Connecting Dots for Overall Health
As a case manager with the Behavioral Health Home (BHH) program Suzy Brennan, MHRT-CSP, LSW loves making connections to support the children and families with whom she works. Brennan is based in the Farmington area of Maine at Evergreen Behavioral Health Services, which recently became a division of Maine Behavioral Healthcare.
The BHH program is a service provided to MaineCare patients designed to help manage mental and physical health needs. The program serves both children and adults through a collaborative, patient-centric approach. Providers that include nurses, clinicians and peer specialists work together to create a health care plan that meets the comprehensive health goals of each patient. Brennan views her role as an important puzzle piece necessary to putting the care plan together.
“Many of my clients have so much going on that they can feel overwhelmed,” said Brennan. “They’re juggling primary care appointments, school meetings, various mental health providers and Department of Health and Human Services requirements, so my role is to bring everyone together, get everyone on the same page, connect all the dots and create a plan specific for the whole family.”
By coordinating all the providers and building a team approach, Brennan is able to get a broader picture of the child and family and support the overall wellness of each patient.
“Suzy has such a great working relationship with each family,” stated Michele Pelletier, MHRT/C, Case Management Program Coordinator at Evergreen Behavioral Services. “She is very supportive and collaborates so well with everyone she works with.”
In such a rural area, Brennan noted that collaboration is incredibly important, especially when it comes to transportation as many of her families struggle to find a reliable means to get to appointments. Brennan finds it particularly rewarding to help create natural support systems for her young clients to help remove these barriers. Natural support systems are personal associations and relationships developed in the community that enhance the quality and security of life. These relationships vary from neighbors or organization members, to family, friends and churches. By introducing or reinforcing these relationships, Brennan is able to create a stronger foundation and facilitate real progress with her families.
“I love pointing out progress in the children and the family as a whole,” Brennan says. “In a time of hopelessness, it is so empowering to the families to hear even the smallest of changes. It really helps them see the broader picture.”
Clinical Director Dalene Sinskie, LCSW remembered one of Brennan’s toughest cases. The client and family were really struggling after the client had experienced a traumatic event. Crisis services were being utilized extensively until the connection to case management and Suzy was made. Thanks to Brennan’s diligence her patient was able to cease utilizing crisis services, and graduate from high school.
“Suzy is a breath of fresh air,” said Sinskie. “She has this unique way of connecting easily with her clients and their parents. Her work ethic and follow through is outstanding. She inspires us every day.”
Learn more about the Behavioral Health Home program