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Welcoming the Wilfrid's Newest Resident

Creative Outlets

Helping Guests Find Respite at Crisis Residence With the Arts

Having arts and crafts available to Crisis Residence guests allows them to tap into their creative side in a calm and comforting environment and provides an opportunity to open up to peer staff, and gain confidence in their skills to positively interact with others.

Pictured above: Independence House Respite Peer Counselor Stephanie Beard (far left) with Crisis Residence Guests during a weekly arts group.
Our Crisis Residence program offers two home-like settings that serve adults in need of a short-term stay during a mental health crisis or who are transitioning from hospitalization. To help guests open up to each other during their stay, our Peer Specialists, who bring lived experience to their roles, lead art groups, available to all guests, which them to "tap into their creative side in a calm and comforting environment," shares Kearyann Austin, Director of our Crisis Residence program in Manhattan. In these groups, guests can "open up to each other not only about what brought them to Crisis Residence, but also express how they are feeling at the moment as well as how they would like to feel upon their completion of our services."

This also allows for guests and peer staff to build a healthy rapport and encourages guests to return to Crisis Residence to continue to work on other challenges. "If guests can open up to peer staff, they can work on improving their relationships with family, friends and their providers just the same."
Learn more about our Crisis Residence program and how to make a referral.

ACMH Peer Profile: 

Jacques Engelstein

"One of the happiest moments of my work was when I was able to help one of our guests understand that being officially disabled doesn’t mean one can’t get significantly better. They felt depressed, I believed, because they thought they would always have to be that way. But thinking as such made them depressed. I felt I helped them understand it was a vicious circle that they could short-circuit."

Jacques has worked as a Peer Counselor for our Crisis Residence program for over three years, providing supportive counseling for guests experiencing a mental health crisis or transitioning from hospitalization. Jacques says it best: “My lifetime experiences allow me to relate to our guests’ trials and tribulations. I have suffered from similar life circumstances and the common feelings they engendered. One of the happiest moments of my work was when I was able to help one of our guests understand that being officially disabled doesn’t mean one can’t get significantly better. They felt depressed, I believed, because they thought they would always have to be that way. But thinking as such made them depressed. I felt I helped them understand it was a vicious circle that they could short-circuit.” He goes above and beyond, helping guests develop individualized, positive, and actionable changes in their lives. We are so grateful for all that Jacques does to support our Crisis Residence guests' recovery!
 
How do you support Crisis Residence guests at ACMH?
I try to be empathetic by really listening and showing that I care for our guests’ well-being.
 
What is your favorite part of working at ACMH?
My favorite part of working at ACMH is feeling that I’m making a difference. Working as a team with co-workers is also pleasant.
 
How do you think ACMH makes a difference in the lives of the people we serve?
I find that staff at ACMH care about the people they work with, which by itself is a great start. Then, a lot of consideration goes into what is the best way to express that care.
 
What are some of the ways you provide motivation and encouragement for guests?
I help them understand that it is possible to get well when one puts in some work. I try to convey that making positive changes in one’s life always makes a difference.

Late Breaking News:

Home for the Holidays at The Grand

This week, the first of three tenants have moved into The Grand, our newest supportive housing development in The Bronx, just in time for the holidays.

Stay tuned for more updates!

DONATE

From all of us at ACMH, happy holidays!

ACMH, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation founded in 1973.
ACMH is committed to the mental and physical wellbeing of vulnerable New Yorkers.
Copyright © 2021 ACMH, Inc. All rights reserved
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