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Community Wellness Engagement Unit

Reducing barriers, neighborhood by neighborhood

In July 2019, DBHIDS launched the Community Wellness Engagement Unit, a multilingual engagement team designed to provide greater access to wellness-related resources and support for all communities within its scope.

CWEU works in some of Philadelphia’s most challenged neighborhoods to meet the people most in need and make sure they get access to the services the City has available to them.

CWEU is a mobile unit that makes use of teams of Certified Peer Specialists, Certified Recovery Specialists, and Behavioral Health Specialists to assess individuals, link them to the appropriate services, and coordinate with agencies and community stakeholders to address any barriers to treatment and wellness.

If you have any questions, please email CWEU@phila.gov.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Team

DIVERSITY INCLUDES YOU

  • Diversity: The composition of a group – specifically whether different demographics are represented in a group.
  • Equity: The centering of creating opportunities and changes to a space or system so marginalization doesn’t unjustly predict one’s success and ultimately improves outcomes for all.
  • Inclusion: A person or group of people’s abilities to contribute to and fully participate in a space. Inclusion is also the acknowledgement, celebration, and welcoming of individuals’ sense of uniqueness and belonging.

DBHIDS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team Vision

DBHIDS believes in a community where everyone can thrive and be authentic and included; has a voice and feels valued; and can achieve health, well-being, and self-determination. DBHIDS celebrates differences and advocates for equity and justice. DBHIDS strives to shift the culture boldly by collecting, reporting, and monitoring data and building partnerships and collaborations with various stakeholders. Above all, DBHIDS recognizes that diversity includes YOU.

DEI Principles

DEI Principle: DIVERSITY

Diversity

Diversity at DBHIDS recognizes the unique perspectives and needs of Philadelphians in the way we serve individual and community differences by:

  • Ensuring diversity in recruitment, hiring, and promotion policies, procedures, and practices.
  • Creating and promoting safe spaces and training opportunities to increase diversity awareness; and
  • Practicing a culture where everyone participates in addressing disparities.

DEI Principle: EQUITY

EQUITY

Equity at DBHIDS guarantees fair and full access to opportunities and resources by:

  • Ensuring policies, procedures, and practices reflect equity.
  • Creating an impartial environment; and
  • Practicing transparency to promote accountability.

DEI Principle: INCLUSION

INCLUSION

Inclusion at DBHIDS respects and welcomes diverse viewpoints in collective decision-making regardless of race, gender, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, abilities, disabilities, or health care needs by:

  • Ensuring policies, procedures, and practices are inclusive.
  • Creating an environment that empowers individual to contribute without apprehension authentically; and
  • Practicing a culture of belongingness.

.

Contact Us

DBHIDS.Diversity-Inclusion@phila.gov

 

DEI Team Norms

Team Norms

  • Celebrate diversity
  • Advocate for equity
  • Embrace inclusion
  • Demonstrate respect, honesty, accountability and professionalism
  • Value teamwork, collaboration and relationships
  • Model effective and intentional communication
  • Appreciate one another
  • Recognize diversity includes YOU

DEI Team

DEI Team

The six-member Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) team was created in 2019 to have departmental lens on:

  • inspiring a shared vision by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the entire DBHIDS and provider systems
  • mitigating disparities; utilizing data, research, and community input for program development; and standardizing clinical quality management tools and protocols
  • providing support to the DBHIDS staff, as well as to the provider community and special populations.

We operate from a three-pronged approach: research, data, and community input to inform our work. Through collaboration, we will model inclusive work practices to promote diverse perspectives, creative viewpoints, and innovative ideas by working collaboratively across all six divisions and all four HR components while implementing department-wide workgroups reflective of staff from all levels. We will work to develop a more equitable work culture.

DEI P.A.C.E. Objectives

DEI P.A.C.E. Objectives

1. Enhance economic and equitable inclusion for the Department’s contracted and subcontracted Minority/Women/Disabled-owned Business Enterprises (MWDBE);
2. Monitor and access the clinical quality of the Department’s DEI practices and attitudes while addressing the DEI needs of its workforce; and
3. Collaborate with behavioral health providers to diversify to increase cultural humility and linguistic competencies to promote inclusive service delivery.

DEI Five-Year Plan

Five-Year Plan

Over the next five years, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team will lead the charge and model the way by supporting quality management functions related to DEI by:

  • utilizing data for decision making and contributing to policy and program development for the Department and provider systems;
  • developing mechanisms to manage and standardize DEI;
  • increasing provider recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce reflective of the populations served;
  • providing leadership and coordination of clinical and provider-related quality activities associated to DEI including relevant MWDSBE providers and subcontractors;
  • enhancing reviews and quality improvement projects and evaluations;
  • promoting and enhancing awareness and understanding of DEI through a range of quality management activities and projects.

