The ACCESS team is one of five Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs at Maine Behavioral Healthcare (MBH). The teams provide coordinated, multi-disciplinary care to clients struggling with major mental illnesses and, oftentimes, co-occurring disorders. Ramsey Wilson, case manager, is celebrating his fourth anniversary with the ACCESS team this month.
Every morning Ramsey and the rest of the ACCESS team (about 13 people, including therapists, nurses, a doctor, nurse practitioner, and three other case managers) gather to discuss their client caseload. This team-based approach to care ensures coordinated treatment for clients and creates a supportive work environment for providers. “I couldn’t do my job without the support I get from my co-workers,” Ramsey said. “If I don’t know the best way to work with a client I can always look to my co-workers for support.”
Ramsey works with four to five clients on a daily basis; he has 14 clients, ranging in age from 21 to 56, in total. For clients who are unable to make it into the office for their appointments, Ramsey travels to meet them in the community. “As a case manager I assist clients with things like housing, navigating benefit programs, and coordinating services. Our ultimate goal is to promote independence.”
Clients who are accepted into the ACT program usually remain in the program long term, but that doesn’t mean that Ramsey doesn’t see drastic improvements. He described the recent success of one of his clients in overcoming a substantial substance use disorder. “They are really a different person now,” Ramsey remarked. “I feel successful whenever I’m able to help my clients go through stages of change.”
Program Manager Karen Kennedy calls Ramsey a role model for clinical staff. “This job requires complex skills, and it takes years of practice to get better and better. Ramsey is always looking for ways to develop professionally, and he is so engaged and professional in his work. He’s committed to his clients, and it shows in the care he provides.”
Ramsey is currently leading a relapse prevention group for clients of ACCESS, and has plans to pursue his Master of Social Work this fall. We look forward to following his story as he approaches the next stage of his clinical career.
When asked what the best part of his day is, Ramsey replied with a smile. “Making people laugh,” he said.