Work in Mental Health Field
Updated as of January, 2014
Jannus has had the privilege of working with Idahoans with a serious mental illness for 20 years. Our work has taken many forms, from advocacy to peer recovery, and from direct services to research.
Our work began with the Idaho Leadership Academy. From 1993 – 2000, this statewide project taught grassroots leadership and advocacy skills to nearly 500 consumers and family members, and became a national model for consumer empowerment. Leadership Academy graduates testified before the Legislature, wrote letters to the editor, organized community education forums, and joined regional and state mental health boards. These individuals impacted Idaho’s mental health system and improved public understanding of mental illness.
Also during the 90s, Jannus provided support and training for a statewide consumer-run advocacy organization – the Mental Health Association of Idaho – as well as local consumer advocacy groups. The groups participated in state mental health service change, fought stigma, and educated Idahoans about mental illness.
In 2000, Jannus was awarded a contract from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to establish the state’s first formal Office of Consumer Affairs. The Office was a central touchstone for consumer leaders around the state. Through site visits, conference calls, conferences, and other resources, the Center kept Idaho’s consumer network intact.
In 2008, the scope of the Office expanded to become the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs (OCAFA). The purpose of the Office continues to be supporting Idaho’s regional consumer and family member groups, and engaging them in Idaho’s mental health service decisions. In a typical year, the OCAFA responds to over a 1,000 calls for information, sends out time-sensitive information on proposed policies and training resources, and represents the consumer and family voice on over 20 statewide groups, ranging from the Idaho Supreme Court to the Consortium of Idahoans with Disabilities.
While Jannus was involved in consumer advocacy, we also directly served persons living with a serious mental illness in the Boise area. From 1996 – 2012, we offered Case Management, Psycho-Social Rehabilitation, and Clinic Services for an average of 200-300 adults per year. Through these services, many individuals learned to live independently, work a part-time job, re-enter school, and move forward in their recovery.
In 2009-2010, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare contracted with Jannus to pilot a regional Home Recovery Team model. Our trained Teams provided short-term crisis intervention to persons in their own homes. As a direct result of services received, over 8 in 10 clients stated that they were better able to control their lives, and deal more effectively with daily problems and crises. 98% maintained their housing, none were arrested or put in jail, 97% maintained their medications as prescribed, and 89% were using their support systems more.
During the 2000s, other states and national organizations began to recognize the power of peer support in another person’s mental health recovery. Peer Specialists not only have support skills, but also the lived experience of mental illness. In 2008, with state funding, Jannus established Idaho’s first Certified Peer Specialist Training program. Since 2009, 172 persons in recovery from mental illness have been certified as Idaho Peer Specialists to assist others.
Since 2011, Jannus has employed Certified Peer Specialists to conduct statewide outreach and assistance to homeless persons with a mental illness. Called PATH (Project for Assistance to Transition from Homelessness), our 16 PATH outreach workers meet homeless persons ‘where they’re at’ and connect them to housing, health care, benefits programs, employment programs, and other basic services and supports. The intent is to instill hope in the lives of these struggling members of our communities, so they can work toward becoming more stable and healthy in all areas of their lives.
During 2009 – 2011, Jannus was awarded National Institute on Mental Health funding to explore Hispanics’ issues and perceptions with mental illness. The Partnership for Hispanic Mental Health engaged southwest Idaho’s Hispanic community to inform the improvement of mental health service delivery for this population.
The latest mental health-focused Jannus project is the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline. Launched in November 2012, the Hotline is committed to the prevention of suicide in Idaho. Trained telephone workers provide emotional support, risk assessment, crisis intervention, linkages to local services, and follow-up for persons with potential suicide risk factors. All program services and operations follow national accreditation standards. The program is continuing to expand its hours with the goal of becoming a 24 hours per day, 7 days per week crisis support.
Jannus has been involved in refugee resettlement since 1995. As part of that work, we have continuously joined with other community organizations to improve refugee mental health services and to practice trauma-informed care. For example, during 2000 – 2002, Jannus formed a working coalition of refugees, resettlement workers, and mental health professionals as a Refugee Mental Health Community Building initiative. The project provided training to many community entities – schools, social workers, health care providers, resettlement staff, English Language instructors, and interpreters to better respond to refugee trauma, culture, and mental health.
We believe the outcomes of our work is due in large part to the partnerships we enjoy with consumers, family members, and private/public entities in Idaho.
Contact: Karan Tucker, Executive Director, 208.336.5533 Ext 252; email@example.com