as needed. 

We also run therapeutic and skill-building groups for clients.

Tell us about some of the groups you run.

We offer a wide variety of groups in which clients enroll as part of their treatment plan. Groups include Relapse Prevention, Steps to Recovery, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which help clients build the skills necessary to maintain their sobriety. Our Healthy Relationships group is very popular, aiming to help clients build or rebuild positive relationships with their family, children, or partner. Stress & Anger Management and Mindfulness teach clients how to moderate their behavior and reduce their anxiety. We also have a Sober Fun group, where we play games, watch movies, and explore other ways to have a good time and socialize while sober.

How long are clients generally in your program?

Although each client works through the program at a difference pace, most people are here for six months to a year. Once they finish the program, we hold a graduation ceremony. The graduations are really special -- clients share their story and receive a certificate acknowledging their hard work.

Relapse Prevention Group
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Many of the people who come to us are trying to achieve sobriety while maintaining their mental health. Often, they are also struggling to secure housing, find employment, or comply with probation or parole requirements. As case managers, we wear many hats and help clients address a wide variety of concerns beyond their addiction. To provide comprehensive care to our clients, we use evidence-based practices in our individual and group sessions and build strong client-practitioner relationships. 
Herkimer Street Residence Tenants Attend Mets Game
Tenants from The Bridge's Herkimer Street Residence recently enjoyed a game at Citi Field. Everyone had a great time watching the Mets take on (and defeat!) the Marlins. Thank you to the New York Mets for donating the tickets!
Please Join Us! Partners in Caring Awards Gala - June 7th, 2017
The Bridge, 290 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY 10027, United States
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