Hello family!

Can we talk? Honey, this winter has certainly given us an Arctic blast and forced hibernation! Well, I’m here to inform you that you don’t need to go stir crazy in your homes. Life triggers many stressors in our communities and we all sometimes need resources when there is some form of crisis. This month, I’d like to introduce to you my colleague Javius Cain, who works at the Baltimore Crisis Center. Take it away, Javius!

Spring is in the air! I don’t know about you, but after several days of subzero temperatures, I am excited for warmer weather and the blooming of beautiful, colorful flowers. Spring is the time of year when we tend to do a little “spring cleaning” in our lives and reaffirm the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. As we transition from winter to spring, many of us may still feel the effects of the dreadful “winter blues.” These stressors in our lives can trigger events that may find us in crisis. Here is some information to help you, should you find yourself in crisis, to make a better and healthier YOU:

Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment

If you are dealing with the ebb and flow of life, Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc. (BCRI) is available to help you find a healthy balance in your life. BCRI operates 21 psychiatric beds in an in-patient dorm style environment which makes for a very relaxed atmosphere while you receive treatment. Case managers are also available to assist you in obtaining available resources. This may include: linkages to community mental health or substance abuse treatment, primary medical care, linkage to transitional/permanent housing, connection to vocational training and education, and other community resources. BCRI also operates a 10 bed residential detoxification unit for anyone struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Not every crisis requires in-patient treatment. As a result, BCRI has a Mobile Crisis Team comprised of mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, nurses, and social workers, to provide immediate assessment and treatment. Additionally, BCRI operates a 24 hour, 7 days a week Hotline Service staffed by trained counselors who provide suicide intervention, supportive counseling, and dispatching of emergency assistance. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis or need help with substance use counseling, please call BCRI hours a day, 7 days a week at (410-433-5175).

HIV Services

Taking care of your sexual health is another resource available at BCRI through the No Wrong Door project. Anyone who enters the Crisis Response Unit and Substance Abuse Detoxification Unit is offered a free and confidential HIV test regardless of their risk factors. If you have questions or concerns HIV, STIs, or sexual health, you will have the opportunity to speak with a No Wrong Door staff person for counseling, assessment and/or education. If you are living with HIV/AIDS, you will be able to meet with the No Wrong Door Linkage to Care Specialist who will help you with referral to HIV services and primary medical care.

Javius Cain, LGSW is the No Wrong Door Outreach Specialist at BCRI providing HIV testing, counseling, and linkage to care for clients living with HIV in various mental health agencies in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.

Gay Life March 2015

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