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Connxxions helps patients cope with life’s difficulties

Mar 11

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Monday, March 11, 2013  RssIcon

Tracy

MERIDIAN HEALTH SERVICES’ CONNXXIONS PROGRAM is designed for people with a dual diagnosis - both mental and developmental issues.

“Basically, we help people to build skills to understand themselves and understand how best to cope,” says Deceil Moore, regional clinical manager 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 30 counties across Indiana, and serves more than 1,000 clients.

“Connxxions is something I am passionate about,” Moore said. “It’s a unique program. There are few resources available for this challenging population.”

The youngest client in the program is 4 years old. The oldest is over 80. And the range of mental health issues represented cover the spectrum. Connxxions is about helping patients to see the world differently and to cope whenever the need arises. A 24-hour hotline for individuals who may be experiencing a behavioral or psychiatric emergency also is available.

“The hotline is 24/7 with specialized staff,” Moore says. “People can call, and they will be talking to somebody within 30 minutes. And the professionals they’re talking to want to help them.”

Behavioral clinician Leslie Dailey works with Jizeal and her mother, Jessica.

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.

“We try to do what we can by phone,” Moore adds, “but if we need to send somebody to someone’s home at 2 a.m., we will do that.”

The simplicity of Connxxions is to help those with a dual diagnosis to 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 is to say, ‘Wow, you seem scared. Come sit by me so we can talk about why you’re scared.’”

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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