Thank your case managers this week

Published 12:24 am Sunday, October 7, 2007

NATCHEZ — Each year in October the National Case Management week is celebrated.

This year the week-long celebration will be from Oct. 7-13 with its theme being “A Showing of Hands.”

Southwest Mississippi Mental Health Complex, the Department of Mental Health, Janssen & Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Companies, St. Dominic Behavioral Hospital, Brentwood Behavioral Hospital, Pine Grove Hospital and others will join in to show appreciation and recognition to the case managers for their hard work and untiring efforts.

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This is the fourth year that SMMHC will provide the case managers with a week of acknowledgement and appreciation.

The annual appreciation luncheon will be at the Days Inn in McComb on Wednesday where awards and other gifts will be presented.

Then on Friday the case managers will wear T-shirts that were designed to recognize the occasion.

Case management services are designed to meet each individual’s medical, social, educational, mental health and recreational needs in an effort to prevent or reduce hospitalization and enhance inclusion in the community.

By doing so, case managers are one of the most important components of the mental health system.

Not only do case managers assist individuals in receiving valuable services, they are the eyes and ears for the clinical staff.

They go into the homes and communities of individuals and get firsthand knowledge of whether they are taking their medications as prescribed, if they are working on completing therapy and case management assignments or if an increase in their symptoms is observed.

Having this addition to a treatment team is crucial to the development of therapeutic strategies and interventions.

The goals of case management include: the reduction of hospitalizations or institutional placements, the increase of independent living, empowerment of individuals to increase vocational opportunities and to enhance social support networks, which include family members, peers, and community supports.

Our philosophy is to ensure that individuals with serious mental illness, individuals diagnosed with mental retardation/developmental disabilities, children/adolescents who have been determined to be serious emotionally disturbed and individuals with co-occurring disorders can obtain community-based services and supports.

Case managers are courageous, compassionate, and committed to providing quality services to the individuals on their case loads.

So, if you know a case manager, tell them thank you.

For additional information regarding case management services at Southwest Mississippi Mental Health Complex, contact Debbie Wilson, director of Case Management Services, at 601-249-4213.