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Crestwood Behavioral Health


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Waging War on the Stigma and Fear That Still Surrounds Mental Health

blog-fall-stigmaFor decades we have been studying stigma in mental health from the research of Irving Goffman in Asylums in the early 1950’s, to the more recent work of Patrick Corrigan’s Don’t Call me Nuts and Robert Whitaker’s Mad in America. Today we continue to study stigma as evidenced in the recent 2015 research by Patricia A. Carlisle’s, Mental Health Stigma: How to overcome mental health stigma in America.

So we have to ask where we are as a society in terms of stigma, fear and mental health. What have we accomplished? Have we made any progress or changed attitudes? Have we created inclusion for our friends and family with mental health issues? Have we shifted beliefs? Are we any closer to creating an environment where teenagers can tell their parents or friends about their voices? Can a 20-year old let a college know they are taking a semester off to go into a behavioral health program? Can a 32-year old nurse ask for accommodation because they are experiencing severe symptoms of bipolar type 2 and still be eligible for a promotion? Can we bring a behavioral health program to a vacant community hospital, bringing 50 to 200 jobs to that small town and be welcomed, rather than attacked? Sadly, in 2017, the answer to these questions is still no.

So the mandate today, more than ever, is to wage war on mental health discrimination, stereotypes, stigmatizing images and inflammatory media coverage, national leaders who ridicule and mock, shaming language, intolerance and hatred.

It is fear that stops people from telling someone they are experiencing a mental health crisis. It is fear that prevents people from getting help. It is fear that stops parents from getting treatment for their children. It is fear that creates the environment where a community feels vindicated in fighting mental health services coming to their community.

This fear and hatred is the stigma that people who have mental health issues live with every day. Stigma is more debilitating than the diagnosis or symptoms. It is a dark shadow hanging over you. It is the barrier to accessibility. It is the barrier to friendships and relationships. It is the barrier to finishing a degree, pursuing a career or even working at all. It is the barrier to recovery. It keeps you sick and disabled if you let it and if our society accepts it. Today we must speak up, make political choices, and fight legal battles to impact this fear and hate of mental health issues. During a recent California land use legal battle, an 85-year old mother, who is a leader in NAMI, closed the public comment section in the meeting with the following statement, “There are two four-letter words – FEAR and HOPE. You choose.”

Fighting stigma, fighting fear, fighting hate and discrimination is a battle to be fought by everyone. We must make it our battle and we must win. We must join with the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions (CIBHS) and other national movements such as Stamp Out Stigma, NAMI, and Each Mind Matters to fight and eliminate stigma in our services, families, communities and our world. Until the stigma and fear that surrounds mental health has been eliminated, the world will be a darker place, making it more difficult for people to get the help they need and deserve. As former President Bill Clinton said, “Mental health issues are nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.”

Contributed by:
Patricia Blum, PhD
Executive Vice President


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Crestwood San Diego Honored​

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Crestwood San Diego Honored at the 31st Behavioral Health Recognition Dinner

On the night of June 9th, staff from Crestwood San Diego, Crestwood Chula Vista and the Crestwood Home Office, gathered at the San Diego Mission Valley Marriott to attend the 31st Annual Behavioral Health Recognition Dinner. The Behavioral Health Recognition Dinner is a chance to celebrate and recognize individuals and groups who provide outstanding service in San Diego County’s behavioral health field. Behavioral health and substance abuse programs are invited to submit nominations for any of the 12 categories of community awards.  At this year’s event, Crestwood San Diego was the proud and humble recipient of three awards – Support Person of the Year, Clinician of the Year and 24-Hour Facility of the Year!

Frank Chargualaf, who is the Transportation Coordinator at Crestwood San Diego, was awarded Support Person of the Year. Frank’s incredible passion and dedication to connecting clients to needed medical appointments helped him win this award.  He has assisted so many clients to overcome obstacles with their insurance, California IDs, Social Security cards and pre-authorizations so that they may connect to their needed medical appointments in the community. “Frank has enhanced so many lives by improving their health and wellness and we are so proud of him,” said Robyn Ramsey, Administrator at Crestwood San Diego.

Clinician of the Year was awarded to Dr. Krauz Ganadjian. Dr. Ganadjian is the Psychiatrist and Medical Director at both Crestwood Chula Vista and Crestwood San Diego. Robyn said, “Dr. Ganadjian honors the Crestwood values and has a compassionate treatment approach, as well as the flexibility to work with the team and clients to develop individualized plans to best help each client.  We are so grateful for the wonderful working relationship we have with Dr. Ganadjian!”

