Homeless Outreach Specialist
About the Organization
The Seacoast Mental Health Center (SMHC) is one of ten NH state-designated community mental health centers.
The mission of SMHC is to provide a broad, comprehensive array of high quality, effective and accessible mental health services to residents of the eastern half of Rockingham County. Communities included in our catchment area are: Brentwood, Deerfield, East Kingston, Epping, Exeter, Fremont, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, Kingston, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, North Hampton, Northwood, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Raymond, Rye, Seabrook, South Hampton, and Stratham.
Last fiscal year we provided services to nearly 5900 children, adolescents, adults, and families.
We are mandated to provide evaluations and treatment for severe and persistent mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, as well as depression, anxiety and other mental health illnesses to children, adolescents, and their families; adults; as well as to the distinct elderly demographic. We exist to help our clients reach their sustainable recovery goals regardless of their ability to pay. In order to better meet the community’s needs and our own client’s needs, in 2017 we expanded our Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services to include Medication Assisted Treatment (Suboxone).
Some of our service lines are loss leaders, cannot be sustained through reimbursement, and are entirely grant, sponsorship or donation funded.
Services include but, are not limited to: individual and group therapy; couples and family therapy; psychiatric services; specialized services for children, adolescents, adults, elders; psychological and neuropsychological assessments and testing; support services, including targeted case management, supported employment, and community/home-based services; and consultation/educational services for community organizations and businesses to name a few. In addition, we manage a 24/7 supervised group home for 8 adults who have a serious and persistent mental illness who are unable to live independently.
Emergency Crisis Intervention and Stabilization services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. These services are provided on an outpatient basis by our emergency clinicians and our staff psychiatrists. We also see Emergency Services patients in the Emergency Room at Exeter Hospital.
Our goal is to offer services that empower a family unit and/or an individual to build upon health, community, and resilience within a collaborative treatment model. From identifying emerging needs and creating services to meet those needs, to collaborating with local organizations to improve the delivery of our mental health services, we create an extensive support system for individuals that we serve.
Numerous obstacles continued to challenge the mental health and substance use disorder systems of care in FY19. Healthcare workforce shortages, waitlists for inpatient and outpatient services, increasing suicide rates, and the ongoing Opioid crisis are only some of the hurdles we at Seacoast Mental Health Center (SMHC) faced to serve those who need our care.
We used these challenges as inspiration to make many operational and process changes that enhanced our ability to provide more accessible and comprehensive care to our clients.
- We increased collaborative work as part of the Region 6 Connections for Health Integrated Delivery Network. We replicated the existing Portsmouth Community Care Team in our Exeter service area. This model brings providers, social service support, and managed care representatives together to eliminate gaps in the safety net for those most in need and serve them more expeditiously.
- We expanded our primary care co-located staff throughout the region and now provide services at multiple CORE practices, Pediatric Associates of Hampton and Portsmouth, Lamprey Healthcare and Families First Health and Support Center. Staff continue to be co-located in most schools throughout our region. Expanding our ability to bring services into the community - where residents already are - decreases barriers to care for individuals and families seeking mental health services.
- At Exeter Hospital we partnered with hospital staff to create a new APRN position to support the psychiatric emergency services, which we have provided for decades. By collaborating closely with hospital attending physicians to provide more treatment and discharge options for those in psychiatric crisis, we believe we can alleviate the historical challenge of emergency room holding and care backups.
- As part of a statewide Emergency Services Learning Collaborative, SMHC joined other community mental health centers and hospitals in implementing the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale. Paired with training provided as part of our Zero Suicide initiative, provision of this simple tool can assist in identifying those most at risk of suicide. Early identification allows for early intervention which decreases risks for some of our most vulnerable clients.
However, identifying who is in need is not enough. We spent most of the year working to develop policies and changes to workflows that would be necessary to launch one of our biggest initiatives to date. “Our Access Redesign process” reduces or removes one very large barrier to care – waiting for a first-time intake appointment. Through this new process individuals who call seeking care will have the option of being seen in a matter of days rather than weeks or months. We have added a new team of staff to provide these first-time appointments and opened time in existing clinical schedules to take new clients. We are excited about eliminating the long waits for individuals and families to access services and begin their recovery journey.
Our commitment to continuing our efforts to reduce barriers and improve access to care will continue. We could not do any of this without the strong support we have from members of our community and our incredibly dedicated staff and Board. Thank you.
We invite people to visit our website at www.smhc-nh.org, and to read our annual report, which may be found on our website. We also have a strong prescence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Addionally, we welcome interested companies or individuals to contact our Community Relations department to schedule a tour or in person meeting.
About the Job
Seeking full-time Homeless Outreach Specialist to join our team!
If you like making a difference in your community and are passionate about working in a nonprofit organization Seacoast Mental Health Center is an excellent choice!
The major task of the PATH OS is to outreach homeless persons who have a mental illness or dual diagnosis and strive to engage them in a treatment/rehabilitation program that facilitates access to adequate and stable housing. To do this the PATH OS will partner with shelters, soup kitchens, local Healthcare for the Homeless Provider, Community Action Program, landlords, local welfare and employment offices, developmental disabilities, substance abuse, VA, police, library, housing, and other agencies and individuals who come in contact with homeless people. The PATH OS will become accessible and outreach homeless individuals and families who experience mental illness or dual diagnosis. Outreach services will include case management, transportation, access and triage for services, and other functions that have value for the homeless persons and improve the likelihood of accessing stable housing. In essence, the PATH OS becomes the Center and community’s point person for homeless persons with mental illness and dual diagnosis
Minimum of a BA in psychology, social work or other human service degree and at least three years of relevant experience. License is not required. Experience in an outpatient mental health setting with specific experience with people who are homeless with severe and persistent mental illness and dual diagnosis. CPR and First Aid Training is recommended. Must obtain Defensive Driving certification/training during the initial employment period (six months) and maintain throughout the duration of employment. TB testing must be completed annually.
Seacoast Mental Health Center, Inc. offers a generous compensation package including paid time off, health and dental plans, retirement account match, etc. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we value the diversity of our community. Seacoast Mental Health offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package.