Camp Program Benefits Kids with Behavioral Disabilities

Hannah Anolik, DBHIDS Summer 2019 Intern

Between the ages of 7 and 11, I “lived 10 months for two” – meaning I was obsessed with summer camp. I lived the other 10 months of the year just for those two months at camp.

Seeing my summertime best friends every day and having (what we thought of as) no rules and pure fun always felt like an escape from reality. Now, a decade or so later, I realize it was during those carefree, hot, summer days that I developed into who I am today and learning about myself.

Summer camp may just seem like a way to get kids out of the house, but it is much more than that.

Read more

‘I AM …’: Speaker works to empower Philly preteens, July 2019

Donovan Forrest, DBHIDS Summer 2019 Intern

Young Philadelphia boys and girls screamed their positive messages about themselves for all to hear when Donovan Forrest brought his message to them this month at Ace Camp in West Philadelphia. Ace Camp participates with the Madeline Moore Summer Camp Grant program offered by DBHIDS.

Forrest, executive director of DonCARES of Philadelphia, worked with DBHIDS Operations/Fiscal (OpsFis) unit this summer through the Mayor’s Internship Program. His activities included visits to local area summer camps that partner with the grant program.

Forrest was asked to speak to 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds July 1 at the summer program hosted at Martha Washington Elementary School, 766 N. 44th St. in the Belmont neighborhood of West Philadelphia.

Read more

Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Services

Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Services

Guided by the vision and mission of DBHIDS, the mission of this Unit is to improve the total wellness for immigrant and refugee communities through a holistic community-based engagement and service delivery approach.

Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Services assists in the development of agency-wide policies and strength-based approaches that engage and provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services for refugee and immigrant communities with behavioral health concerns. The unit also serves as an adviser/liaison to the DBHIDS Commissioner, Executive Management Team, and the City’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Essential Functions:

  1. Assessing the needs of immigrant and refugee communities as well as service providers, to identify gaps and determine how DBHIDS can deliver culturally and linguistically appropriate services to the communities
  2. Developing tools and innovative strategies that support effective service delivery for immigrant and refugee communities
  3. Identifying, developing, maintaining, and aligning resources and information—that exist across the City—to successfully integrate immigrants and refugees into the cultural, social, health, economic, and civic fabric of the City
  4. Promoting the total wellness of immigrants and refugees communities through population health approach

Language Access Services

The DBHIDS Language Access Policy provides protocols for staff when providing services to individuals who have limited English proficiency (LEP). The Policy is essential to the success of our mission to improve the health statuses of Philadelphians in need of behavioral health and/or intellectual disability services. It is the City’s policy to grant access to services or programs to every person even when there is a limited ability to speak, understand, read or write English. Staff WILL NOT suggest or require an LEP member to provide an interpreter in order to receive services.

Accessing Interpretation or Translation Services

If you or someone you know is in need of interpretation or translation services, please use the links below in the Resources section that provide all of the services offered by the City of Philadelphia.

Contact Us

For more information about the Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Service Unit, please contact unit Director Sarorng Sorn, M.S.; office, 215-685-5454; mobile, 267-582-8017.

Resources

DBHIDS Offers Help to Our Community on National Depression Screening Day

By David T. Jones
Commissioner,
DBHIDS

According to Mental Health America, one of the nation’s leading community-based nonprofits dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness, one in five adults have a mental health condition — that’s more than 40 million Americans, or the populations of New York and Florida combined.

One of the most prevalent mental health conditions is depression, a disease of the mind that, if untreated, can have severe or even fatal effects on those who live with it, the people who know and love them, and even innocent strangers. That’s why we were pleased to once again participate in the 2017 National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) on Thursday, October 5. Held each October during Mental Illness Awareness Week, NDSD features of variety of events and awareness activities such as free depression screening. Throughout the day, DBHIDS staff and our partners were stationed in nearly 20 sites across the city offering people an opportunity to get a “check-up from the neck up” because we wholeheartedly believe that a person’s mental health is just as important as their physical health. In all, more than 100 people received a free screening through our NDSD event, getting access to services and information to help assess the state of their mental health.

Read more

FULL LIST: National Depression Screening Day Is Today

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thursday is National Depression Screening Day, a free opportunity for people to be checked for a mental health issue that millions struggle with.

Shaiheed Days, 28, has struggled with depression since he was a little boy.