And finally Crestwood San Diego took home the big award of 24-Hour Facility of the Year! Crestwood San Diego has only been open for three years, but has become a key part of the continuum of care in San Diego County.  Their stakeholders and clients have embraced and appreciated what makes their campus special such as compassionate care, a warm and homelike environment, WRAP, DBT, Dreamcatchers Empowerment Network, Zumba, Yoga and more. Janet Vlavianos, Crestwood’s Director of Development and Corporate Initiatives, accepted the award on behalf of Crestwood San Diego. Joining her on stage was Crestwood San Diego’s first program graduate, Julie, who has also been employed at the campus for two years. She made a powerful speech to a room with more than 650 attendees and truly portrayed what Crestwood stands for and honors.

Congratulations Crestwood San Diego, Frank Chargualaf and Dr. Krauz Ganadjian for receiving the recognition you all deserve for the incredible work you do every day for our clients that makes it possible for them to succeed in their recovery.

Contributed by:
Robyn Ramsey, Administrator,
Crestwood San Diego

 


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Celebrating Goodbyes

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Imagine a group of people sitting in a circle coming together for a unified purpose, to celebrate the graduation of one of their own. The graduating peer excitedly sits in the middle of the group, with a huge smile on their face, because their day has finally come; they’ve made it to graduation! A beautiful rock has been painted and tailored specifically for that person. The rock is passed around the circle into the hands of all those in attendance, as they share their memories and best wishes for the graduate. Within that rock all the good thoughts are wrapped up into it and then given to the graduate.

At Crestwood Chula Vista, they started a tradition to honor their graduates. When faced with their first successful graduation in December 2015, they wanted to start a special and unique tradition, so they gathered together the people they serve and asked how they would like to celebrate their graduation. Many of them offered insightful and valuable input and all these great ideas were then considered by the community. When all was said and done, the most popular idea for a graduation ceremony came from one of their dearest residents, who has since graduated, to start a goodbye group with a “good memories” rock. The good memories rock, which is decorated according to the desire of its future owner, is passed around from person to person in a circle that surrounds the person who will soon be leaving the campus. Each person who holds the rock is then asked to speak, sharing kind words, dear memories and warm wishes to the graduate. And so, the tradition for their peer goodbye group was created and continues to this day.

For the last goodbye, right before the graduate is completely discharged, they go through what is called their “High-Five Goodbye.” Clients and staff line the sides of the hallway leading to the exit with extended hands and then whistle, cheer and chant the graduate’s name. The graduate walks down the hallway, usually with a huge smile, and receives high-fives, and sometimes hugs. Some cry, some laugh, and some shout. The one thing they all have in common is their excitement to move onto the next chapter of their lives and recovery; they’ve made it!

This tradition has carried over to not just client graduations, but also when their staff move on from Crestwood or are promoted to other campuses. Wanda Anderson, Service Coordinator at Crestwood Chula Vista, said, “Goodbye groups provide closure for staff and the people we serve and are a wonderful opportunity to give honor to those who so deserve it. We love our special tradition and if your campus does not have a tradition to honor your graduates, we hope that this may inspire you to start one of your own.”

Submitted by:
Wanda Anderson, Service Coordinator and Shanel Stec, Activity Coordinator,
Crestwood Chula Vista

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The Art of Bringing Up Leaders

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“Clarity of purpose at both a corporate and personal level is an essential ingredient in the successful leader model.”

-Karen de Tyson
A New Generation of Business Leaders 

Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc. is an organization that is built by and for people desiring to make a change in the world by creating a continuum of services that empower our clients to live and succeed in their communities. As an organization, we lead the mental health community by example. As individuals, we lead our community of staff, clients, peers, families, business partners, county stakeholders, faith communities, schools and neighbors by example.

Our greatest resource at Crestwood is our human resource. The humanity in human resources is the gift Crestwood brings to this field. The humanity in Crestwood leadership is the cornerstone in the framework of service to others. We exemplify the eight dimensions of servant leadership-listening, empathy, healing, mindfulness, stewardship, growth, and community building, all of which are clearly aligned with our Crestwood values of family, character, flexibility, commitment, enthusiasm compassion, and collaboration. Our values are also linked with our recovery pillars of hope, empowerment, meaningful roles and spirituality. These values, pillars, and dimensions become the lens from which we lead, drive the work we do every day and what we use to develop new leaders from within our Crestwood family. Our staff members embody these values and they serve as the foundation for the programs and services we provide. It is the responsibility of each of our campus Administrators and leadership teams to uphold these values on a daily basis, in all aspects of their positions and roles.

