BJC Behavioral Health has a long history of bringing mental health services to where they’re needed. Since joining BJC in 1997, BJC Behavioral Health has grown from three service locations to seven clinics, an internationally accredited clubhouse — Friends in Action — and numerous programs and residential facilities. Community is at the very heart of its mission — to improve the health and well-being of the people and communities impacted by mental illness.
“Every person living with mental illness deserves an opportunity to live life to their fullest potential, and BJC Behavioral Health is transforming its service delivery platform to better meet the physical and mental health needs of the clients it serves,” says Dan Rothery, BJC Home Care and Community Services president. “Service teams are now organized by program — children, adult, residential and outpatient — rather than by geography. New housing initiatives have been added and are ramping up.
Offices have been, and are in the process of being, relocated closer to clients and closer to public transportation for ease of access and convenience. New sites in Potosi and Ironton have been opened. Our goals are to meet the unmet need of our communities and double the number of persons served over the next five years. We believe strongly in leveraging all the resources of BJC and Washington University to achieve parity in the physical and mental well-being of all those in need of services.”
Finding just the right spot
BJC Behavioral Health has made location changes in the past several years to bring services closer to where they’re needed.
Relocation of North County facility
In February, BJC Behavioral Health’s north St. Louis County facility relocated from Bridgeton to Florissant. The new Graham Road location, across from Northwest HealthCare, is more convenient for clients in the North County area. The new facility also offers separate adult and children’s areas, a dedicated same-day access area (no appointment necessary) and will one day house a pharmacy on site.
Expanded coverage in southeast Missouri
BJC Behavioral Health expanded its southeast Missouri coverage over the past few years to include Ironton and Potosi, in addition to its main clinic in Farmington.
“It’s great for my anxiety because I don’t have to travel as far,” says an Ironton client. “I’m able to save money on gas by cutting down on drive time. It’s a great opportunity for us in Iron County, because we feel accommodated.”
Other clients noted that the clinics are smaller and less crowded, lessening their anxiety and making them feel services are more individualized.
Yesterday’s thoughts are today’s reality
“BJC Behavioral Health has many reasons to be enthusiastic and proud,” says Teresa Brandon, clinical operations director. “Over the past year, there has been renewed vigor and excitement about new programs and services now available to our clients.”
The focus has been on increasing access to services, expanding co-occurring treatment services for clients with a mental health and substance use diagnosis and expanding transition-age youth and residential services. “All of our new services have been offered in an effort to provide treatment options to some of our most vulnerable service population,” Brandon says.
Co-occurring services — THRIVE
The Thrive program consists of a specialized, multi-disciplinary team with a dedicated focus on serving individuals with both a mental health and substance disorder. The new multi-disciplinary team includes a qualified mental health professional, a community support integrated specialist, a peer specialist and a co-occurring specialist.
Residential services expansion — The right time, the right service, the right place, the right care
Synergy is a 16-bed individualized, residential treatment setting (IRTS) for adults age 35 years and older located in south St. Louis city. There is also an approved clustered apartment location in St. Ann. There, clients have an opportunity to learn and improve independent living skills, stabilize medication, work on treatment goals and transition to a less restrictive setting.
Transition-age treatment services — I can, I will, I am!
Assertive Community Treatment for Transition-Age Youth (ACT-TAY)
This multi-disciplinary team delivers a full range of services tailored to individuals ages 16-25 who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness. ACT’s goal is to provide adequate community care and to help clients have a life that isn’t dominated by their mental illness.
When asked what the ACT-TAY program means to him, a youth client said, “It means a lot to get through my life struggles. With my depression, I struggle to get help, and they help me with that every day.”
AFFIRM residential services
The AFFIRM transition-age youth services program focuses on the residential and behavioral health treatment needs of transition-age adults. A variety of Department of Mental Health-approved clustered apartments are available in south and central St. Louis city and North County, as well as an individualized, supported-living small group home in North County. In addition, dedicated transition-age youth community support specialists/case managers have been added at the Southeast service area.