I work with Triple R Behavioral Health and my job title is a Behavioral Health Technician. I work in a community placement group home, monitoring 4 adult females w/ serious mental illnesses throughout the day. An important part of our job is observing them taking their medication. They are not allowed to take their medication unsupervised, so that’s why it’s an important part. Since I work the dayshift, my responsibilities include transporting the clients to their medical and psych appointments, as well as advocating for them at these appointments, when they are unable to communicate effectively to the providers. I also monitor their behaviors and take notes of anything that is ‘unusual’ for them. Another part of my responsibility involves assisting them with living skills that they once knew how to do, such as cooking and cleaning, but have forgotten how to, due to their mental illness. Also, I do monthly reports on the client’s progress.
A challenge for me is that each individual is different and you must be able to work with each person on a different level, depending on what they need. They are not the same, so what may work for one client, may not work for another, so you must stay open-minded and patient. What I have learned about the mentally ill is that they are people just like us. Like you, they were once married with children, or went to college and got a degree, or even knew how to speak a different language such as French and a lot of people don’t realize that. Some people seem to think that they have been this way since birth but it is not true. For example, some people’s mental illness can result from a horrible car accident or a bad electrocution from work. As a result of certain events they are diagnosed with a mental illness. Unfortunately, some family abandon these mentally ill people because taking care of them becomes too much or unbearable or they become frustrated. As a result, some families give up the care of these individuals.
The most important thing to remember is that the mentally ill just wants to be treated with respect as any of us want do.