Aid to the Developmentally Disabled (ADD) is focused on extensive training during orientation of staff and an integrative approach to transition for new team members. New staff gets to know the individuals in our programs even before they start work. When joining a recent training session, we learn about the Mental Health Program at ADD, and we get to know the success stories of a couple of current residents.
The Mental Health Program offers different levels of housing: Community Residence, with 24-hour per day staffing; Apartment Treatment Program, offering independence with staff visits two to three times per week; and Supported Housing, as the least restrictive option in a more tenant relationship. Two residents from different types of housing offered their stories during this session.
Georgette lives in a Community Residence house. Although, staff is on-site 24-hours a day, she enjoys her activities and shares her need for respect and to be approached on a friendly, more personable level. Georgette is taking the next step in one of her goals and will begin driving lessons this week. She has always wanted a driver’s license. The program has helped her achieve many of her goals and encouraged her to reach this point confidently.
Amber is also a success story. She has recently moved up to the Apartment Treatment Program where independence and pride abounds. Amber is able to achieve daily living tasks, such as cooking, and matriculate within her home and out in the community as she desires. She resides with two other individuals. Amber explains that she started out in a very different situation when she was first introduced to the ADD program. She’s pleased with her accomplishments and how far she has come to now be living more independently. Amber constantly sets new goals for herself.
The interaction with these two program members helped staff during this training to understand how to communicate with residents, what they may be feeling, how to help them achieve their goals and how to approach teachable moments – to work together on tasks, not to do things for them.
The session also outlined the stages of recovery and an overview of the process. From hope to empowerment, recovery to responsibility, and finally helping the individuals find their meaningful role in life; the program creates an understanding of the disabilities faced, the challenges of life and to work together to help the darkness fade away.
To learn more about the Mental Health Program, the ADD organization, residential housing, job opportunities and special ADD hosted groups and events, browse our website or call 631-727-6220 ext. 203.