Page 8 - The Arc CCR Annual Report 2023
P. 8

  Breaking Ground in
Innovative Healthcare
How The Arc is providing mental health support for people with IDD.
 Open dialogue can change lives and create safe and healthy communities. People deserve to discuss their struggles with mental health without judgment and should feel empowered to ask for help when needed.
People with IDD often have co-occurring mental health and disability diagnoses and experience frequent mental health distress almost five times as often as adults without disabilities.
In 2020, in response to the pandemic, The Arc received a small grant to start ‘Coping with COVID.’ These small group therapy sessions, led by nationally recognized psychologist Dr. Karyn Harvey, began as
a way for people with IDD to process their emotions about the pandemic but quickly progressed to deeper conversations. Finally, with a platform and an environment where they felt supported and welcomed, people opened up. They discussed how
to come out to their parents, their desire for intimate relationships, how they were dealing with the death of loved ones, and how to take greater control over decisions in their everyday lives.
Realizing the need for deeper, more robust mental health services tailored specifically to people with IDD, The Arc developed its
unique approach to Behavioral Health. The Arc’s approach is a shift in thinking about the connection between behavior and health. This holistic approach considers the person’s whole life, not a narrowed-down assessment that isolates their behavior from their experiences.
This program uses licensed clinicians and focuses not on managing specific behaviors but on the necessary mental health counseling and other clinical supports that go along with it. Clinicians deliver individual and group therapies through the lens of trauma-informed care, supporting people with the tools they need to navigate life’s many moments.
By addressing the underlying mental health issues and/or trauma, The Arc’s clinical
team and direct support professionals can do much more than manage behaviors. Through creative problem-solving and consistent communication, they set a tone encouraging daily success for people with IDD to live their lives on their own terms. Each outcome has created a better quality of life for that person.
Providing a tailored mental health experience for people with disabilities is important work, and it’s not without its challenges. The Arc receives frequent requests from the community for tailored mental health resources for people with IDD. People want to be seen and heard but are reluctant to participate in counseling.
Over the last three years, The Arc’s clinical team has done extensive
Behavioral Health

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