“Sadness, you feel stuck. You feel unrelatable. You feel yucky,” said Days.

He was taken from his drug-addicted mother, separated from siblings and put in an abusive foster home.

But now he’s finally found healthy ways to cope. Days is active with support groups, friends and traveling.

He’s also helping others in his job at the Department of Behavioral Health.

Researchers: Dogs Able To Detect Cancers Through Smell

But experts say not enough people are getting the message of hope and healing that people can learn to live with depression and thrive.

“I think there’s still some stigma attached to talking about mental health struggles, so some folks think they have to just take it and live with it, and that help and hope couldn’t possibly be available, and if it is, it’s not something that I can ask for because people might find out,” said Dana Careless, a counselor with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability.

Careless says the depressions screenings are private and anonymous and important for people struggling–now with the added pressure that comes from social media.

“People are posting pictures on social media that are airbrushed and photoshopped and filtered and they might be thinking, God, my life looks nothing like that. What if they saw me in my pajamas for the 6th day in a row?” said Careless.

In Philadelphia, the following locations are holding depression screenings Thursday, October 5:

Temple Health System – Temple University Episcopal Campus, 100 E Lehigh Avenue, Fox Conference Room, Philadelphia PA 19125 – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

La Colombe Coffee Roasters – Patio at 100 South Independence Mall (on the corner of 6th and Market Streets), Philadelphia, PA 19106 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Citizens Acting Together Can Help (CATCH) – 2221 Broad Street, Starbucks, Philadelphia, PA 19145 – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

JFK Behavioral Health – 1801 Diamond Street, Church of the Advocates Philadelphia, PA 19121 – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Jefferson Narcotic Addiction Rehabilitation Program (NARP) – 1200 Catherine Avenue, Hawthorne Park, Philadelphia, PA 19147 – 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Northeast Community Center – 4670 Roosevelt Boulevard, Chick-fil-A Northeast Tower, Philadelphia PA, 19124 – 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ,

Elwyn – 201 S. 40th Street, Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104 – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

theVillage – 6517 Chester Avenue, outside of the Preheim Center, Philadelphia, PA 19142 – 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm

COMHAR Behavioral Health – 260 W. Lehigh Avenue, Rite Aid Pharmacy, Philadelphia, PA 19133 – 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Jefferson Station – Next to Tiffany’s Bakery on Market Street between 10th and 12th Streets (enter at 12th and Market Streets), Philadelphia, PA 19107 – 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Belmont Behavioral Health – Aria Jefferson-Health lobby area, 4900 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19124 – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

People Acting to Help (PATH) – 8220 Castor Avenue, 4th Floor, PATH Inc., Philadelphia, PA, 19152 – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Silver Springs Martin Luther School – 7208 Germantown Avenue, Silver Springs Community-Based Programs, Philadelphia, PA 19119 – 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

SPIN Inc. – 10980 Norcom Road, SPIN Community and Fitness, Philadelphia, PA 19154 – 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm


Delaware’s Mental Health Association is hosting several days of free depression screenings. All dates are Thursday, October 5 unless otherwise noted. More information on Delaware screenings can be found at http://bit.ly/2xfxWC5

Career Team – 964 Justison St., Wilmington, DE 19801 – 8:00 am to 11:30 am

Mobile Crisis Intervention Services – 700 Main Street, Ellendale, DE 19941 – 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Easter Seals – 22317 duPont Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Ministry of Caring Hope House I (Friday 10/13) – 1103 W. 8th St., Wilmington, DE 19806 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Mobile Crisis Unit – 1901 N Dupont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19720 – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

AIDS Delaware – 100 West 10th Street, Suite 315, Wilmington, DE 19801 – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

La Red Health Center – 21444 Carmean Way, Georgetown, DE 19947 – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Joseph Patrick Fabber Memorial Foundation – 401 N. Bedford St., Georgetown, DE 19947 – 9:00 am to 7:00 pm

Beautiful Gate Outreach – 604 Walnut Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 – 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Neighborhood House INC. – 1218 B Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Brandywine Community Church – 2200 Market St., Wilmington, DE 19802 – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Christiana Care – Wimington – 501 West 14th St., Wilmington, DE 19801 – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

SODAT – Delaware INC. – 625 N. Orange Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

A.C.E. Peer Resource Center – 20707 Dupont Blvd., Georgetown, DE 19947 – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Partners in Health & Wellbeing – 16394 Samuel Paynter Blvd. #202, Milton, DE 19968 – 10:00 am to 11:00 am and 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Delaware Technical Community College – 21179 College Dr., Georgetown, DE 19947 – 11:30 am to 1:00 pm

