This fall, Interfaith Action secured a grant to fund on-site mental health services at Project Home at the Provincial House. A two-person team of therapists from The Change Inc. provides services to families from 4–8 pm two nights per week.
“Our services are optional, totally free, and confidential,” says Annie Roth Blumfield (pictured), one of the mental health providers. “People can drop in or make an appointment for what we call brief, solution-focused therapy and coaching.”
This type of therapy focuses on helping people take small, concrete steps to deal with such situations as conflict with a neighbor or a shift in parenting approaches,” says Roth Blumfield. “We focus on digestible problems. Guests can feel very overwhelmed in shelter so just helping people set small goals and take small steps is really important.”
She lets the client lead what they talk about during their session. “We know that it can be helpful for people to talk with someone outside their situation who is trained in how to support. But I emphasize, you drive the bus. It’s your time with me and you can use it however you need.”
Roth Blumfield also says an important aspect of the services is to find referrals for people to continue therapy after they move out of shelter. “We want them to be able to stick with therapy if it’s working for them,” she says. “And creating a warm referral can be very beneficial.”