Helen Ross McNabb Center receives statewide recognition

The staff of Helen Ross McNabb accepts TAMHO Program of Excellence Award. Pictured, from left, are Mary Katsikas, Director of Children and Youth Mental Health Programming; Mona Blanton Kitts, VP of Children and Youth Services; Catherine Oaks, Program Coordinator; Jennifer Hill, Asst. Director of Blount County and Sevier County Services; Jerry Vagnier, VP of Operations.

The staff of Helen Ross McNabb accepts TAMHO Program of Excellence Award. Pictured, from left, are Mary Katsikas, Director of Children and Youth Mental Health Programming; Mona Blanton Kitts, VP of Children and Youth Services; Catherine Oaks, Program Coordinator; Jennifer Hill, Asst. Director of Blount County and Sevier County Services; Jerry Vagnier, VP of Operations.

The Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations (TAMHO) honored Helen Ross McNabb Center’s Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) with the Program of Excellence Award during the TAMHO 2010 Annual Awards and Recognition in Nashville, Tennessee on Dec 9.

The Program of Excellence Award recognizes programs of TAMHO member corporations that go above and beyond the standard to find creative and groundbreaking ways to provide effective community-based services. Honoring programs enables TAMHO to demonstrate that excellence, innovation and quality are alive and well in the public system.

The Helen Ross McNabb Center’s Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) is an outpatient, evidence-based treatment program developed to address the epidemic of substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders among adolescents, ages 12-18. The program provides three months of community-based, in-home therapeutic treatment followed by three months of supportive after-care known as Assertive Community Care (ACC). Clinicians provide thorough assessments, individual and family therapy, group pro-social activities and case management services in the community to meet the needs of each client.

The evidence-based A-CRA treatment model teaches adolescents and their caregivers how to identify, acquire and utilize reinforcers and positive coping skills for staying substance free, how to use community resources to support positive change and how to develop a positive support system within the family. ACC addresses the important role of continuing care following an active phase of treatment by monitoring, reinforcing and providing support for skills learned in A-CRA. The A-CRA program helps prevent future problems teens may encounter, as well as to keep troubled youth out of State custody, psychiatric hospitals or other more intensive levels of care. The program has the capacity to serve 35 clients each year.

A-CRA is funded through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in conjunction with the University of Tennessee College Of Social Work. The program serves Knox and Blount Counties. For more information regarding A-CRA, call the McNabb Center at 865-637-9711.

Celebrating over 50 years of service, the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations (TAMHO) is a statewide trade association representing Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) and other not-for-profit corporations that provide behavioral health services. These organizations continue to meet the needs of Tennesseans, from all age groups and socioeconomic levels, with a mental illness or substance abuse diagnosis. The TAMHO member organizations have been the virtual cornerstone of the community-based behavioral health system throughout the state since the 1950s and today serve as the primary provider network for the TennCare Program.

Since 1948, the Helen Ross McNabb Center’s goal has always been to provide compassionate, confidential mental health services. The Center has grown into a regional not-for-profit, integrated system of care providing mental health/mental retardation, substance abuse and social services in 17 East Tennessee counties. As we begin our 63rd year of providing services to communities in East Tennessee, our mission remains clear and simple; “Improving the lives of the people we serve.” For more information, visit our website www.mcnabbcenter.org.

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