Community Residential Rehabilitation in 2020

Community Residential Rehabilitation in 2020

Mental health concerns are common. In fact, one in five people will experience mental illness this year, but in that same time period, more than half of the adults and children with mental health conditions won’t receive treatment.

A mental illness is a medical condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling, or mood. It can also disrupt someone’s ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis. Mental illnesses can affect people of any age. Common types of mental illness include but are not limited to anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Experiences will differ, but mental illnesses are treatable and people diagnosed with a mental illness can have relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.

Community Residential Rehabilitation

In addition to medication and psychosocial treatments, other community services can also be components of a treatment plan that help with recovery. Community Residential Rehabilitation (CRR) facilities offer a home-like atmosphere and strong sense of community that help residents develop relationships and improve life skills.

The family-like atmosphere of group homes is a major therapeutic tool, providing increased quality of life and continued growth. Residential-style rehabilitation in a group home helps people with psychiatric disorders repair self-esteem, develop core life skills, and learn to manage their mental health symptoms.

CRR programs are not long-term living solutions for those with mental illness, but more goal-oriented skill building programs that help participants develop the skills and knowledge that will help them live independently and transition to their own apartment or other stable living situation. Typically, participants live in the CRR program anywhere from six to eighteen months. Common features of a CRR program include 24 hour awake staff and support with life skills training such as:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Hygiene
  • Budgeting
  • Medication management
  • Shopping, and more

The 24-hour awake staff help participants maintain apartment life in a harmonious and as close to “normal” environment as possible, so that all residents can live together comfortably. Commonly referred to as mental health workers, staff help teach residents appropriate activities of daily living and implement specified individual service plans as developed by the residential rehabilitation team. Mental health workers are a resource for participants’ learning to orient and integrate themselves with the community around them.

Just like traditional apartments, residents enter into an agreement when moving in, and pay rent. As part of learning to care for themselves and their home, each participant is responsible for maintaining their personal space as well as doing other chores around the home. Each person also takes a turn making dinner for others in the house.

A common misconception of CRR programs is that participants are locked down in the facility.

“While most programs ask participants to sign-in and sign-out and observe a curfew, they can treat the facility like they would their own home,” notes Pottsville Program Supervisor, Brittany Arnold.

“They are welcome to come and go as they please, watch television, listen to music, and more, but maintain a respectful relationship with those in their home. Many participants enjoy doing projects, going for walks and to work. Some go to school. It’s learning to maintain these types of social interactions, as well as themselves and their home that helps participants work toward a higher quality of independent life.”

“We want our residents to feel at home and be able to focus on their goals,” Arnold continued to say. “In fact, one of the goals is to establish a form of income within three months of moving into our program. It is a key component in moving towards living independently.”

Where can I find help?

If you or someone you know is affected by mental illness, there are many supports, services, and treatment options available. Allied Services Integrated Health Systems hosts a variety of behavioral health programs in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Schuylkill, Bradford, and Sullivan counties with a goal of helping individuals become re-acquainted with social, economic, cultural, and recreational resources in the community to more easily attain independent lifestyles. Learn more.

How do I start a referral?

Individuals are referred for admission to Allied Services Behavioral Health programs through their county’s Department of Human Services by other service providers, including service coordinators, therapists, physicians, and/or hospital social workers. As regulations vary county to county, please contact the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services for more information or call 1-800-692-7462 (1-800-451-5886 TDD for individuals with hearing impairments.)

Where do I find emergency help?

If you or someone you love is in need of immediate support call 1-800-272-TALK (8255). The Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. You can also text “HOME” to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime. The Crisis Text Line is for any crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from a secure online platform. 

Helpful links:

National Alliance on Mental Illness - local website

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

How do I work in Mental Health

  • Explore current opportunities with Allied Services Behavioral Health Division here.
  • Speak with Human Resources representative Tara at 570.348.1481.
  • Learn about getting your start as Mental Health Worker here.