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2000 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 4, No. 2
May 1999

Suggestions for Working with Mental Health

  • Individual line workers can make a difference by:
    --getting to know a mental health (MH) worker in your area and
    --finding out about the criteria for referrals and area resources.
  • Supervisors and managers can make a difference by sitting down with MH representatives to
    --resolve the system conflicts that can hold up cases
    --get a sense of what their counterparts are doing
    --open lines of communication. If each knows what the other is doing on an ongoing basis, we'll be less likely to replicate or impede each other's efforts to help clients, and we'll be able to avoid embarrassing and troublesome situations (e.g., when a family has two home visits from two different agencies on the same day).
  • Remember that both systems are facing the issue of how to do more with less. One solution is to share resources.
  • Understand that each area program does things differently and try to find out how things work in your community.
  • If difficulty arises regarding legal and confidentiality issues, remember that MH isn't trying to be difficult, they're trying to comply with increasingly complex guidelines.

1999 Jordan Institute for Families