While it would be difficult to write this next entry without it seeming like a commercial for the Helping Men Recover curriculum, the point is that providing men-specific and trauma-informed services isn't just a good idea to help your clients but it also helps your business. In future entries this year you will hear from people all across the country who have implemented these kind of services and the impact it has had on them personally and professionally, as well, of course, as the impact it has had on the men with whom they work.
You will even hear from some of the clients themselves! In this final entry of a three-part series, Rick Dauer, co-author of Helping Men Recover (HMR) and my training partner, talks about how implementing the HMR curriculum has affected the bottom line of the treatment where he is clinical director:
In previous entries I shared some observations on how implementation of the “Helping Men Recover” curriculum has affected clients and staff at River Ridge Treatment Center in Burnsville, Minnesota. We first introduced the curriculum with pilot groups in the late summer of 2009, and have had over two years to evaluate the overall efficacy and impact.
From a purely business perspective, HMR has been a huge success. The average census for the evening men’s outpatient program has more than doubled. While there are other variables that have played a role in this increase, we are confident that the curriculum has been the primary factor. Within the Twin Cities area, our facility is closely identified with this innovative and unique approach to treating men’s addiction. Every week we receive referrals from a variety of sources including hospitals, EAP’s, social workers, community corrections personnel, and other treatment programs, specifically requesting that their clients access the HMR group.
Third party payers, including Medicaid funded health plans, have been willing to authorize additional outpatient hours to accommodate the inclusion of the curriculum. The increased revenue has allowed us hire additional staff, including mental health professionals. We have also been able to improve the physical environment and to enhance other organizational resources.
River Ridge employees have historically felt justifiable pride in the work that they do. River Ridge was one of the first facilities nationally to utilize Dr. Stephanie Covington’s groundbreaking curriculum, “Helping Women Recover”. It was one of the first facilities in Minnesota to offer truly integrated dual diagnosis services, and it has been a pioneer in the use of EMDR within a substance abuse setting to address post-traumatic stress disorders. Piloting the HMR program represents a continuation of this trend toward innovation and best practice.
Finally, we are beginning to experience a variety of positive secondary effects from utilizing curricula that are trauma-informed and based on cultural relational theory. We are making concerted efforts to practice, with each other and with our community partners, the principles that guide therapeutic interactions with our clients: creating a safe, collaborative, trusting, and empowering environment for everyone. I believe that it would be almost impossible - if not irresponsible - to use these curricula and not have this ethic inevitably apply to clinical staff, support staff, and administration.
Staff members believe that they work in a very special environment, and this is reflected in their dedication and commitment. Staff retention is excellent, internships at our facility are highly sought after, and attracting additional, highly qualified, clinical personnel has become less challenging. When you take into consideration these kind of changes you cannot even put a price-tag on how valuable these services have been to the bottom line of our business.