News/Blog

Mental Health Month: Get to Know Us (Part II)

As part of Mental Health Month, we invite you to learn a little more about Stepping Stones of Rockford. You may know that we provide residential and supported services to adults with serious mental illness, but did you know that we provided almost 86,000 clinical services in 2020? Wow! Here are some facts about Stepping Stones of Rockford.

What Day Is It? (2020)

You might think every day is the same when it comes to residential and supported mental health treatment at a community provider. After all, we provide clinical services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. How can any day of the week be different in regards to number of services provided? Turns out staffing patterns have the biggest impact in regards to number of services provided by day. In 2020, Wednesdays and Thursdays were the busiest treatment days at Stepping Stones. That makes sense to us, but we figure most of you are thinking, "Why is this?"

The easiest explanation is that we have the most staff scheduled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. More staff equals more interventions. Those three days of the week are intensely busy! In addition, appointments with the psychiatrists transpire on Wednesdays and Thursdays, increasing the number of services provided for those two days. Another consideration is that Saturdays and Sundays have the least staff scheduled for weekend shifts. Although the sites stay busy, less staff are required to keep thing running smoothly. For instance, case managers currently do not work on the weekends.

Service Types (2020)

If you were in treatment at Stepping Stones, you would have been a recipient of the 85,973 clinical services provided in 2020. Of these services, 69,881 or 75% were Community Support services. Mental health clinical interventions increase community functioning in the least restrictive environment. It is all about rehabilitation, resiliency and recovery. Community support services include "illness self-management, skill building, identification and use of adaptive and compensatory skills, identification and use of natural supports, and use of community resources." In other words, staff and client work together to build skills and to succeed in the environments of choice. Everything from managing symptoms of mental illness while grocery shopping to using mindfulness to decrease anxiety is part of community support services. 

Other treatment types provided at Stepping Stones of Rockford include psychiatric services, crisis intervention, case management, counseling, clinical assessment, treatment planning and referral/admit/transition/linkage/discharge services. Medication administration, monitoring observation and training are part of the treatment effort.

Location of Services

You may know about our Main Office, right across the street from the Discover Center, but did you know we have sites scattered in the community?

Stepping Stones currently has five group homes, which are 24-hour supervised sites. At this time, we have capacity for 38 clients. Clinical interventions happen in the group homes as well as in the community. (We dream of increasing availability of group home treatment options, so stay tuned!) "City View" and "Overdene" provide 24-hour supervised care in an apartment setting. The capacity is 15 men and 14 women. Our Transition Apartment Program, a supported program, provides apartment living for 14 clients, with staff on site during the day. River North, home to 40 persons age 50 or older, provides supported apartment housing. The Apartment Program has much to offer in the "natural environment." Clients live in community and agency apartments. At this time, Stepping Stones has four apartment complexes. The "rest" of Apartment Program clients live independently in the community.

Agency offices include Main Office (across from the Discovery Center), Glenwood Office (near Rockford Memorial on Rockton), River North (overlooking Winnebago County Animal Services) and Darwood (near Halsted and Riverside). Of course, we provide many clinical services in the community. Public settings includes school, work, jail, other community providers and the community in general.

COVID's Impact on Location of Services

As you can imagine, COVID-19 affected service provision at Stepping Stones of Rockford. Talk about pivoting! We plugged along as usual with 24 hour a day services, but immediate action was required for all to stay as safe as possible. Client and staff cooperation made safety a priority while continuing mental health treatment. As you can imagine, Spring 2020 found us isolating, quarantining and cleaning!

COVID-19 resulted in increased provision of clinical services at the residential and supported sites instead of in our offices or community. Group services and treatment interventions were no longer possible at the Main Office or Glenwood Office. Opportunity to be in the community was extremely limited. Tele-services became a new mode of treatment provision for clients not in supervised settings. As you can imagine, our data looks a little different in 2020 in comparison to previous years. Boy, are we thankful 2021 has found us back in the community and in our offices!

Now you know a little bit more about our services and about our clients. Next: you'll learn about our staff! Stay tuned for Part III of "Get to Know Us." Until then, here's to Mental Health Month!


Recovery Steps and Stories: Spring 2021
Mental Health Month: Get To Know Us (Part I)