Over the last two years, Hedwig House has adopted the Boston University (BU) Model to Psychiatric Rehabilitation into its programming, which is entitled PREP (Psychiatric Rehabilitation Education Program). Hedwig House has implemented the BU Model since its core values are aligned with ours: persons with psychiatric disabilities have the same goals and dreams as any other person. The goal of psychiatric rehabilitation is to increase the likelihood that individuals living with a mental illness will be able to achieve desired goals, cultivate a rewarding lifestyle, and feel connected with their community.
Hedwig House’s PREP is dedicated to individuals in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, living with a mental illness. In this program, participants choose goals in their living, learning, working, and social environments. The focus is on individual skill development, enhancement, retention, and transference to real life tasks.Services are provided on an individual or group basis.
Hedwig House takes great pride in our PREP services. We strive to make mental health care accessible to the residents of Montgomery County. Transportation services are offered for PREP participants on the group and individual level. In order for our participants to attend our programs, Hedwig House staff provides daily transportation to and from our PREP locations. If our participants choose to work on their rehabilitation goals on an individual basis with staff, PREP is also a mobile service. The ability to transport our PREP members allows for community integration, which is a crucial aspect of psychiatric rehabilitation . For example, Individual PREP members can apply to various jobs, search for housing, and attend college open houses with staff during individual meetings. Transportation is one of the largest barriers for individuals living with mental illness, in terms of receiving services, which is why Hedwig House’s PREP provides consistent services on a daily basis.
PREP Individual staff work one-on-one with participants towards their goal. This program is designed to provide direct care and attention so our participants receive the support that is necessary. When thinking about the quality of our PREP programs, effectiveness and individualized attention are features we are extremely proud of. Participants in our PREP programs work diligently with staff on a weekly basis in order to achieve their goal. Timeliness is another key aspect of PREP Individual since members are using time with their practitioner effectively in order to work towards their goal. In terms of safety, PREP staff respect and recognize each participants pace in pursuit of their goal. We have the ability to meet our members where they are and to move at a pace which is appropriate for the participant. This prevents participants in PREP from feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or pressured.
PREP addresses behavioral health costs in several ways. First, participation in Hedwig House programs allow individuals an environment to engage and interact with peers and knowledgeable staff. Many of our participants who are showing signs of crisis can be de-escalated before entering an inpatient unit, lowering the overall cost of mental health care. Second, all of our individuals participating in Hedwig House are working towards goals that will enhance the community at large. By obtaining jobs, furthering their education, or moving out of transitional housing, overall community costs are lessened. Lastly, our PREP Group locations strive to teach classes on nutrition, health topics, and exercise. We also aim to teach our members how to research and prepare healthy meals, which in turn, has the potential to lower health care costs.
PREP was established out of innovation and resourcefulness. In the summer of 2014, our county funding changed drastically, challenging us to adjust our programs in order to fit the required guidelines. Out of this process, PREP was created to ensure services to our members would remain. Looking back, this transformation has been a blessing since PREP has been able to structure our member’s mental health recovery using the Boston University approach. PREP Group services aim to teach and practice skills participants may not have learned elsewhere. These classes are essential in our goal of community integration. PREP Individual can look differently depending on each individual, so it is our staff’s ability and resourcefulness in adapting to each participants goal that cultivates success.
Hedwig House is currently working to expand PREP into neighboring counties. Our hope would be to demonstrate the mobile psychiatric rehabilitation classes we offer to organizations who do not provide this service. One aspect of this expansion that is quite exciting is the idea of collaboration. Bridging the gap in psychiatric rehabilitation services along with creating long-lasting relationships with similar providers is an aspect of expansion we are striving for. Along with county expansion, Hedwig House is piloting PREP Individual classes to individuals who are not associated with our organization, but live with a mental health diagnosis. PREP Individual has been the innovative design in which our mobile extension has been based off of. We have created a 6-week class offered to transition-aged youth in residential housing. Hedwig House’s desire to expand, collaborate, teach, and impact others is one way we have demonstrated leadership in the mental health field.
PREP is partially funded by the Montgomery County Office of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and Magellan Health Services. Hedwig House, Inc. has many community supporters such as Walton Oil, Moyer, and NAMI who believe in our mission and provide annual financial contributions. Hedwig House is working to expand PREP into neighboring counties and is seeking funding through grants and awards. This year, Hedwig House is hosting its 4th Annual Fundraiser: Spotlight on Mental Illness. Last year, our 40th anniversary raised over $80,000 from community supporters. We are confident in our programs sustainability through the county, Magellan, and our community supporters.
Hedwig House is extremely proud of PREP and is in the process of expanding services. Hedwig House is currently delivering mobile Group based classes to a younger population (18-25) living in transitional housing, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. The purpose of our expansion is to deliver knowledge not only to our target population, but also the staff in this setting. Residents in transitional housing can benefit from our tailored classes in the areas of bill paying, cleanliness, cooking, and developing an appropriate relationship with your landlord. Our hope would be that after our 6-week trial, this organization would adapt our classes and utilize them in the future. Hedwig House, Inc. is confident other agencies would be able to duplicate services similar to PREP.
Evaluation is an essential part of the Hedwig House design. Our assessments allow staff to track progress, the effectiveness of our programs, and individual outcomes. As we evaluate our programs, PREP uses both qualitative and quantitative data including the observation of sessions and participant surveys and assessments. We base the effectiveness of our services by the accumulation of skills of our participants, and whether individuals were able to achieve the goal they defined for themselves when they enrolled in our program. Member surveys are conducted on a quarterly basis so staff and participants are able to work together in evaluating progress and alter rehabilitation plans as needed. Our PREP program use ‘Outcomes’ to measure success. Outcomes are obtained on a monthly to quarterly basis and track individual progress in the the life domains. For example, if an individual accepted a job in the last month, this progress would be noted.