Partners in Health & Wellbeing – 260 Chapman Rd., Suite 100-B, Newark, DE 19702 – 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Easter Seals- 61 Corporate Circle, New Castle, DE 19720 – 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Goldey Beacom College – 4701 Limestone Road (Thompson Lounge), Wilmington, DE 19808 – 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm

North Wilmington Library – (Saturday 10/7) – 3400 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19802 – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

A.C.E. Peer Resource Center (Tuesday 10/10) – 547 N. Bradford Street, Seaford, DE 19973 – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Newark Senior Center (Wednesday 10/11) – 200 White Chapel Drive, Newark, 19713 – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Ministry of Caring House of Joseph (Thursday 10/12) – 1328 W. 3rd St., Wilmington, DE 19805 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm


A state-by-state list for National Depression Screening Day can be found HERE.

Can’t get to a location for National Depression Screening Day? You can take a screening anonymously, HERE.

Several communities in our area are holding free depression screenings on Thursday, October 5, 2017. Some have additional screening days and times as well. You can find out more, HERE.

Philly Participates in Depression Screening Day

By Erin Coleman


NBC10’s Erin Coleman speaks with Dana Careless, the director of health promotion at Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services, to talk about the signs of depression and where you can go for a free, anonymous screening. Find a location for National Depression Screening Day events.

Philadelphians Share Their Stories About How the ACA Has Helped Them

By Josh Kruger
Department of Public HealthOffice of the Mayor
A father sits in a hospital waiting room with his young son resting on his lap.

More than 200,000 Philadelphians benefit from the Affordable Care Act — more than 160,000 through the Medicaid expansion and about 60,000 through the ACA’s marketplace.

If the ACA is repealed, these people could all lose their health insurance and have no way to pay for medical care.

They’re not the only ones who’ll be affected, either. If Congress repeals the ACA, most adults and children in Philadelphia who have private healthcare coverage will lose protections the ACA provides. Protection like no-cost preventive care, coverage of preexisting conditions, and equal coverage of behavioral health issues like addiction.

The stakes are high for all of us.

We asked Philadelphians to share their stories. Here’s what a few of you had to say. Read more

Fixing Philly – Caring for Those Leaving ‘El Campamento’

Today, Monday, July 31, the city and Conrail, will begin clearing out a Kensington site known as “El Campamento,” a camp that leads to a half-mile area along the railroad tracks that have long been a haven for heroin users looking to shoot up and hide from police.

As detailed recently in Time magazine, the area has been a problem for city officials and local residents for years until the city recently formed an agreement with Conrail that would see the area cleared by the end of this month. On Friday, city officials said that as this week’s clean-up gets underway, the city will also provide a temporary social services hub to help those struggling with addiction at the site at least until Wednesday, July 2.

But, what happens after that?

According to David T. Jones, the newly appointed head of the city’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, Philadelphia has capacity at its shelters for any heroin user who sees the end of El Campamento as the first step towards rehabilitation.

“We have capacity in our system to meet that need. Right now, we have capacity across the board,” he said, saying his office has been working with Conrail to anticipate the needs of those that will be pushed out of that area.

Jones’ department is funded to the tune of about $1 billion a year and, along with addiction services, the department manages the city’s mental health services and disability services, as well. And, that’s important, because, Jones said, it takes a rounded approach to be able to address issues of opioid addiction.

Along with needing to kick a drug addiction, Jones said, those who might have regularly visited El Campamento will likely need, what he called “social determinants,” which would include shelter, nutritional needs and food security and help building healthy relationships. To do this, he said, his department is set to help connect those who come to them for help breaking the cycle of opioid addiction with the many different organizations that work with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual DisAbility Services.

“We have been really thoughtful and we are really going to try and make all of those connections across life’s domain,” Jones said, for those leaving El Campamento.

Also, he said, a big part of helping rehabilitate someone who is coming out of an addiction to an opioid like heroin is helping them find a support system – something he called ‘families.” And, he noted, that sometimes, “families” don’t mean just a person’s blood-related kin.

“We are trying to connect them to some type of family unit,” said Jones. “We have families that we are born into and we have families that we create. We are talking about families in the broadest sense.”

Finally, when asked if the controversial topic of safe injection sites were an idea that might help Philadelphia combat its opioid crisis, Jones said that his office is now looking at new strategies to make a dent in the problem, and safe injections sites are an idea that they are considering.

“We are looking at all strategies that will help people in their recovery and safe injections sites are one of those strategies that we are looking at,” he said. “We are exploring that as a strategy.”

