The Bert Nash Center (BNC) provides innovative, research-based services that address diverse mental health needs of children and adults. The Center offers education, consultation and outreach services promoting wellness and early identification of mental health concerns warranting professional help.
The core of BNC services is outpatient therapy for adults, children and their families. The staff at Bert Nash includes highly trained mental health professionals who are dedicated to providing caring, effective and confidential services. Therapy services range from brief solution focused therapy (meeting with a therapist for three-five sessions) to ongoing therapy for more severe diagnosis (individuals with severe and persistent mental illness).
We offer a variety of helping strategies based on individual needs including individual, couple, group and family therapy and psychological evaluations and appropriate medications.
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. A certain amount of anxiety is normal and helps us cope with everyday challenges. However, it is not healthy when frequent anxiety interferes with work, activities, school, and recreation. Approximately 40 million American adults have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders can be successfully treated with appropriate therapy. The Anxiety Disorders Services program is unique to Bert Nash as it was established specifically for an outpatient setting and is based on rigorous, scientifically based treatment protocols. Anxiety disorders include:
- Social phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder);
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD);
- Panic disorder;
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); and
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive treatment for individuals who struggle with a variety of emotional and behavioral problems and feel out of control. Individuals with severe mood disorders, PTSD, anger issues, relationship problems, addictions or who have suicidal/self-harming behaviors may benefit from DBT.
DBT is a skills based program that replaces destructive behaviors with more effective responses (skills). Individuals are taught skills in a group setting that are then personalized in individual sessions to address specific needs. These skills are designed to decrease emotional suffering and increase positive coping. DBT promotes compassionate and non-judgmental ways of understanding emotional and behavioral issues. It promotes empowerment and recovery and demands hard work from both clients and clinicians involved in the program.
How long does the program take? Standard DBT lasts for approximately one year or as long as it takes for the client to learn and implement DBT skills, increase mental health stability and decrease behaviors that are inconsistent with a life worth living. Some clients may take more time in DBT depending on the level of severity or current acute stress they are experiencing. Treatment outcomes and length depend on a variety of issues but will be monitored and reviewed with the client at least every 90 days. We are committed to effective and efficient treatment. Clients who do not show some progress in treatment after a reasonable period of time are assisted in finding alternative treatment.
There are two levels of DBT available at Bert Nash.
Short term/crisis stabilization: Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
- Daily groups (total of 15 hours per week)
- Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon
- Individual therapy weekly or as needed
- Medication management
- Phone coaching
- Crisis and after hours services as needed
Outpatient DBT: ongoing, committed therapy
- DBT skills group (1 time weekly for 2 hours)
- Individual therapy
- Phone coaching
- Medication management
- Case management or crisis services as needed
Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment (IDDT) is a specialized form of treatment for individuals who have been diagnosed with two disorders: severe mental illness and a substance abuse disorder (alcohol or drug abuse or dependence). IDDT has been shown to work effectively for individuals with both disorders because it helps individuals make progress in their recovery from mental health and substance abuse problems at the same time. The IDDT program offers dual diagnosis groups as well as individual case management and specialized counseling. Individuals meet with groups to learn more about their symptoms and how to recover from substance abuse. Additionally, individuals can meet with therapists to help them identify what they believe would be most helpful in their recovery. If you are a Community Support Services (CSS) client and are interested in learning more about IDDT, please ask your case manager or ask to speak with the IDDT team leader.
IOP provides therapy services to individuals who are in acute distress and at high risk for inpatient hospitalization. The program also provides help to those recently discharged from inpatient or residential settings.
Group therapy is a form of counseling in which a small number of people come together under the guidance of a professionally trained therapist to help themselves and one another. Participants may benefit from understanding, support, and encouragement from others facing similar issues when they become engaged in group therapy.
What are the benefits of being in a group?
- Participation in group can help you develop new social skills and insight into yourself and improve understanding of others.
- Groups can provide valuable social and emotional support and increase your sense of belonging, trust, and protection.
- Groups can provide solutions to problems you would not think of on your own and give you a chance to try new behaviors.
- Groups are less expensive and led by the same therapist you may have had in individual therapy, so you have access to professional expertise when needed.
- Several groups are available, thus increasing the likelihood of a good fit for your presenting problem. In each group, everyone agrees to mutual confidentiality. Depending on your circumstances and needs, the group that you participate in may be time limited or may be on-going.
Adult Outpatient Groups
- Intermediate Treatment Services: Utilizes Behavioral Activation Treatment Model – Meets 3 times per week. A group that covers safety planning and reduces symptoms through increasing awareness of mental health behavior patterns, understanding how behavior affects how we feel, and the key to a life free of symptoms is making sure each day contains important and/or enjoyable activities with a sense of purpose. Participants will learn to change behavior first, rather than wait to feel more motivated or less symptomatic.
- Challenging Health Issues Group: Utilizes a CBT Treatment Model – Offers participants with chronic physical illness and related mental health issues such as depression and/or anxiety a place for support and strategies to manage symptoms including relaxation exercises, guided imagery, and cognitive restructuring.
