OUTREACH SERVICES

The Authority's Mental Illness Outreach and Supportive Services is comprised of the Community Support System, Supported Living Case Management, the Homeless Services Project, the Intensive Community Services Program, Community Coordinator Services, Probate Court Liaison Program, and a Bryce Hospital Liaison.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT SYSTEM

This program consists of case managers who focus on improving, coordinating or providing opportunities and services to the target client group of adults with a serious mental illness ages 18 and older. Most of the clients of the Community Support System have been previously hospitalized in State Mental Health facilities and are now living in Jefferson, Blount, and St. Clair counties. The Community Support System receives referrals from a variety of community agencies and from individuals in the community. Priority is given to those members of the target population who have been unable or unwilling to enter the social service or mental health care systems and who are receiving only marginal support in their efforts to live outside institutional settings. The goal is to strengthen and enhance the natural support the family and community can provide.

In addition, the Authority also employs three "Acute Care" case managers, one based at each of the Community Mental Health Centers. Referrals are received primarily from the Community Mental Health Center staff. The "Acute Care" case managers provide prompt, highly focused, and time limited case management for adults with a serious mental illness.

SUPPORTED LIVING CASE MANAGEMENT

The Authority has two Supported Living case managers who work primarily with adults ages eighteen and older who are returning to independent living after being hospitalized at Bryce Hospital and then completing one of the Authority's residential programs. These clients receive case management support needed to enable them to maintain their independence in the community.

HOMELESS SERVICES PROJECT

The Authority coordinates and provides services to the community's homeless persons ages 18 and older with serious mental illness. Supportive services are provided to this population by the Medical Director, and three full-time licensed bachelor level social workers. Referrals are received from a variety of community agencies, from individuals in the community, and through an outreach component of the Homeless Services Project. Services provided include assessment, evaluation and treatment by the psychiatrist, case management, information and referral, advocacy, and in-service training. Coordination of services is ensured via active participation and membership in the Metropolitan Birmingham Services to the Homeless (MBSH), a coalition of local service providers for the homeless population.

INTENSIVE COMMUNITY SERVICES PROGRAM

The Intensive Community Services Program consists of case managers whose target population is those adults with a serious mental illness and who also meet the criteria set for being considered at high risk of re-hospitalization. The referrals to the program are received primarily from local mental health centers. Also, three of the program's ten case managers work with clients who have had a petition filed against them at Probate Court for involuntary commitment, in an effort to explore less restrictive placement options.

COMMUNITY COORDINATOR SERVICES

The Authority also employs a Community Coordinator. This full-time employee provides community education, information and referral services, advocacy, case management intakes, recreational activities, and special events for the agency=s target populations.

The Community Coordinator is also a resource specialist regarding community residential facilities, support groups for families and consumers and other community resources. Through the unique position of Community Coordinator, the Authority is represented on many community agency boards and committees.

PROBATE COURT LIAISON PROGRAM

The Authority has placed an employee by agreement with the Jefferson County Commission and Probate Court in the office of the Probate Judge to act as a liaison between the Court and the community mental health system. The Probate Court Liaison's main function is to assist families (petitioners) seeking commitment to state hospitals by exploring community alternatives and coordinating activities of the Court, local mental health professionals and State Mental Health hospitals when inpatient care is indicated. In addition to the Liaison position, case management services are also available to the petitioners and are provided by employees which the Authority has placed in the Probate Judge's office.