News

Community Wellness Engagement Unit

Reducing barriers, neighborhood by neighborhood

In July 2019, DBHIDS launched the Community Wellness Engagement Unit, a multilingual engagement team designed to provide greater access to wellness-related resources and support for all communities within its scope.

CWEU works in some of Philadelphia’s most challenged neighborhoods to meet the people most in need and make sure they get access to the services the City has available to them.

CWEU is a mobile unit that makes use of teams of Certified Peer Specialists, Certified Recovery Specialists, and Behavioral Health Specialists to assess individuals, link them to the appropriate services, and coordinate with agencies and community stakeholders to address any barriers to treatment and wellness.

If you have any questions, please email CWEU@phila.gov.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Team

DIVERSITY INCLUDES YOU

  • Diversity: The composition of a group – specifically whether different demographics are represented in a group.
  • Equity: The centering of creating opportunities and changes to a space or system so marginalization doesn’t unjustly predict one’s success and ultimately improves outcomes for all.
  • Inclusion: A person or group of people’s abilities to contribute to and fully participate in a space. Inclusion is also the acknowledgement, celebration, and welcoming of individuals’ sense of uniqueness and belonging.

DBHIDS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team Vision

DBHIDS believes in a community where everyone can thrive and be authentic and included; has a voice and feels valued; and can achieve health, well-being, and self-determination. DBHIDS celebrates differences and advocates for equity and justice. DBHIDS strives to shift the culture boldly by collecting, reporting, and monitoring data and building partnerships and collaborations with various stakeholders. Above all, DBHIDS recognizes that diversity includes YOU.

DEI Principles

DEI Principle: DIVERSITY

Diversity

Diversity at DBHIDS recognizes the unique perspectives and needs of Philadelphians in the way we serve individual and community differences by:

  • Ensuring diversity in recruitment, hiring, and promotion policies, procedures, and practices.
  • Creating and promoting safe spaces and training opportunities to increase diversity awareness; and
  • Practicing a culture where everyone participates in addressing disparities.

DEI Principle: EQUITY

EQUITY

Equity at DBHIDS guarantees fair and full access to opportunities and resources by:

  • Ensuring policies, procedures, and practices reflect equity.
  • Creating an impartial environment; and
  • Practicing transparency to promote accountability.

DEI Principle: INCLUSION

INCLUSION

Inclusion at DBHIDS respects and welcomes diverse viewpoints in collective decision-making regardless of race, gender, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, abilities, disabilities, or health care needs by:

  • Ensuring policies, procedures, and practices are inclusive.
  • Creating an environment that empowers individual to contribute without apprehension authentically; and
  • Practicing a culture of belongingness.

.

Contact Us

DBHIDS.Diversity-Inclusion@phila.gov

 

DEI Team Norms

Team Norms

  • Celebrate diversity
  • Advocate for equity
  • Embrace inclusion
  • Demonstrate respect, honesty, accountability and professionalism
  • Value teamwork, collaboration and relationships
  • Model effective and intentional communication
  • Appreciate one another
  • Recognize diversity includes YOU

DEI Team

DEI Team

The six-member Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) team was created in 2019 to have departmental lens on:

  • inspiring a shared vision by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the entire DBHIDS and provider systems
  • mitigating disparities; utilizing data, research, and community input for program development; and standardizing clinical quality management tools and protocols
  • providing support to the DBHIDS staff, as well as to the provider community and special populations.

We operate from a three-pronged approach: research, data, and community input to inform our work. Through collaboration, we will model inclusive work practices to promote diverse perspectives, creative viewpoints, and innovative ideas by working collaboratively across all six divisions and all four HR components while implementing department-wide workgroups reflective of staff from all levels. We will work to develop a more equitable work culture.

DEI P.A.C.E. Objectives

DEI P.A.C.E. Objectives

1. Enhance economic and equitable inclusion for the Department’s contracted and subcontracted Minority/Women/Disabled-owned Business Enterprises (MWDBE);
2. Monitor and access the clinical quality of the Department’s DEI practices and attitudes while addressing the DEI needs of its workforce; and
3. Collaborate with behavioral health providers to diversify to increase cultural humility and linguistic competencies to promote inclusive service delivery.

DEI Five-Year Plan

Five-Year Plan

Over the next five years, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team will lead the charge and model the way by supporting quality management functions related to DEI by:

  • utilizing data for decision making and contributing to policy and program development for the Department and provider systems;
  • developing mechanisms to manage and standardize DEI;
  • increasing provider recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce reflective of the populations served;
  • providing leadership and coordination of clinical and provider-related quality activities associated to DEI including relevant MWDSBE providers and subcontractors;
  • enhancing reviews and quality improvement projects and evaluations;
  • promoting and enhancing awareness and understanding of DEI through a range of quality management activities and projects.