- Depression Recovery Group (CBT): Uses CBT Treatment Model – Provides participants with information about depression and strategies to help change behaviors and cognitions that foster depression. Also assists with behavioral activation, social dysfunction, and other impairment associated with depression.
- TLC AOP Therapy Group: Utilizes CBT Treatment Model – Assists individuals with depression integrate physical exercise, sleep, social connectedness, sunlight exposure, dietary omega-3 fatty acids, and anti-rumination strategies to improve mood and quality of life.
- Anxiety Treatment Group and Pre-Exposure: (Anxiety Disorders Clinic) – Utilizes a CBT Treatment Model – Provides a general overview of anxiety in its many forms and offers participants various strategies for managing anxiety (learn to identify parts of anxiety, learn to challenge anxious thoughts, carry out diaphragmatic breathing and muscle relaxation strategies). For clients with an anxiety diagnosis.
- Women’s Healing Together Group: This is a research based approach using an open group format built on the principles grounded in strength based approaches, safety, empowerment, and validation. Designed to help women recover from traumatic abuse histories by following a guide for recovery by identifying methods to regain safety in all facets of their lives, with focus placed on the present and moving toward the future. This process allows women to bear witness to one another as they regain control in their lives. It is strongly recommended group members be actively participating in their own concurrent individual therapy processes while enrolled in this group.
- Women’s Therapy Group: This group will focus on helping women develop a clearer sense of who they are in relation to others (work place, school, family, significant other, and friendships). It is for clients who want help learning how to take care of themselves (vs. others), identify what they want (vs. don’t want), how to ask for what they want, set boundaries, manage emotional triangles, and reactivity in relationships.
- Drop-In Group: Designed to be three sessions in which clients can drop-in without a paper referral, but a email referral would be appreciated. The focus is on developing clear recovery goals, helping client’s identify their strengths and personal medicine to manage symptoms and an exploration of available services at Bert Nash to further recovery. This group can also provide additional support to individuals waiting to be seen after intake but are not in crisis and don’t need IOP or ITS.
- CSS Balanced Living Group: (Psychosocial rehab group – SPMI and non-SPMI) Utilizes behavioral and psychosocial models – Assists with rehabilitation support with the development of social and daily living skills to increase community tenure, enhance personal relationships, and improve self-management of symptoms.
- Men’s Strengths Group: The Men’s Strength Group is focused on creating an environment in which men can openly discuss their issues and symptoms while receiving support from fellow group members. This group will address the approaches that men typically use to deal with mental health issues, identify successful, positive coping mechanisms and improve communication skills. We will celebrate victories, provide support through tough times and work to improve our overall outlook on life. The group is geared towards men interested in managing symptoms of mental health issues (Ex: depression and anxiety), forming positive supports and building resilience in their lives. Group leaders will primarily use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Behavioral Activation, and Mindfulness to help group members connect and improve their functioning.
- Anxiety Exposure Group: Utilizes David Barlow’s exposure protocol – (Anxiety Disorders Clinic) Will observe and monitor symptoms of anxiety, learn to challenge anxious thoughts, and complete exposure-based protocol. Two times per month venture out into the community to carry out in exposures. For clients with an anxiety diagnosis who are ready to decrease avoidance behaviors.
- Anger Management Group: Utilizes CBT Treatment Model – Meets court ordered requirements for anger management. Offers participants an understanding of how anger impacts functioning, offers assertiveness training, cognitive restructuring, along with stress and relaxation strategies.
- Transforming Our Lives: This group is for transgender and gender nonconforming clients who are struggling with their sexual/gender identity or expression. We will be discussing the subjects of living as ourselves, health and wellness, relationships and families, and claiming one’s power, as well as subtopics such as coming out, transphobia, beginning or continuing transition, and other topics of interest as they apply to the needs of attending members. People at any stage of their journey that meet criteria are welcome. Clients within the group will participate in self-exploration, discussion of mental health symptoms, issues related to interaction with family and peers, and provide support for one another.
It makes me feel really good that I have all of these people, who are willing and caring, to help me out and not give up on me.SOAR/SSDI Client
If not for Bert Nash, I know I would have ended up in jail or institutionalized. The people at Bert Nash cared for me before I could care for myself.Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment Client
I was such a mess when I came to Bert Nash and now I leave as a whole person, ready to take the world by storm. Thank you for everything that you have given me and the encouragement that I have received.Dialectical Behavior Therapy Client
I finally can say that I feel no need for hospitalization. This would never have been possible were it not for the gracious and kind people at Bert Nash. Were it not for Bert Nash, I shudder to think where I might be today.Adult Services Client
Child and Family Services
The Center offers a wide range of services for youth and their families including individual, group and family therapy, parent support groups, in-home therapy, support and skill groups, psychological evaluations and medications.
Provides support to parents, guardians, and families of children who have mental health challenges and to serve as a consultant to the Bert Nash Center with the goal of continuously improving the quality of services to children and families. Grandparents who are raising grandchildren are also welcome to attend. Childcare is provided by the Center’s Staff.
