1 out of every 4 people will be affected by a mental illness in their lifetime. These are our friends, neighbors, and our family members. Of these, 1 out of 17, people will develop a serious mental illness such as major depression, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder.
People affected by a serious mental illness have difficulty managing relationships, maintaining their home, attending work or school, and taking care of their daily needs. Touchstone Mental Health services are designed to meet the unique needs of members in our community with a serious mental illness who need hope, healing and opportunities to lead a full life in the community.
Every year Touchstone helps more than 1,200 individuals regain their confidence, embrace their self-worth, find a sense of belonging and hope for their future. Our dedicated staff works with them to bridge the divide between community, mental and physical health, and to make it possible to move towards mental health recovery.
Recovery Oriented Community Based Services
Touchstone Mental Health believes serving people in their home, rather than institutional settings, leads to recovery. We have developed an array of community based services designed to promote mental health recovery.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), mental health recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. (2012)
Hope is the foundation for recovery and the catalyst for change. It is the belief that people can and do overcome the obstacles and challenges resulting from mental illness. Touchstone staff foster hope and help our clients to reach their recovery goals.
Touchstone programs support the four dimensions of recovery: improving health, having a home, a community and a life purpose. Our services help people to learn about their illness, manage their symptoms, improve their ability to handle their lives each day and help them achieve their mental health recovery goals.
Learn more about our recovery oriented community based services.
Homelessness and Mental Illness
One of the leading barriers to improved mental and physical health among adults living with mental illness is the lack of housing and poor housing stability. People with mental illness often live in precarious housing situations and are vulnerable for homelessness. The Wilder Foundation’s 2015 statewide survey found persistent physical and mental health issues are on the rise for homeless adults: 57% of homeless adults report serious mental health issues compared with 36% in 2000; 51% report chronic physical health issues compared with 39% in 2000. In addition, 68% of people with a serious mental illness have long term health conditions.
Increased housing stability is a key goal for Touchstone. Clients who have actively participated in one of our programs for a year or longer have over a 80% success rate maintaining stable housing.
Touchstone relies on private donations to fund housing and supports to prevent someone from becoming homeless. Donations provide funding to help with move in costs, application fees, emergency rent and basic needs to get started on their own – like a bed, cleaning supplies or some clothing.
These client supports are vital to keeping our higher-risk clients in their home rather than on the street – addressing homelessness upstream in a more cost-effective manner.
Isolation And Loneliness
People living with serious mental illness have difficulty developing and maintaining relationships with friends, family and acquaintances. As a result, they often experience isolation and loneliness which prevent them from reaching their recovery goals.
Touchstone breaks down the walls of isolation and supports our clients by creating community with their peers, natural community supports and through program activities.
Decreased Hospitalization Rates
Our clients often come to us after having multiple psychiatric hospitalizations, living in homeless shelters, and receiving treatment in numerous mental health programs. Touchstone’s innovative services programs support people through daily challenges and crises. With stable housing, reduced isolation and a community of support, people are able to better manage their mental illness symptoms.
As a result, clients have fewer mental health treatment placements and hospitalizations, which leads to increased client satisfaction and mental health stability and decreases in overall cost to the mental health system. More than 84% of clients in one of programs for a year or longer have remained out of the hospital.
Health and Life Expectancy Disparity
On average, Minnesotans with a serious mental illness only live to be 58 years old, dying 24 years earlier than the general population. These individuals are also three times more likely to have a chronic disease than those without a serious mental illness.
Touchstone programs use a holistic approach to address mental illness, physical health and overall wellness. We believe you can’t treat mental illness without treating the entire person.
Our focus on health and wellness is embedded in program services. We offer opportunities for clients to address their health issues while they continue to recover from mental illness.