New approaches for preventing repeated inpatient psychiatric stays, detention in jails and prisons, and homelessness among individuals with serious mental illnesses with established histories of such recidivism, while promoting recovery, are direly needed. We present findings from an initial program evaluation of a new community-based, recovery-oriented “community navigation” program in southeast Georgia, called Opening Doors to Recovery. Twenty-three in-depth interviews were conducted with key stakeholders, program participants, community navigation specialist team members, and referring mental health professionals to identify hopes and strengths, challenges and weaknesses, and recommendations pertaining to the new program. Cited strengths included teamwork and pooling of resources from various partners, as well as the novel recovery-based, community navigation team approach. An initial lack of fidelity processes across teams and an ongoing scarcity of safe and affordable housing were identified as weaknesses, with the latter seen as a liability of the overall mental health and social service systems rather than the program itself. Findings from this evaluation highlight strengths and opportunities of this new community navigation approach, including those related to the involvement of certified peer specialists and multiple community partners.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 21, 2013
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