Our Administrators are expected to lead, manage, supervise and demonstrate a wide- array of skills and abilities on a day-to-day basis. Crestwood is a learning community. It is expected that a person in leadership will be trained, oriented, coached, developed and recognized in all areas of their roles. In order to support and grow servant leaders in our organization, we have created a leadership training curriculum and a full mentorship program.

Crestwood’s mentorship program process starts with a robust orientation and onboarding that welcomes our new Crestwood family members. The orientation is designed to create an inviting and compassionate community of employees who care for themselves, each other, and the clients and stakeholders we serve. Orientation is infused with tools for engagement and culturally relevant adult learning methods. After orientation, mentorship continues for our employees with our Crestwood Academy.

Through our Crestwood Academy we engage employees through coaching on the fly, in-services, trainings, workshops, conferences, webinars, environmental practices, demonstrations, mastery of skills and competency building opportunities. Throughout this process, our employees are encouraged to look for ways to achieve their goals, to reach their aspirations, as well as to advance their careers at Crestwood in their field of choice. Our employees are given the opportunity to achieve advanced degrees, licenses and certifications through our Crestwood Scholarship Program. Advancing leaders may also engage in our succession planning process, where management and leadership team members, including Administrators, identify possible new candidates for leadership positions.

Our succession planning at Crestwood involves developing our servant leaders, in all departments, through our comprehensive values-driven mentorship program. Although the mentorship has training, homework, and benchmarks for success, the cornerstone of this program is the relationship built among leaders – a relationship built on honesty, collaboration, compassion, transparency, integrity and love. Crestwood proudly achieved the rare CARF Exemplary Conformance to the Standards for our leadership succession planning process and mentoring to identify future potential leaders in our organization and then providing them with training, education and support to prepare them for these roles.

At Crestwood we are determined and motivated to continue to lead, inspire and keep the humanity in everything we do as we develop our next group of leaders that will take us well into the future and will continue to make a difference in the world we live in.

Contributed by:
Patricia Blum, PhD
Executive Vice President


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The Power of Meaningful Roles

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Crestwood Behavioral Health’s whole person approach to healing, wellness, recovery and resiliency includes a focus on enhancing or developing a meaningful role in one’s daily life. As psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, observed, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” Research in positive psychology has found that a meaningful role can lead to a positive attitude, increased happiness, sense of belonging, sense of purpose, increased self-worth and promotes self-accountability.

At Crestwood we embrace the need for meaningful roles and it is one of our four Pillars of Recovery that also includes Hope, Empowerment, and Spirituality. It is defined as positive identities within the places we live, learn, work and socialize, which creates a sense of purpose and value. Crestwood’s healing and resiliency-building campuses promote this in many ways. The people we serve contribute daily to our campuses, including co-creating schedules of activities, participating in the functions of the day and educating staff, either through co-presenting at staff education meetings or participating in change of shifts.

Meaningful roles also come from those we are in a relationship with. Our clients are recognized and valued for their relationships as a roommate, parent, child and community member. As a community member, our clients contribute in positive ways such as volunteering at local homeless shelters or animal rescue groups. Clients often also take on the role of teacher or mentor as they come together to support their fellow residents in their healing. Our Crestwood campuses also provide opportunities for meaningful roles through shared group activities such as art shows and sporting events like the Crestwood Olympics, where more than seven campuses get together for fun and friendly competition.

At Crestwood, opportunities for meaningful roles for our clients do not stop at their discharge. Clients are supported in their recovery and wellness journey by being given the chance to come back and contribute through sharing their personal experiences of recovery at our campuses, volunteering in our communities or continuing with a job they achieved through Dreamcatchers Empowerment Network. Patty Blum, Crestwood Executive Vice President, says, “Supporting and encouraging meaningful roles at our campuses helps to provide our clients with a connection to their values, ethics and higher selves. All of these responsibilities -great or small- give their daily existence purpose, and as such, become their meaningful roles.”

Contributed by:
Cindy Mataraso, Director of Operations
Crestwood Sacramento Home Office