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High Point podcast describes program as surrogate family

March 29, 2019 by Jeff0

Three members of the High Point staff were recently invited to be interviewed on the Mental Health Podcast, which is hosted by Larry Cartwright of National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) of Hunterdon. High Point Program Director Anna Vitale, Marketing Director Daniel Meara and Outreach Coordinator Sarah Nehrings covered the programs many strengths and how it acts as a second family for the clients it serves.

The hosted asked Daniel to provide an overview of High Point and the people it services.  He described its mental health and addiction programs and that some clients will have co-occurrence, a combination of drug use and mental health problems. He covered the Medication Assisted Treatment High Point provides for clients with an addiction and that the facility has a medical director and APN to monitor and adjust medications.

Daniel noted that High Point belongs to a family of programs located around New Jersey. The three affiliated programs are Unity Place of Monmouth County, Unity Place of Cherry Hill and Unity Place of Hammonton. All four programs have in common that they provide a far-reaching transportation service to clients.

Among the key elements of High Point, Daniel stressed, is that High Point has no waiting list for new clients. This is critical as many people with an addiction or mental illness will only have a short window of time when they are open to entering treatment.

Anna went gave deep dive into the two distinct populations that High Point serves: mental health and addiction. She went into the origins of co-occurrence and the fact that sometimes the drug use is the beginning of the issue, and sometimes mental illness leads to self-medication.  It can take a while to unravel the root of the problem.

The mental health clients attend High Point’s full-day program. The diagnoses of pervasive mental illness include schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. The goal in these cases is to stabilize the client within the community and wrap them with services according to their individualized needs. For these individuals, the days include groups and other supports including case management.

High Point, Anna noted, is like a second family to these and all the clients. Some clients, Anna noted, have little family support because of the degree of their mental health problem.

Upon admission, Sarah described a client can expect during their first days at High Point. She said the person will undergo an intake assessment to determine the right level of care and triage their needs. Sarah or her colleague in Outreach the person on their arrival and help them become acclimated to the environment.  She discussed the fact that High Point will work with family members if that that is what they require.

The host, Larry Cartwright, asked about cases that have no family.  Anna said in those cases the client is linked to other resources in their community. In some cases, their mental health issues or addiction have caused them to become estranged from their family, High Point will work with families to mend bridges between the client and his or her family.

Anna stressed that High Point will not turn away anyone looking for treatment and will assist with filling out forms, such as Family Care, so they will have coverage for their care.

To hear to full podcast, go to:


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