Friday, September 14, 2007

A Personal Testimonial

Eric speaks about his Caramore experience.

And on how he’s experienced and found recovery from his own illness.

Brushes With Life: The Movie!

Brushes with Life, the highly successful project organized by UNC Department of Psychiatry’s Schizophrenia Treatment and Evaluation Program, is now a movie! Local filmmaker Philip Brubaker has created a documentary exploring the project and it’s themes of mental illness, creation, and hope.

The trailer

The movie will be shown at the Century Center in Carrboro, Thursday, October 11 from 7 to 9 PM.

Caramore is excited because the movie features our own Kawmi Jackson!

It’s free, light refreshments will be served, and the movie will be followed by a panel discussion—so come on out and join us!

D. Cooley

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jack Simonds Center Dedication Ceremony

portrait by

Back in 1984, when Jack Simonds first showed up at Caramore, uncertainty abounded. A disjointed staff, negative press, and shaky funding sources were just a few of the problems facing the small Caramore program as it forged its unique mission: to better the lives of those suffering with mental illness through vocational, residential, and clinical coordination services.

Chief among the uncertainties of those early days was the fact that the Caramore staff and clients never really knew for sure if they would be able to get to the office or not. Back in those days, rain showers often resulted in a flooded access bridge leading to Caramore. Facilities on loan from the University housed the Caramore administrative offices when Jack Simonds first accepted the challenge of leading as President.

In 1997, under Jack's leadership, Caramore moved its administrative and operations center to a beautiful, brand new, 10,000 square foot facility on Smith Level Road in Carrboro—a facility that is accessible and vibrant everyday, rain or shine! To this day, many Caramore staff refer to our building as "the house that Jack built."

On October 1, 2007, Caramore will dedicate its facility headquarters as the Jack Simonds Center. The center will continue to house the wonderful work that Caramore does, but it will also increasingly become a focal point for advocacy in alleviating the suffering and stigma of mental illness in this community.

Jack Simonds served as the Caramore President and Chief Executive Officer from 1984 to 2002. During those years, Caramore grew in significance and accomplishment. Jack's vision, passion, and leadership continue to inspire and sustain the dedicated group of men and women who now serve as Caramore staff. Today, Caramore leads our state in effectively providing comprehensive community-based support to adults with mental illness. Caramore is now nationally accredited and locally designated as a high-confidence provider of mental health support services.

For nearly twenty years, Jack Simonds demonstrated a unique ability to directly relate to and win over—with wit, wisdom, compassion, and kindness—all who came into contact with Caramore, from staff, to clients, board members, families, customers, colleagues, and salesmen.

Jack Simonds is a man of great leadership and charisma whose vision crafted today’s Caramore. The home of Caramore will forever be known as the Jack Simonds Center to honor his inspiring work and continue our mission for years to come.

Dedication Ceremony and Open House
Monday October 1, 2007 at 3:30
At Caramore (or rather The Jack Simonds Center)

David Chapman

Caramore President / CEO

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Outcomes and Statistics for FY 2006-2007

In 1987-1988, the approximate cost per client for the State of North Carolina to rehabilitate an individual at Caramore was $22,000. Today, in 2007, that cost remains the same.

In 1987 Caramore served about 20 clients a year. In 2006 we served 77. In the past twenty years Caramore has grown 75% more efficient with no increase in cost. How?

Caramore’s approach to rehabilitation centers on responsibility, connectedness, and autonomy to achieve the best life possible for those suffering with psychiatric illnesses.

Caramore is a supportive program for adults with mental illness. Caramore promotes relationships, wellness, managing illness, and facilitates the skills needed to live and work in the community.

Caramore’s rehabilitative environment is one of safety and structure, but also freedom, respect, and trust. We believe that real rehabilitative progress and meaning comes from real accomplishments that result from real effort. And that’s the simple secret to Caramore’s remarkable success at clients achieving wellness. People don’t recover from this illness in isolation. They need the help of a lot of others and they need to be active—working and living with others. Caramore reintegrates individuals into a challenging and expectant social community that has immediate and meaningful relevancy to their lives and results in demonstrated recovery.

Mental illness is a unique illness in that it typically demands:

  • Consistent psychiatric treatment
  • Social rehabilitation to restore insight, and cognitive and behavioral functioning
  • life-long management of the illness

Caramore provides what mental illness demands:

  • coordinated psychiatric care
  • normalized and challenging environment that requires direct effort and participation
  • ongoing illness management

Year end statistics:

  • clients served: 77
  • number of new admissions: 35
  • percentage of successfully secured community employment and residence for those new admissions: 69%
  • Major Benefited (successful Vocational Rehabilitation contracted outcome): 71%
  • 26ed (successful Vocational Rehabilitation contracted outcome): 57%

County of residence:

  • 22% came from Orange County
  • 19% came from Wake County
  • 10% came from Granville


  • 72% were male
  • 28% were female

Living arrangement before coming to Caramore:

  • 29% were living with their family
  • 16% were in a hospital
  • 12% were in John Umstead Hospital

Referral source:

  • 17% were referred by John Umstead Hospital
  • 10% were referred by family
  • 10% were referred by Caring Family Network

  • 81% had a high school diploma or equivalent

  • 14% had a college degree

  • 31% have learning difficulties

  • 60% have had a criminal arrest in their past

  • 67% have a history of substance abuse

  • 21% had Medicaid and SSI at the time of their visit

  • 7% had Social Security Disability at the time of their visit

  • 90% did not have private insurance

  • 76% of those visiting Caramore gained admission

  • the average number of days that our clients stayed in our homes until moving out to our supervised apartments: 74

  • number of clients who needed hospitalization: 2

  • the average number of days that our clients stayed in our supervised apartments: 98

  • the average number of days that our clients worked on our cleaning crew and lawn crew: 62

  • average starting wage for first community job: $8.07

  • Percentage of clients who work part time: 100%

Diagnosed illness:

  • 37% had a diagnosis of Schizophrenia
  • 16% had a diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder
  • 3% had a diagnosis of Bipolar
  • 3% had a diagnosis of Major Depression
  • 13% had multi diagnoses
  • 28% had a Dual Diagnosis
  • 10% had Personality Disorders

Psychiatric provider:

  • 44% from UNC Hospital
  • 28% from The Caring Family Network
  • 13% from Dorothea Dix Hospital
  • 13% from Duke Hospital

Living arrangement at the time of program completion:

  • 37% went on to live in their own independent residence
  • 27% chose to stay with us and participate in our long-term Tier 3 program
D. Cooley