Thursday, March 01, 2007

Study: Drugs don’t help enough

An article in today’s News & Observer says that for mental illness, drug therapy is not enough. It needs to “be accompanied by intensive support, including family counseling, vocational training and regular contact with doctors and other professionals."

Caramore has been providing the response needed for mental illness—and we’ve been doing it for 30 years. Here are the three responses that severe mental illness demands:

1. Medical Care. All forms of serious psychiatric disorders and diseases require ongoing medical treatment.

Caramore serves as a liaison between our clients and psychiatrists, therapists and pharmacists. We monitor all medication to ensure all prescribed medical treatment and therapies are being followed.

2. Supportive Environment. In severe cases—like schizophrenia—where cognition and behavior and insight have been impaired; rehabilitation is required. It can take a long time to relearn, readjust, and regain normal functioning. A structured environment that’s normalized, full of routines, expectations, and social interaction, is vital.

Caramore provides a rehabilitative setting that is supportive and encourages and requires direct effort and participation—the goal being to re-establish a meaningful life in our community.

3. Ongoing Illness Management. There is no immediate cure for hereditary psychiatric disorders. The illness can, and often does, return in degrees. But the chances of re-hospitalization can be reduced. Ongoing illness management entails living a healthy lifestyle, continued medical treatment, and remaining associated with support—support that helps limit isolation, ensure that the prescribed and correct (and often complex) medication regimen is being followed, and providing assistance in preventing small everyday life-problems from becoming large and un-repairable (like losing an apartment or a job).

Caramore offers long-term association with us that entails housing, medication management, psychiatric care coordination, along with employment, financial, and health care counsel. We work hard to ensure progress is continually gained and not lost during unfortunate twists and turns of the illness.

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