Camp Program Benefits Kids with Behavioral Disabilities

Hannah Anolik, DBHIDS Summer 2019 Intern

Between the ages of 7 and 11, I “lived 10 months for two” – meaning I was obsessed with summer camp. I lived the other 10 months of the year just for those two months at camp.

Seeing my summertime best friends every day and having (what we thought of as) no rules and pure fun always felt like an escape from reality. Now, a decade or so later, I realize it was during those carefree, hot, summer days that I developed into who I am today and learning about myself.

Summer camp may just seem like a way to get kids out of the house, but it is much more than that.

Read more

‘I AM …’: Speaker works to empower Philly preteens, July 2019

Donovan Forrest, DBHIDS Summer 2019 Intern

Young Philadelphia boys and girls screamed their positive messages about themselves for all to hear when Donovan Forrest brought his message to them this month at Ace Camp in West Philadelphia. Ace Camp participates with the Madeline Moore Summer Camp Grant program offered by DBHIDS.

Forrest, executive director of DonCARES of Philadelphia, worked with DBHIDS Operations/Fiscal (OpsFis) unit this summer through the Mayor’s Internship Program. His activities included visits to local area summer camps that partner with the grant program.

Forrest was asked to speak to 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds July 1 at the summer program hosted at Martha Washington Elementary School, 766 N. 44th St. in the Belmont neighborhood of West Philadelphia.

Read more

Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Services

Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Services

Guided by the vision and mission of DBHIDS, the mission of this Unit is to improve the total wellness for immigrant and refugee communities through a holistic community-based engagement and service delivery approach.

Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Services assists in the development of agency-wide policies and strength-based approaches that engage and provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services for refugee and immigrant communities with behavioral health concerns. The unit also serves as an adviser/liaison to the DBHIDS Commissioner, Executive Management Team, and the City’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Essential Functions:

  1. Assessing the needs of immigrant and refugee communities as well as service providers, to identify gaps and determine how DBHIDS can deliver culturally and linguistically appropriate services to the communities
  2. Developing tools and innovative strategies that support effective service delivery for immigrant and refugee communities
  3. Identifying, developing, maintaining, and aligning resources and information—that exist across the City—to successfully integrate immigrants and refugees into the cultural, social, health, economic, and civic fabric of the City
  4. Promoting the total wellness of immigrants and refugees communities through population health approach

Language Access Services

The DBHIDS Language Access Policy provides protocols for staff when providing services to individuals who have limited English proficiency (LEP). The Policy is essential to the success of our mission to improve the health statuses of Philadelphians in need of behavioral health and/or intellectual disability services. It is the City’s policy to grant access to services or programs to every person even when there is a limited ability to speak, understand, read or write English. Staff WILL NOT suggest or require an LEP member to provide an interpreter in order to receive services.

Accessing Interpretation or Translation Services

If you or someone you know is in need of interpretation or translation services, please use the links below in the Resources section that provide all of the services offered by the City of Philadelphia.

Contact Us

For more information about the Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Service Unit, please contact unit Director Sarorng Sorn, M.S.; office, 215-685-5454; mobile, 267-582-8017.

Resources

DBHIDS Offers Help to Our Community on National Depression Screening Day

By David T. Jones
Commissioner,
DBHIDS

According to Mental Health America, one of the nation’s leading community-based nonprofits dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness, one in five adults have a mental health condition — that’s more than 40 million Americans, or the populations of New York and Florida combined.

One of the most prevalent mental health conditions is depression, a disease of the mind that, if untreated, can have severe or even fatal effects on those who live with it, the people who know and love them, and even innocent strangers. That’s why we were pleased to once again participate in the 2017 National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) on Thursday, October 5. Held each October during Mental Illness Awareness Week, NDSD features of variety of events and awareness activities such as free depression screening. Throughout the day, DBHIDS staff and our partners were stationed in nearly 20 sites across the city offering people an opportunity to get a “check-up from the neck up” because we wholeheartedly believe that a person’s mental health is just as important as their physical health. In all, more than 100 people received a free screening through our NDSD event, getting access to services and information to help assess the state of their mental health.

Read more

FULL LIST: National Depression Screening Day Is Today

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thursday is National Depression Screening Day, a free opportunity for people to be checked for a mental health issue that millions struggle with.

Shaiheed Days, 28, has struggled with depression since he was a little boy.

