How One Organization Used Mental Health Software to Measure Efforts and Improve Outcomes

How One Organization Used Mental Health Software to Measure Efforts and Improve Outcomes

Since it was first incorporated in 1960, The Mental Health Association (MHA) has been advocating for the disabled and the mentally handicapped.

It’s only been in recent years, however, that the Massachusetts-based non-profit has put mental health software to use in its efforts to improve the lives of the participants for which it provides its many mental health advocacy services.

In many respects, the MHA is like other organizations in that, while it does a lot to make sure its mental health support services participants get whatever they need in order to improve on their lives, there is always more that can be done to make the program’s services more effective.

It’s important to remember that non-profits like the MHA have obligations not just to the people they intend to help through the mental health recovery services that they provide, but they also have a responsibility to train their employees in ways to better deliver services and measure efforts.

Likewise, non-profit mental health agencies have reporting obligations to funders and organizations that provide oversight in the non-profit world.

So, let’s take a look at the mental health resources used by the MHA and you will get a clear idea how it can streamline a non-profit’s operation.  Mental health agencies will run much more smoothly and improve the lives of participants while appeasing funders and making better providers of program employees.

About the MHA

The Mental Health Association primary goal has been to provide residential and support services and to enhance the quality of life for those challenged with mental impairments enrolled in mental health services.

Part of the MHA’S mission stems from the fact that they believe the disabled deserve affordable, quality housing along with the opportunity to be part of their communities.

Since the organization’s inception, it has diversified itself by offering services to the homeless, as well as other demographics like transitional youth.

Regardless of whom the MHA is helping, however, the mental health software that it has employed in its practices has made the job of providing life improving services both easier and more efficient.

How the MHA has Measured Efforts and Outcomes

When looking at how MHA has measured its efforts and outcomes through the use of case management software, it’s important to remember that both the organization and its participants have some influence over how effective those outcomes are.

While the MHA has to improve the services that it provides, the participant has to strive towards certain goals and benchmarks to measure the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of the program’s efforts.

It could be said that the provider-client relationship in this instance is symbiotic in that respect.

On the staff’s side of the relationship, they realized that, while the implementation of software designed to help them better achieve their goals was a useful tool to have, the change required to adopt it to their practices could be daunting.

That’s why the organization set up mental health education training for its staff, as well as focus groups that would help to address any barriers that staff members might encounter while using Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) software in their day-to-day operations.

After the staff underwent the training to help them gain a firm grasp on this mental health software, ETO saw a noticeable increase in its usage at the MHA.

Through this increased use, the MHA has been better able to monitor its efforts made and adjust its practices for more effective service delivery. This was specifically evident in the case of the Aggressive Treatment for Addiction Recovery Program (ATARP).

ATARP

Through this program, the MHA addresses problems with homeless participants who have mental health issues along with problems in substance abuse.

They help participants with housing, improving mental health, and dealing with substance abuse issues.

The mental health software used in this particular case was able to monitor various points of service delivered by its employees. Some of these points included efforts made in areas like treatment group attendance, increased activities of daily living, medical and psychiatric appointments, and several others.

Employees within the MHA were also able to use the software to compare past outcomes made through certain efforts with more recent outcomes following those same efforts.

By working with the program participant and keeping track of metrics like energy put forth, increased mental status, and the ability to remain clean and sober, the MHA were able to generate reports that illustrated how the participants were doing over a specific time frame.

This data could easily be compared to efforts made in the past to gauge the effectiveness of the mental health recovery services provided over time.

During periods of downturn in the participant’s life (such as relapses into substance abuse), the program was able to ask important questions like

  • What worked?
  • What didn’t work?
  • Where was the support you needed?

Only by asking these questions that were raised through the use of this mental health software was the MHA able to readjust its efforts accordingly and ensure that missteps wouldn’t be revisited during future efforts.

Perhaps most importantly, however, the use of this human services software has allowed the MHA to show the participants themselves the progress that they’ve made as well as possible roadblocks that had hindered them in the past.

The idea behind the participants knowing exactly where they have been and the obstacles that they face can serve as motivation to work with case workers as closely as possible to achieve a healthier, happier life.

And that motivation is made possible through the use of mental health software designed to measure efforts and outcomes.

Software That Benefits Everyone

Mental health software used by the MHA and other mental health advocacy services doesn’t just help the participants improve their lives, it helps the mental health agencies continue their mission as well.

The data gathered over time by mental health evaluation workers can be used by program management to make a case for additional funding in the future, whether they use it to appeal to philanthropists and other donors, or government entities that provide funding and are responsible for oversight as well.

It’s important to remember that organizations like the MHA aren’t just responsible for their participants, but have to report their efforts and outcomes to governing bodies as well.

With mental health software customized especially for its needs, the MHA is capable of doing everything in its powers to help its participants, increase its reputation in the non-profit community, and secure funding for future endeavors when needed.

Would you like to know more about mental health software and how it can help your organization improve its outcomes?

If so, then feel free to view the webinar “Improving Performance of Mental Health Programs” and you will see how working with Social Solutions can ultimately help you.

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