David Burrows of Moorhead used to suffer from intense emotional reactions. These reactions can cause him weakness and interfere with his daily life.
“I have a number of chronic illnesses, and whenever I start having health issues, my mental health suffers,” Burrows said.
Then, in 2015, he began receiving adult rehabilitation mental health services provided through CCRI, a Moorhead-based nonprofit that helps people with disabilities live more independently.
Burroughs has been so successful in controlling his emotional responses using the coping skills he learned in therapy that he has been called the “Magician of DBT.” DBT stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and is a type of talk therapy that is particularly suited to people who are emotionally reactive.
CCRI’s ARMHS program helps people with serious and persistent mental illnesses achieve their goals, stay out of hospital, manage symptoms and maintain stability, said Laura, CCRI’s mental health program supervisor. Anderson said.
“We really just meet them where they are and see what we can do to remove barriers to them achieving their goals,” Anderson said.
“They’ve just been there for me through everything,” Burroughs said. In addition to receiving mental health services through CCRI, he is also part of the organization’s Independent By Design program, which uses sensors and other technology to help people. People with disabilities live on their own.
Burrous needed CCRI’s highest level of support, 24-hour service. Now, all he needs is medication reminders and nightly check-ins with CCRI staff to get the support he needs while maintaining his freedom and independence.
CCRI Executive Director Shannon Bock said that between these services and the coping skills he learned, Burroughs completely transformed himself.
“It makes a big difference,” Burrows agreed.
CCRI is primarily known for helping people with disabilities live more independently, build life skills, and have experiences like adaptive softball or going to prom. The organization began offering mental health programs in 2007 because Minnesota could better serve people and prevent admissions to emergency rooms and psychiatric hospitals by providing community-based services. Bock said that’s when he realized he could do it.
At the time, it cost just over $80,000 a year to support one person with severe and persistent mental health issues. Community-based programs like those offered by CCRI, where practitioners go out into the community and help people in their homes or wherever they are, can save one person with serious and persistent mental health problems about $7,000 a year. Bock said he could help. She added that data shows that just one psychiatric hospitalization can cost about $13,000 over four days.
Another service within CCRI’s mental health program is aftercare. This is an intensive, short-term mental stabilization and case management service that supports patient discharge from psychiatric hospitals.
“We support just over 100 people in our mental health program, but our real focus is on helping people maintain stability so they can live great lives in their communities,” Bock said. said.
The problem is that state funding hasn’t kept up with rising costs and demand, and CCRI’s mental health programs have struggled to make ends meet for the past five years. CCRI recently received a 3% funding increase from the state, the first increase in seven years, but needed a 23% increase to break even, Bock said.
“Our board recognizes the value of the support we provide. It is so important to the people and communities we support, so we must find a way to make ends meet. “But it won’t last forever,” she said. “The country needs to step it up.”
CCRI recently raised more than $115,000 to support mental health programs, but it is not a long-term solution and CCRI is facing increased costs and demands to sustain mental health programs long-term. We need state funding to respond, Bock said.
Hannah Vig is a forum intern and student at Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Tracy Frank is CCRI’s Director of Development and Communications.