“Sadness, you feel stuck. You feel unrelatable. You feel yucky,” said Days.

He was taken from his drug-addicted mother, separated from siblings and put in an abusive foster home.

But now he’s finally found healthy ways to cope. Days is active with support groups, friends and traveling.

He’s also helping others in his job at the Department of Behavioral Health.

Researchers: Dogs Able To Detect Cancers Through Smell

But experts say not enough people are getting the message of hope and healing that people can learn to live with depression and thrive.

“I think there’s still some stigma attached to talking about mental health struggles, so some folks think they have to just take it and live with it, and that help and hope couldn’t possibly be available, and if it is, it’s not something that I can ask for because people might find out,” said Dana Careless, a counselor with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability.

Careless says the depressions screenings are private and anonymous and important for people struggling–now with the added pressure that comes from social media.

“People are posting pictures on social media that are airbrushed and photoshopped and filtered and they might be thinking, God, my life looks nothing like that. What if they saw me in my pajamas for the 6th day in a row?” said Careless.

In Philadelphia, the following locations are holding depression screenings Thursday, October 5:

Temple Health System – Temple University Episcopal Campus, 100 E Lehigh Avenue, Fox Conference Room, Philadelphia PA 19125 – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

La Colombe Coffee Roasters – Patio at 100 South Independence Mall (on the corner of 6th and Market Streets), Philadelphia, PA 19106 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Citizens Acting Together Can Help (CATCH) – 2221 Broad Street, Starbucks, Philadelphia, PA 19145 – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

JFK Behavioral Health – 1801 Diamond Street, Church of the Advocates Philadelphia, PA 19121 – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Jefferson Narcotic Addiction Rehabilitation Program (NARP) – 1200 Catherine Avenue, Hawthorne Park, Philadelphia, PA 19147 – 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Northeast Community Center – 4670 Roosevelt Boulevard, Chick-fil-A Northeast Tower, Philadelphia PA, 19124 – 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ,

Elwyn – 201 S. 40th Street, Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104 – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

theVillage – 6517 Chester Avenue, outside of the Preheim Center, Philadelphia, PA 19142 – 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm

COMHAR Behavioral Health – 260 W. Lehigh Avenue, Rite Aid Pharmacy, Philadelphia, PA 19133 – 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Jefferson Station – Next to Tiffany’s Bakery on Market Street between 10th and 12th Streets (enter at 12th and Market Streets), Philadelphia, PA 19107 – 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Belmont Behavioral Health – Aria Jefferson-Health lobby area, 4900 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19124 – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

People Acting to Help (PATH) – 8220 Castor Avenue, 4th Floor, PATH Inc., Philadelphia, PA, 19152 – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Silver Springs Martin Luther School – 7208 Germantown Avenue, Silver Springs Community-Based Programs, Philadelphia, PA 19119 – 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

SPIN Inc. – 10980 Norcom Road, SPIN Community and Fitness, Philadelphia, PA 19154 – 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm


Delaware’s Mental Health Association is hosting several days of free depression screenings. All dates are Thursday, October 5 unless otherwise noted. More information on Delaware screenings can be found at http://bit.ly/2xfxWC5

Career Team – 964 Justison St., Wilmington, DE 19801 – 8:00 am to 11:30 am

Mobile Crisis Intervention Services – 700 Main Street, Ellendale, DE 19941 – 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Easter Seals – 22317 duPont Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Ministry of Caring Hope House I (Friday 10/13) – 1103 W. 8th St., Wilmington, DE 19806 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Mobile Crisis Unit – 1901 N Dupont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19720 – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

AIDS Delaware – 100 West 10th Street, Suite 315, Wilmington, DE 19801 – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

La Red Health Center – 21444 Carmean Way, Georgetown, DE 19947 – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Joseph Patrick Fabber Memorial Foundation – 401 N. Bedford St., Georgetown, DE 19947 – 9:00 am to 7:00 pm

Beautiful Gate Outreach – 604 Walnut Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 – 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Neighborhood House INC. – 1218 B Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Brandywine Community Church – 2200 Market St., Wilmington, DE 19802 – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Christiana Care – Wimington – 501 West 14th St., Wilmington, DE 19801 – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

SODAT – Delaware INC. – 625 N. Orange Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

A.C.E. Peer Resource Center – 20707 Dupont Blvd., Georgetown, DE 19947 – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Partners in Health & Wellbeing – 16394 Samuel Paynter Blvd. #202, Milton, DE 19968 – 10:00 am to 11:00 am and 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Delaware Technical Community College – 21179 College Dr., Georgetown, DE 19947 – 11:30 am to 1:00 pm

