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Human Services Highlights Research in Service Delivery for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Dual Diagnoses

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) today released the fourth edition of The Pennsylvania Journal on Positive Approaches. DHS’ Office of Developmental Programs and Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services recently began publishing the journal again for the first time in more than 20 years.  

People with the dual diagnoses of an intellectual disability/autism and a co-occurring mental illness often face challenges for true inclusion in their communities and require appropriate services and supports. The Pennsylvania Journal on Positive Approaches aims to improve lives by providing supports and services to people with dual diagnosis and communicating timely resources and advancements to professionals and supporters.

“Our goal at DHS is to serve more people in their communities, and we want those services to be the best that they can be. With the Pennsylvania Journal on Positive Approaches, we are providing the most recent research and resources for people with dual diagnosis to live an everyday life,” said Secretary Teresa Miller. “We are excited to publish this latest edition of the Journal and look forward to the services improvements and the research it inspires.”

Governor Tom Wolf recently introduced Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters, the commonwealth’s approach to addressing the stigma and barriers associated with mental health care. The Journal is one more way to help people understand and access the mental health services they need.

The Positive Approaches Journal collects resources, observations, and advancements in mental and behavioral health in order to better serve people with dual diagnoses in their communities. This edition features research and guidance on the following:

  • Maximizing Resources in Rural Communities for Individuals with Dual Diagnosis For Meaningful Community Inclusion: This article attempts to give a perspective of the challenges and success of one organization located in rural western Pennsylvania that successfully integrated individuals with dual diagnosis (IDD/MI) into their communities.
  • The Maximization of Organizational Resources Through Continuous Improvement: This article details the role that leaders play in maximizing the resources of their organization to better serve this population.
  • The Adult Community Autism Program: A Different Approach: This article describes the advantages of the Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP) to maximize resources through a capitated support model that provides physical, behavioral, and community-based services to adults with autism.
  • Innovative Approaches to Gather Community-Based Service Data: This article describes one provider’s approach to collecting data in the community while addressing treatment safety and communication.

DHS is also encouraging practitioners and theorists in Pennsylvania to enter submissions that will drive innovation at all levels in our service systems.

Read this edition of The Pennsylvania Journal on Positive Approaches.

For more information visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Erin James – 717-425-7606