Working Together with Clients to Overcome Barriers

February 18, 2021

Wyandot Center’s High Intensity Support Team (HIST) has made it their mission to help their clients realize their potential and achieve success. Recently, the team made some changes to the program in hopes of more fully meeting the needs of their consumers.

“Our goal is the same as our fellow teams at Wyandot BHN – to help our clients reach their level of success,” says Kimberlee Fields, High Intensity Support Team Manager. “Though our clients have a more challenging time of reaching or even seeing their success, we work together to help them overcome those barriers.”

The High Intensity Support Team is community-based. Team members often work with consumers who have experienced multiple hospitalizations and/or imprisonment, increased use of crisis and emergency medical and psychiatric services, isolation, and have been chronically unable to meet their basic needs.

This program encourages the consumer’s ability to live safely in the community while also promoting their recovery,” says Fields.

The biggest change to the program was a shift to a shared caseload, rather than a client being assigned to a single intensive case manager. This allows the team to provide the maximum amount of support to each client. The team has also created a direct HIST phone line for consumers to use. The HIST coordinator manages the line, helping clients connect with providers, manage appointments or find immediate assistance. 

The High Intensity Support Team is incorporating many aspects of the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model into the service delivery for their consumers, as it is the best practice approach for this population.

The High Intensity Support Team brings together a number of service providers, including a HIST manager, coordinator, court liaison, community corrections liaison, a Kansas Supportive Housing for Offenders Program (KSHOP) intensive case manager and parole liaison, peer support specialists and intensive case managers.

“The approach of the High Intensity Support Team is holistic in nature – providing concentrated, individually-tailored services to the consumer in order to encourage community adjustment, treatment adherence, and satisfaction with mental health services,” says Fields.

While consumers in the HIST program are still adjusting to the changes, staff say they’re already seeing signs of success and receiving positive feedback. Consumers are beginning to utilize the new HIST phone line and engagement in services is slowly increasing. The changes have also allowed team members to respond to crises more quickly.

The High Intensity Support Team is already connected to crisis services, which helps to provide a more direct link to meet the needs of consumers quickly, while also reducing hospitalizations and legal involvement.  This creates an avenue for this population to remain living in the community instead of a long-term care facility or a more restrictive environment.

While HIST staff are pleased with the positive feedback to the recent changes, they say further improvements are already in the works. Their focus moving forward is to provide clients with the tools to reduce, prevent and de-escalate future crises.