Partners in Health & Wellbeing – 260 Chapman Rd., Suite 100-B, Newark, DE 19702 – 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Easter Seals- 61 Corporate Circle, New Castle, DE 19720 – 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Goldey Beacom College – 4701 Limestone Road (Thompson Lounge), Wilmington, DE 19808 – 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm

North Wilmington Library – (Saturday 10/7) – 3400 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19802 – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

A.C.E. Peer Resource Center (Tuesday 10/10) – 547 N. Bradford Street, Seaford, DE 19973 – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Newark Senior Center (Wednesday 10/11) – 200 White Chapel Drive, Newark, 19713 – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Ministry of Caring House of Joseph (Thursday 10/12) – 1328 W. 3rd St., Wilmington, DE 19805 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm


A state-by-state list for National Depression Screening Day can be found HERE.

Can’t get to a location for National Depression Screening Day? You can take a screening anonymously, HERE.

Several communities in our area are holding free depression screenings on Thursday, October 5, 2017. Some have additional screening days and times as well. You can find out more, HERE.

Philly Participates in Depression Screening Day

By Erin Coleman


NBC10’s Erin Coleman speaks with Dana Careless, the director of health promotion at Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services, to talk about the signs of depression and where you can go for a free, anonymous screening. Find a location for National Depression Screening Day events.

Philadelphians Share Their Stories About How the ACA Has Helped Them

By Josh Kruger
Department of Public HealthOffice of the Mayor
A father sits in a hospital waiting room with his young son resting on his lap.

More than 200,000 Philadelphians benefit from the Affordable Care Act — more than 160,000 through the Medicaid expansion and about 60,000 through the ACA’s marketplace.

If the ACA is repealed, these people could all lose their health insurance and have no way to pay for medical care.

They’re not the only ones who’ll be affected, either. If Congress repeals the ACA, most adults and children in Philadelphia who have private healthcare coverage will lose protections the ACA provides. Protection like no-cost preventive care, coverage of preexisting conditions, and equal coverage of behavioral health issues like addiction.

The stakes are high for all of us.

We asked Philadelphians to share their stories. Here’s what a few of you had to say. Read more

Fixing Philly – Caring for Those Leaving ‘El Campamento’

Today, Monday, July 31, the city and Conrail, will begin clearing out a Kensington site known as “El Campamento,” a camp that leads to a half-mile area along the railroad tracks that have long been a haven for heroin users looking to shoot up and hide from police.

As detailed recently in Time magazine, the area has been a problem for city officials and local residents for years until the city recently formed an agreement with Conrail that would see the area cleared by the end of this month. On Friday, city officials said that as this week’s clean-up gets underway, the city will also provide a temporary social services hub to help those struggling with addiction at the site at least until Wednesday, July 2.

But, what happens after that?

According to David T. Jones, the newly appointed head of the city’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, Philadelphia has capacity at its shelters for any heroin user who sees the end of El Campamento as the first step towards rehabilitation.

“We have capacity in our system to meet that need. Right now, we have capacity across the board,” he said, saying his office has been working with Conrail to anticipate the needs of those that will be pushed out of that area.

Jones’ department is funded to the tune of about $1 billion a year and, along with addiction services, the department manages the city’s mental health services and disability services, as well. And, that’s important, because, Jones said, it takes a rounded approach to be able to address issues of opioid addiction.

Along with needing to kick a drug addiction, Jones said, those who might have regularly visited El Campamento will likely need, what he called “social determinants,” which would include shelter, nutritional needs and food security and help building healthy relationships. To do this, he said, his department is set to help connect those who come to them for help breaking the cycle of opioid addiction with the many different organizations that work with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual DisAbility Services.

“We have been really thoughtful and we are really going to try and make all of those connections across life’s domain,” Jones said, for those leaving El Campamento.

Also, he said, a big part of helping rehabilitate someone who is coming out of an addiction to an opioid like heroin is helping them find a support system – something he called ‘families.” And, he noted, that sometimes, “families” don’t mean just a person’s blood-related kin.

“We are trying to connect them to some type of family unit,” said Jones. “We have families that we are born into and we have families that we create. We are talking about families in the broadest sense.”

Finally, when asked if the controversial topic of safe injection sites were an idea that might help Philadelphia combat its opioid crisis, Jones said that his office is now looking at new strategies to make a dent in the problem, and safe injections sites are an idea that they are considering.

“We are looking at all strategies that will help people in their recovery and safe injections sites are one of those strategies that we are looking at,” he said. “We are exploring that as a strategy.”