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Meridian's Connxxions Programs Helps Patients Cope with Life's Difficulties

Mar 2

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016  RssIcon

Meridian Health Services’ Connxxions program is designed for people with dual diagnosis-both mental and intellectual/developmental issues.

“We help people build skills to understand themselves and understand how best to cope,” says Deceil Moore, Director of Connxxions at Meridian and the founder of the program. “That’s part of the job that all of us have, right? Understanding how to meet our own needs? We are doing that for people of all ages who have both developmental challenges and mental health challenges.”

The program was launched in Jay County in 1994. Today, it operates in 39 counties across Indiana, and serves more than 1,000 clients.

“Connxxions is something we are passionate about at Meridian,” said Hank Milius, President/CEO of Meridian Health Services. “It’s a unique program. There are few resources available for this challenging population.”

A 24-hour hotline is available for individuals who may be experiencing a behavioral or psychiatric emergency. “The hotline is 24/7 with specialized staff,” Moore says. “People can call, and they will be talking to somebody within 30 minutes.”

Moore adds that the hotline is not only for people who have problems but also for the people around them. The hotline is to provide ideas to caregivers on how to handle the situation.

“The simplicity of Connxxions is to help those with a dual diagnosis identify their thoughts and feelings and cope with them. When these individuals come up against a barrier in school, work or home, it’s not because they don’t know what they are doing,” says Moore. “It’s almost always because they have an emotional need that they don’t know how to handle. Sometimes the best thing to do it say, ‘Wow, you seem scared. Come sit by me so we can talk about why you’re scared.’”

Recently, Connxxions achieved the highest 3 year accreditation possible by the National Association for Dually Diagnosed (NADD) which evaluates on 18 standards of best practices for persons with IDD as well as mental health concerns. Connxxions is now the first outpatient program in North America to be accredited and is one of the 4 programs that have been recognized and national accredited for serving people with dual diagnosis.

Moore says she is “very honored” to be working with the Connxxions program at Meridian. “My life has been enriched in so many ways. I know how to look at things differently and how to appreciate things. How do you replace that?”

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