Provided by individuals trained in crisis stabilization skills and can provide in-home supervision and add daily structure for children and adolescents. Attendant care can help reduce parent-child conflicts and help maintain a positive environment by relieving parents of some child care demands.
Community Based Services for Families intends to provide children and adolescents with severe emotional needs the opportunity to learn life skills required to become healthy adults such as learning how to identify feelings, managing anger, controlling impulses, cooperating with peers, allowing an adult to be in charge, using leisure time constructively, establishing and maintaining friendships, resolving conflicts, and living independently.
In-Home Family Therapy is provided by licensed social workers and psychologists who are experienced in working with families. Case management provided by bachelor level staff. The main goal of case management is to help families to develop the skills and obtain resources necessary to stabilize their child at home and in the community.
Success by Six assists parents in their homes and without charge to more successfully parent their children. Services provided by the Family Resource Specialists include: Assistance with family life management; parenting education, information and referral, support and advocacy, and mental health services. The primary focus of the team is on positive parent-child relationship building and preparing children to succeed in school and life. Services are provided by Master’s level clinicians with specialties in early childhood. The number of families receiving services annually is 120, with approximately 400 children being served by the program.
After School/Summer Camp is organized each semester (or summer) to address the needs of the current participants. Activity-based groups address such topics as: anger management, independent living skills, leisure activities, problem-solving skills, relationships, self-esteem, and social skills. Groups are kept small and staffed with at least two group leaders.
The Therapeutic Classroom program is a jointly sponsored program by the Bert Nash Center and the Lawrence Public Schools providing an alternative to the traditional classroom setting for students with severe emotional problems. The classroom is staffed by a teacher, a paraprofessional, and a therapist, and provides more structure than is available within a public school setting. Up to eighteen students in grades 7 – 12 attend.
Since 1997, WRAP has offered school-based therapeutic, skill-building, and supportive services in Douglas County Schools. WRAP employs full-time Master’s Level Social Workers who are employed by Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and licensed in the State of Kansas by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. WRAP is available to ALL students in participating schools. Currently, WRAP is present in six of the elementary schools (part-time), all four middle schools and has two WRAP therapist in both High Schools within Lawrence Public Schools. Additionally, WRAP provides services in Eudora Elementary and Bishop Seabury Academy. Lastly, WRAP partners with the Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) to provide services to the youth at the center.
What kinds of services does the WRAP program offer?
WRAP provides a wide range of services including, but not limited to: individual and/or small group counseling, skill building in response to discipline referrals, parent and family support, teacher support, crisis intervention, student advocacy, communication between school / home / community, linking families and children to available resources for social / emotional development and for academic support, assistance with after-school programs and activities, mediation, service to educational teams (SIT, SST, SPED, CARE), and educational and skill building groups (friendship, divorce, leadership, etc.).
Community Support Services assists individuals who are diagnosed with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI). These services are designed to help adults live independently and productively within their community.
In this program, the goal is to help individuals in decreasing their symptoms, along with maintaining their housing, benefits and other supports.
Supported employment is a term used to describe programs and services that help individuals with mental health challenges secure and maintain meaningful employment. Supported employment programs assist the individual with everything from the job search to job training and on-site counseling.
Supported Education is a psychiatric rehabilitation practice based on proven research principles. The aim of this program is to provide the opportunities, resources, and support to people with psychiatric disabilities so they may gain admittance to and succeed in the pursuit of post-secondary education.
Supported housing refers to transitional or permanent housing that is chosen by consumers, not isolated from the larger community, and offers individualized and flexible services and supports such as case management, individual community support services, vocational training and skill-building activities to consumers. Participants are supported as they continue to develop and improve independent living skills.
Since 1991, the Bert Nash Center has provided supportive housing in an apartment-style living environment in Lawrence. Two 1-bedroom units and two 2-bedroom units allow individuals with recurrent mental illness to live independently in the community. Each individual has a case manager and the additional aid of community support workers for evening and weekend assistance. Rent is assessed using Housing and Urban Development and Section 8 guidelines, which equals approximately 30% of a resident’s adjusted income.
Supportive permanent housing has been available for individuals with recurring mental illness in Baldwin City since 1998, where the Center owns two single bedroom duplexes. Residents have access to the support of case managers as needed. Rent is assessed using HUD and Section 8 guidelines, equal to approximately 30% of a resident’s adjusted income.
Housing Rental Subsidies Program
In partnership with the Lawrence/Douglas County Housing Authority, the Bert Nash Center provides “vouchers” to subsidize rent for Bert Nash Community Support Service clients (those clients with persistent mental illness) through the HOME Program. Clients seek housing within the community from landlords who are willing to accept vouchers.
Since 2006, a team of trained case managers from Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, through a partnership with the City of Lawrence and a federal grant, has been reaching out to the city’s homeless population. It provides coordinated service delivery, decreasing the duplication of services, and to strengthen community partnerships. Homeless Outreach Specialists provide services to those community members to support them as they obtain their desired level of independence. Program participants need not be experiencing mental health issues to receive services. Bert Nash has co-located the Homeless Outreach Specialists at the following community agencies: ECKAN, Lawrence Community Shelter, and the Salvation Army.