Mental Health and Addictions Program
The Mental Health and Addictions Program, in partnership with individuals, families and communities, provides service delivery of programs and activities to increase the health status and wellness of community members and reduce unhealthy lifestyle behaviors.
The Mental Health and Addictions Program provides addiction prevention, intervention, and aftercare services for the Williams Lake Indian Band. The WLIB Recreation Department assists with providing prevention activities through funding provided by the Mental Health and Addictions Program. Together with the Family Counsellor and the Soda Creek Community Support Worker, we complete the Holistic Wellness Program team.
Mental health services are provided for all three of our communities and include prevention, early intervention, and symptom management and counselling. The Mental Health and Addictions Program also encompasses Residential School issues and provides assistance with Indian Residential School (IRS) claims, Elders support, wills and estates. The team facilitates life skills in the areas of Loss & Grief, Emotion Managment, Relationships, Mental Health Disorders, and Communication and provides on going FASD and Suicide Prevention training for staff.
The counselling services of the Mental Health and Addictions Program utilizes the Medicine Wheel and Holistic Solution Focused on the Family Systems Model, but remain flexible and is constantly changing our team approach to respond to the demands and needs of community members. The team ensures that all treament plans encompass the individual’s belief in culture and traditions and when referring to the residential program, the team strives to match the client with appropriate treatment centre.
The Mental Health and Addictions Program also provides immediate assistance for victims, their family, and/or community experiencing a criticial incident such as a sudden unexpected death, natural disaster, violence, or major accident. The team provides crisis stabilization; debriefing and support; and short team therapeutic assistance.
The counsellors providing services of the Mental Health and Addictions Program work in accordance with the Standards of Professionals and Paraprofessionals Working in the Field of Counselling, Code of Ethics, Quality of Practice and Code of Conduct and are provided with Clinical Supervision. All counselling sessions include the following components:
- Intake screening and assessment
- Suicide assessment
- Individual, couples, family, and group counselling
- Follow up
- Referral to alternative appropriate services as required
- Pre-treatment planning, residential treatment referral, and aftercare
- Family Integrated Case Management
- Administration, files, record keeping, form and policy development
- Evaluation and client feedback
Intake Screening and Assessments
All community members requesting the services of the Mental Health and Addictions Program will complete the Intake Screening and Assessment process to determine the type of services required. In the event that the Mental Health and Addictions Program and other Three Corners Health Services Society program is unable to provide the services being sought, the community member will be referred to appropriate and adequate services outside of the Society.
Although assessments for Alcohol & Drug and Mental Health may differ, it is our belief that working with the clients to provide a genogram is a successful and thorough way of addressing many issues through meeting the whole family.
Genograms are an assessment tool that works well for the community members and is a picture of the members of the family. The goals of all counselling sessions are to bring the family together for healing. The genogram assists the counsellor and client understands the family system and the powerful influence of the previous generation on the patterns, structure and problems in the present generation. It can help spouses understand the impact and carryover into their present relationship from their family of origin. In working with the elders, it is a dramatic way to review their life. It can be useful in gathering an expanded history of health, alcoholism, employment, martial stability or any other factors known to impact family functioning.
Each intake and subsequent counselling session includes a suicide assessment to determine risk for suicidal behavior and to explore protective factors. Clients are then reassessed each counselling session and/or follow up thereafter.
Pre-treatment planning consists of a minimum of 6 sessions with the counsellor. Comprehensive recovery and after care plans are developed with each client and family and safety plans are generated a copy is provided to the client and another placed in the client file. These plans are constantly revisited, reviewed, and renewed as required. The client’s family, friends, and other are encouraged to work together to enhance the client’s success of his/her recovery journey.
Follow Up with Clients
Clients will often begin with a counsellor or program and once committed, may then neglect to reconnect with the counsellor. Such behaviors can be due to various reasons however; sometimes it is simply the fear of failure or readiness for change. Therefore, it is imperative that this type of client receive follow up:
- Call at least twice if they have a telephone
- Visit their home and if not available, leave a doorknocker sign encouraging reconnection of service
- Send a letter by mail encouraging same
Advocacy is an area that clients may require some assistance. Counsellors speak for the community member until they are able to comfortably do so themselves. This may include, but is not limited to, escorting clients to their physician, probation officer, alternative counsellor, etc.
Referral to Alternative Services
If in the event that, during the Intake process, that the Mental Health and Addictions Program is unable to provide the services required by the client, a referral to an alternative appropriate service will be made. When appropriate and possible, the counsellor will accompany the client to their first session to the agency or organization referred to.
Please contact our Mental Health & Additions Counsellors:
Lynn Dunford – Mental Health & Addictions Program Manager
Victoria Scott – Mental Health & Addictions Family Counsellor
Stan McCarthy – Mental Health and Addictions Cultural Worker
Neleena Popatia – Mental Health and Addictions Counsellor