Segue offers FPE services to consumers enrolled in other programs including ACT and Case Management. Segue’s FPE services provide education about serious mental illnesses, information and resources especially during periods of crises, skills training and ongoing guidance about managing mental illnesses, problem solving, and social and emotional support. “Family” can include anyone consumers identify as being supportive in the recovery process. Some consumers may choose a relative. Others may identify a friend, employer, colleague, or other supportive person. FPE recognizes consumer and family strengths, experience, and expertise in living with serious mental illnesses. When forming alliances with consumers and families, Segue staff emphasize that consumers and families are not to blame for the illness. FPE is facilitated by specialized trained master level clinicians, RNs, and QMHPs.
- Individual is 18 or older
- Individual resides in Jackson or Hillsdale County
- Individual has a Severe & Persistent Mental Illness, a Severe Mental Illness, or a Co-Occurring Disorder
- Individual has a desire to learn more effective ways to manage their illness
Segue staff partner with consumers and families to develop a mutual understanding of the consumer and family needs, and to support their personal recovery goals. Consumers benefit when family members are educated about mental illnesses. Educated families are better able to identify symptoms, recognize warning signs of relapse, support treatment goals, and promote recovery. Learning techniques to reduce stress, improve communication and coping skills can strengthen family relationships which in turn has a positive benefit on recovery goals. Segue staff help facilitate a structured problem-solving approach to help consumers and families break complicated issues into small, manageable steps that they may more easily address. Segue’s FPE program involves three phases:
- Joining: A staff person meets separately with the family and individual for three sessions each. Joining sessions are used to demonstrate concern for consumers and their families, validate their experiences, and to clearly communicate that neither are to blame for the mental illness. At the first joining session the family and consumer describe a particularly difficult time in their life. Attention is paid to strengths and coping skills used. At the second joining session the staff explore the feelings consumers and families have about having a mental illness, review past experiences trying to get help, and discuss support networks. At the final session short and long term goals are explored and next steps in the program are reviewed.
- Educational Workshop: Segue doctors, nurses, clinicians, and administrators provide an educational workshop to families. Topics covered include the basics of brain function, the possible causes of the mental illness, symptoms, an overview of treatment options and how they promote effective coping, how mental illnesses affect families as a whole, relapse prevention including the role of stress in precipitating episodes, and the family guidelines for recommended responses to help families promote relapse prevention. The workshop is a day long program and lunch is served.
- Multifamily Group Problem Solving: The group is scheduled every other week. An important component of the group is an opportunity to socialize. This is a skill that is often difficult for a person with serious mental illness to do. A meal is served during the group, and consumers, families, and staff has this opportunity to socialize. The socialization usually is about topics unrelated to the illness. The group is led by two staff. After socialization, staff asks each participant about issues related to the illness. A single problem is selected and a problem solving process is used to find ways to address the problem. The problem solving steps are to define the problem, generate solutions, discuss advantages and disadvantages of each solution, choose the best solution, form an action plan, and review the action plan. Group members briefly socialize at the end of the group.