Individuals receiving mental health services are among the most vulnerable in our community. The nature of their illnesses often results in a variety of peripheral problems ranging from well-meaning slights and stigma, to disregard of basic civil rights. Part of the long history of psychiatric hospitals and hospitalizations is unfortunately the recurring problem of patient abuse and neglect. Although deinstitutionalization has resulted in resolution of many such problems, every solution has its own price. Deinstitutionalization caused a new set of problems, such as homelessness, lack of adequate follow-up treatment and support, and simple loneliness. The MHATC addresses the stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental health problems. Additionally, we advocate for new and improved mental health services locally and at the state level.
Adult Services provides information and assistance to people using mental health services and to their family and friends. It can help people connect with local therapists, assist in coordinating services, help provide answers to questions concerning individual rights in different mental health environments, assist in resolving problems among people and systems, and help provide direct assistance to arrange referral to legal or other resources. Adult Services provides various training sessions to mental health recipients who are residents of Tompkins, Tioga, Schuyler, Seneca and Yates Counties. These trainings are free of charge and teach many skills which are useful in establishing a more productive and hopeful relationship with the world. The program seeks to develop in people a positive, progressive attitude toward personal responsibility.
- Adult Advocacy Program of the MHATC has the responsibility of monitoring mental health services and responding to individual and group concerns. It is this program that serves as a “watchdog” and advocates for the improvement of mental health services. The program also may identify and develop services needed but not currently provided.
- AS Friends Program was developed by the Adult Advocacy Program to address some of the needs of people struggling with mental health difficulties. The AS Friends Program matches trained volunteers in the community with individuals diagnosed with a mental illness in need of support. This helps diminish feelings of loneliness and creates bridges back to society for those who may be suffering from the stigma of mental illness.
To contact David Bulkley, Director of Adult Services, please email: DBulkley@mhaedu.org