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01/2007 RVCC's Day Treatment & Partial Hospitalization Program

River Valley Counseling Center’s (RVCC) Day Treatment & Partial Hospitalization Program has been providing services for adults with mental illness for twenty-five years.  Services include limited case management, group and individual psychotherapy, creative arts therapy and an offering of Women’s, Men’s, Coping skills, Dual Recovery and Advocacy groups.  Cathy Gressler, LMHC, (etc.), Coordinator of the Day Treatment & Partial Hospitalization Program says that the program’s philosophy is to provide mental health consumers with the least restrictive treatment setting and foster an environment of care that promises recovery. 

The program is now being viewed as an important source for leaders in the Commonwealth’s “Transformation Initiative.” Ms. Gressler is very proud to announce that two former clients have completed their academic training as Peer Specialists.  This innovative training was provided by the Department of Mental Health as part of the new state-wide “Transformation Initiative” designed to encourage mental health providers to move towards a consumer empowerment model of providing client services.   River Valley’s two former clients were the only representatives from Western Massachusetts attending the inaugural class.

Since completing their training, both women remain volunteers for RVCC’s program while they prepare to take their state boards in the Peer Specialist Program in September.  Upon passing their boards, they will be offered employment placement opportunities in mental health provider settings across the state; the staff positions will be funded by MassHealth.   In addition, both women have been elected as the only representatives from Western Mass to The Board of MPOWER, a state-wide consumer advocacy group.

Ms. Gressler is enthusiastic about the care that RVCC’s Day Treatment and Partial Hospitalization Program provides for its clients.  The program is evolving while embracing key concepts of a new era in mental health; treatment includes self-advocacy, self determination and empowerment strategies.   This progressive ideology encourages professional staff, peer specialists and clients to work in collaboration to reduce stigma and encourage recovery from mental illness.