District 19 Community Services Helps Residents Get on Their Feet

January 19, 2018 1:21 pm Published by

Jesse Grayes was referred to the Crisis Assessment and Stabilization Center late last year.

Last month, Jesse’s depression got the better of him, and he attempted to harm himself. He ended up in the hospital where he was given a prescription and a recommendation to follow up with a mental health professional.

“When I got released from the hospital, I didn’t have any insurance or income to cover the cost of my medicine, so they gave me a number to contact for help,” said Jesse.

That number was for the District 19 Community Services Board Crisis Assessment and Stabilization Center (CASC). The Community Service Board’s mission is, “to improve the quality and productivity of the lives of individuals who experience, or are at risk of experiencing, mental disabilities and/ or substance abuse. We accomplish this through a fully integrated continuum of services in collaboration with the localities of Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie, Emporia, Greensville, Hopewell, Petersburg, Prince George, Surry, and Sussex.”

The small team at the CASC take in calls from police, loved ones, or patients themselves who need care but aren’t able to get it for themselves. Once they come in, they are assessed and connected to organizations and people that can help them. They have up to 15 days to get critical prescriptions filled, and appointments made. John Randolph Foundation provides a grant that helps to acquire those crucial prescriptions. Jesse was one such patient who received that help, and from there they connected him to Susie’s Fund for Medication Assistance.

(pictured left: Donna TuckerStowell, Brittany Hill Jesse Grays, and Delois White)

Among other team members, are Donna Tucker-Stowell, Peer Support Specialist, and Community Crisis Stabilization Coordinator, Britney Hill. Together they form a powerful team. Donna focuses on the patients themselves. Having lived through depression and substance abuse she has a unique ability to speak to and empathize with the people that come in for help.

“I’ve lived the horror of my addiction. I’ve done the bad things, and I’ve bounced back. It took me a long time. Jails and institutions was my story, but I just surrendered. I knew I wanted to stop, and I didn’t know how to stop. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to be able to live. So I feel like now, with my experience, I’m able to tell somebody else my story, and help them along the way. They don’t feel like they have any options, but they have options, they just gotta surrender,” said Donna.

Meanwhile, Britney focuses on getting all of the moving pieces in the community to work together in support of the patient. For any given person who comes in she might be setting up psychiatrist appointments, getting them information and referrals for programs like rehab or medication assistance, or connecting them with another JRF grantee, The James House for care and safe housing in the case of abuse.

“I enjoy helping other people and seeing a difference. To see a person to come in depressed, get the help they need, and come back as a totally different person, to be able to do that and assist in that is very rewarding,” said Britney.

If you or a loved one live in District 19, are crisis and need support, you can reach the Crisis Assessment and Stabilization Center at 866.365.2130.

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This post was written by Jennifer Brown

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