Wellness and Recovery
The Castle is a gathering place of trust and friendship which supports people with mental illness and disorders to achieve their highest level of competence and independence.
Dignity, health, and quality of life for people with mental illness and disorders through trust and friendship.
Who We Are & What We’re About…
The Castle is a vital part of the mental health delivery system in Montgomery County. As a social club, we provide a place for peer support, a place to have fun while learning responsibility, accountability and gaining some empowerment over the leisure time. We strive to be a compliment to other ore clinical services in the region.
We are actively moving towards an expense for services into the Recovery model. This is an exciting time as we provide our members with more opportunities for wellness and recovery.
In any human services system, it is advantageous for many people to come in contact with the recipients of those services. When a portion of the system breaks down, other providers of service along the way can help “right the ship” so to speak; to correct the service.
Although we are a social club, the Castle offers more than a comfortable place for people to enjoy friendship; play cards and share their stories. The Castle also offers a unique opportunity for members to make their problems within the service delivery system known to staff. Staff has the advantage of being able to look across services within the mental health system to provide assistance not always easily available elsewhere. This gives the staff an opportunity to make an effort with key contacts within the mental health community that may be able to affect a positive change for the member.
The mental health system can be complex to navigate for individuals with illnesses. This assistance would not be possible if it were not for the members feeling safe, trusting the staff and willing to share. I must acknowledge that there are many problems in the system, but there are many committed professionals within it that work hard every day to provide quality services to people. However, many times communications break down. The staff at the Castle tries to bridge some of those gaps.
History of the Recovery Model
Lately in the news there has been much discussion about mental illness and how as a society we have neglected this underserved portion of our population – 60 million people. Reform is just so slow. Despite the movement which began as an off shoot of the civil rights movement of the 60’s and landmark legislation and litigation of the 70’s, it has taken a long time for true reform. Public outcry demanded change and deinstitutionalization moved slowly from “warehousing” to today where the emphasis is no longer term care, but acute care. Monies began to pour into pharmacology research and development. We have moved to more local hospital care and a shift in funding to local communities. It wasn’t until the mid 90’s that the term “Recovery” was even defined. Now, the term “recovery-support” has become a critical piece of mental wellness; making it possible for more people to manage their disease, find meaning, purpose and function in the world.
“Recovery” is rising above the limitations of one’s mental illness to lead a productive, full life, as one desires. The program is holistic and very individualized.
The program at the Castle will be an additional service to the social club which began 27 years ago.
Some of the key components of the Recovery Model:
- Accepting personal responsibility for one’s recovery
- Hope and Courage is accomplished one step at a time according to individual abilities and goals.
- Making small improvements in functioning as a part of recovery.
- Meaningful work (paid or volunteer)
- Increasing awareness and changing attitudes
- Peer support
- Family support
- Community Involvement
The Board of Trustees adopted an aggressive five year strategic plan to map the way to the future, embracing and moving the organization to a “Wellness and Recovery” model. The strategic goals are supported by a set of strategic objectives and initiatives, organizational performance measures, and an implementation plan.
Empower Members to Lead The Castle
Empower members to lead The Castle through increased awareness of mental illness, meaningful outreach programs, community service, and training appropriate to their abilities.
Engage Community Resources in the Development of Members
Engage community resources to develop members’ dignity, health, and quality of life, achieving their highest level of competence and independence.
Develop a Structured Volunteer Program
Develop a structured volunteer program in an atmosphere of mutual benefit with specific roles and programs which engage schools, colleges, churches, and retirees.
Implement a Plan for Sustainability
Implement a plan for sustainability through institutional partnerships, Board development, and staff development.
Expand our Fundraising and Development
Expand our fundraising and development through an annual campaign, expanded individual friends, legacy and deferred giving, and grant support.
Brief major funders of The Castle, including the ADAMHS Board and individual donors on the strategic business plan and the succession strategy for The Castle. The plan calls on the Board to develop strong Board-led committees to include other volunteers who may not be members of the Board in the following three areas:
- Finance and Facilities Committee
- Fundraising and Development Committee
- Audit Committee
The plan establishes an ongoing fundraising and development program led by a Board member who chairs the Fundraising and Development Committee. The board will recruit strong members to the committee with a commitment and capacity to substantially increase individual donations in support of The Castle and its mission.
The plan also better defined roles of staff, recommended the organization affiliate with a community clinical partner (now South Community Behavioral Health, Inc.). The Clinical Services Partnership will provide assistance to the growth of The Castle programs, adopting practices of the recovery model and a work-oriented program.
Governance, Volunteerism, Financial stability, Succession were also addressed in detail.