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The Baltimore City Health Department has declared a Winter Shelter Status alert for Saturday, January 13 to Friday, January 19. Find additional information on winter shelter status and resources here.
Why is this important? Our clients take a brief assessment at the initial intake for behavioral health therapy and approximately every 90 days thereafter as long as they are enrolled in treatment. Generally speaking, behavioral health therapy is helping our clients. By the time the third assessment rolls around, clients report that they are participating in far less self-destructive behavior and having far fewer suicidal thoughts. But responses to certain questions reveal that many of our clients are still struggling with general feelings of anxiety and how to manage them.
What are we doing to make this happen? Our behavioral health therapists have begun working with clients on mindfulness as an intervention for dealing with anxiety. Mindfulness simply means paying attention. Clients are encouraged to exist with their feelings, focus on their breath and acknowledge that their emotions are normal. This technique is helpful for managing day-to-day bumps in the road.
In order to gauge if therapy is making a difference helping our clients, we need to insure that they take the initial behavioral health assessment that gives us a baseline for how they're functioning. The compliance rate for these assessments has increased from 25% to 70%, and the goal is 75%, so we're well on our way!
There is a huge culture shift happening in our behavioral health department as we transition to a more evidence-based approach to care.