Lantern Community Services takes a full-service, holistic approach to fostering our clients’ physical and mental well-being. Our formerly homeless clients—and the many youths we serve who spent years in the foster care system (usually as the result of neglect or abuse in their families of origin)—face numerous health challenges, including mental illness, trauma, chronic disease, addiction, and poor nutrition. To ensure our clients receive the best medical care, we provide access to specialist health staff and evidence-based interventions on-site in the building where our clients live, and build partnerships with quality healthcare providers to provide seamless referrals and integrated approaches to clients’ health needs.
On-site Health and Wellness Coordinators work with case managers and social workers to assess each client’s health and wellness needs and, in partnership with the client, create a plan to address them. Whether a client needs smoking cessation support, treatment for chemical dependency, HIV risk reduction services, nutritional counseling, or access to primary or specialized medical care, Lantern provides linkages, services, access, and support.
On-site Psychiatrists work with staff and clients to promote mental health and stability. Embedding a psychiatrist onsite improves collaboration between case managers, social workers, and the psychiatrist; offers quicker response times when clients exhibit signs of decompensation; and boosts clients’ engagement with needed psychiatric services. Psychiatrists also provide staff with psychosocial education about mental health diagnoses, medications, and other issues our clients face.
Each week in nearly all of our buildings, we host Fresh Food Box Program, which provides fresh, locally-grown produce along with instruction on how to convert the featured ingredients into delicious and healthy meals. In three sites, we have state-of-the-art fitness centers with equipment such as cardio machines, free weights, foam rollers, and more, and in many buildings we host weekly fitness classes to bring residents together for groups like yoga and Pilates.
Evidence-based interventions delivered by specifically-trained staff:
Lantern’s staff are highly trained in working with individuals with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness, and we use a number of evidence-based interventions to address these needs:
- Motivational Interviewing (MI) a person-centered evidence-based model proven to evoke and strengthen client motivation and commitment to change in all of our sites. All Lantern staff receive two days of introductory training from MINT-certified trainers from the NYU School of Medicine, who also provide ongoing coaching, advanced trainings, and fidelity monitoring to ensure close adherence to the program’s proven guidelines.
- Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) improves functioning and reduces hospitalizations among clients living with mental illness. The model features individual and group sessions in which clients acquire skills for managing their illness and moving forward on their personal recovery goals.
- To identify clients experiencing symptoms of depression and suicidality, evidence-based screening tools assessing depression (the PHQ9 Scale for adults and the Columbia Depression Scale for children) and suicidality (the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale) are employed to further meet the mental health needs of all clients. To streamline this process, the PHQ9 is used to place clients on a Depression Screen Flow Chart, which makes it easy for staff to accurately identify those instances where intervention is needed and to respond effectively.
- Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) an evidence-based approach to identifying patients who use alcohol and other drugs at risky levels with the goal of reducing and preventing related health consequences, disease, accidents, and injuries. This comprehensive, integrated, public health approach provides opportunities for early intervention before more severe consequences occur.
- Individual Placement and Support (IPS) helps clients with mental illnesses enter or rejoin the workforce. This approach prioritizes building relationships with local employers who our IPS Specialists connect with qualified candidates in our buildings. The program is proven to improve job placement and job retention and increase earnings over traditional employment services. The Rockville Institute provides Lantern IPS staff with training and implementation support.
- CLEAR (Choosing Life, Empowerment, Action, Results) is an evidence-based model on the Center for Disease Control’s HIV Care Continuum which helps maintain optimal health, reduces transmission of HIV, and improves quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS.
- The Stanford Diabetes Self-Management program helps clients manage the disease and achieve greater health and wellness overall. The program has positive results in depression, symptoms of hypoglycemia, communication with physicians, healthy eating, and reading food labels, and also leads to greater self-efficacy and self-advocacy among patients.
- Lantern’s Health and Wellness Coordinators employ a proven model called SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) to assist eligible residents in accessing disability income benefit programs that improve their quality of life and ensure they have the income needed to support their permanent housing costs.