Schools & Program
Visits - Jun, 1999 Issue #58
Apartment Living Program
The Brown Schools
Contact: Sue Forsburg, Admission Coordinator
Site Visit by: Jodi Tuttle, Roving Correspondent
Located within a traditional apartment complex with a wooded park- like atmosphere,
one would never know a program such as this exists in their midst. This program is a fully licensed community-based Residential Treatment
Center for older adolescents. Patients in the program have a history of serious mental illness or emotional difficulties, but no longer
require intense levels of monitoring and supervision. While some patients are transitioning from an acute or structured RTC, others
are admitted directly into the program.
Patients who are admitted to this program must be over 17 years of age, have
a DSM diagnosis, an IQ of 70 or above and have adequate coping skills to manage behavior in an urban community. They need to have
rudimentary living skills and must be medication compliant. This is an unlocked environment that allows patients to live in a more
traditional setting of an apartment complex where there are non-patient residents. Patients are expected to follow house policies
such as avoiding physical aggression, sexual acting out, alcohol and non-prescription drug use, and absences without permission. Major
emphasis is placed on learning to relate to other residents and staff.
The patients with whom I visited seemed extremely happy to be living a more
normal lifestyle after having been in more restrictive environments before coming to the apartment program. Greater community interface
and independence is permitted as patients make improvements. This allows patients the opportunity to rehearse actual community experiences
using their new behaviors.
In addition to group and individual therapy, classes are offered including
cooking, money management, apartment leasing, bus riding, dating, human sexuality, and social skills. Weekends bring opportunities
for learning to make good use of leisure time with recreational activities and community outings.
If needed, there is a step-down apartment program if continued case management
is needed when patients have finished the initial program. In this program, staff provides intensive care management by maintaining
contact through phone calls and personal visits to patients living independently in an apartment complex near the Apartment Living
Patients in the programs are expected to have either part-time employment
or a vocational or educational objective. Certified vocational counselors assist with career guidance and vocational placement. The
intent of this program is to solidify gains made in treatment and to provide support while progressing towards total independence.
Copyright © 1999, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without
prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)