Residential programs for the adult mentally ill generally focus on:
- Life skills training – reducing stress in resident lives through structure with skill development in areas such as work, budgeting, time management, daily skills of living such as cooking and organization of space, developing positive leisure time skills
- Direct individual, group and cognitive therapy, including family therapy when indicated
- Sobriety, behavioral interventions in OCD, self destructive behaviors
The Mental Health Co-op is not a substance abuse treatment facility per se, yet about 50% of all residents have a history (and 10% a present, active use pattern) of substance abuse. While addiction groups and classes are available on campus many of the 12 step programs needed to support this population are conducted off campus (with agency staff often supervising).
The Mental Health Co-op defines itself as 80% therapeutic and 20% life skills at the Houston campus. Many other programs have a different mix of therapy/life skills and applicants should inquire about their preference when choosing a treatment program.
The agency provides three levels of resident care:
- Supervised Living – 24 hour direct staff supervision
- Supportive Living – no on-site staff but accessible staff 24 hours a day
- Independent Living – living units are off campus and do not provide 24 hr on site staff
Supervision – residents have access to staff from 7a to 11p daily. All residents are admitted to Supervised Living where they remain until an assessment is completed and they demonstrate the ability to live without direct staff supervision by:
- being medication compliant, if indicated
- being compliant with program participation – attending at least 80% of all scheduled treatment services
- having an appropriate day/night mix
- demonstrating skill in positive leisure time activities and are not socially isolating.
The agency allows residents to choose the psychiatrist they prefer from the community, including the public MHMRA services (community mental health clinic) or they can be seen by the agency psychiatrist. The same is true for medical care and dental care.
The agency has a level system for treatment service residents which requires progressive improvement to move from one level to another and also provides for reduction in privileges and increased protection for residents who may have behavioral and/or illness based difficulties in complying with program expectations (a progressive/regressive management plan).