Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services (HAMHDS) is committed to providing a comprehensive continuum of mental health services to the individuals we serve. We serve individuals throughout the lifespan who are experiencing a range of symptoms and illnesses. Our services fall into three broad categories: Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery.
Research has demonstrated that there are individual and community risk factors that increase the likelihood of someone developing a mental illness. Some examples of these risk factors include low self-esteem, poor school performance, and social and gender inequalities. Similarly, research has demonstrated that there are individual and community risk factors that protect individuals from developing a mental illness. Some examples of these protective factors include good communication skills, social support of family and friends, and physical security and safety.
HAMHDS addresses risk factors through individual skill training as well as educational activities focused on providing the community an enhanced understanding of mental illness. These community programs include group training sessions as well as media campaigns.
HAMHDS provides a wide continuum of mental health services to individuals throughout the life span. Each person seeking services is assessed by our staff and an individualized plan of treatment is developed based on the individual’s needs and strengths. When appropriate, we try to involve family in the individual’s treatment, recognizing that an individual’s natural support system is often key to success in treatment.
We seek to incorporate evidence based programming whenever possible to ensure that we are providing high quality, outcomes driven services. We regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the services that we provide, and look for opportunities to develop specialized programming in response to community need.
We have learned from the individuals that we serve that recovery from mental illness is possible. The concept of recovery is built on the belief that with the right treatment and support systems, individuals with mental illness lead meaningful and productive lives. One way that HAMHDS promotes the concept of recovery is through Peer Support Specialists. Peer Support Specialists are employees who have experienced mental illness in their own lives, and use their personal experiences of recovery as a way to help others.
In addition, we are constantly seeking ways to promote community integration for individuals who may have experienced isolation as a result of their mental illness. Some of the ways in which community integration occurs is through volunteer opportunities, employment, and participation in social and recreational activities.