Historically, treatment for mental health and substance use disorders have operated within separate spheres, with clinicians often not having the expertise, training and knowledge to provide integrated care. Consequently, young people and their families have had difficulty accessing treatment for co-occurring disorders – the combination of one or more mental health disorders and substance misuse/addiction. This has resulted in poorer treatment outcomes.
In May 202 the Westchester Medical Center Health Network awarded Family Services of Westchester a Promising Practices Grant in collaboration with the harris project to support ongoing Co-Occurring System of Care transformation in the Mid-Hudson Region, including efforts to integrate treatment and expand the reach of CODA (Co-Occurring Disorders Awareness) primary prevention programming. With additional support from the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health, the grant also made it possible for key Westchester youth-serving providers to implement Encompass in community and school-based settings. Encompass is an innovative evidence-based treatment model designed to address the needs of adolescents and young adults with co-occurring mental health challenges and substance misuse/addiction.
After an exciting kick-off in June 2020 introducing program developer Dr. Paula Riggs of the University of Colorado and Encompass to our provider community, six Westchester behavioral health agencies joined the two-year pilot of this manualized protocol for those 12-29 years old with co-occurring disorders. With Dr. Riggs at the helm, pre-implementation work and a two-day training were completed.
The group of providers, including Family Services of Westchester, The Guidance Center of Westchester, MHA Westchester, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Westchester Jewish Community Services, and Cognitive Behavioral Consultants, have a cohort of 20 clinicians who receive bi-weekly clinical consultation with Dr. Riggs and the Encompass team to ensure fidelity, providing participants with the highest quality of care.
Admission to the Encompass program began in January 2021. Treatment consists of approximately 16 weekly out-patient individual sessions. This may also include a family component as clinically indicated to ensure that parents/caregivers have the tools needed to support their teen/young adult during all stages of recovery. Thanks to funding from the Westchester Community Foundation, a division of the New York Community Trust, the Encompass certification cohort has been expanded. An additional 40 clinicians from the original cohort plus clinicians from the Lexington Center for Recovery and Innovative Health Systems completed training in February 2021.
Encompass uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational enhancement therapy (MET) to facilitate acquisition of new skills and coping strategies to reduce harmful substance use and improve mental health. Motivational incentives are used to reinforce abstinence and increase engagement in non-drug pro-social activities to promote a healthy, sustainable drug-free lifestyle.
Encompass is a good fit for young people who:
The clinical team provides:
Please reach out directly to the agencies highlighted above to see if Encompass is right for you or your loved one.