Wellspring Works for Mental Health Recovery

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Wellspring - dba Schizophrenia Foundation, KY, Inc.
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Wellspring works to promote the recovery of persons with severe and persistent mental illness through leadership in the development of quality housing and rehabilitative services.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

“They stuck with me, and I stuck with them – and that’s what pulled me through.” This Wellspring participant has spent 18 years in a daily struggle to successfully live in an apartment, hold a job, and have a relationship with his family. For him, the challenges brought on by a severe, persistent mental illness require vigilance that can sometimes be exhausting. People like “Joe” who suffer with a mental illness are doubly handicapped. In addition to coping with a disabling illness, they face unfair stigma and shame. Thousands in our community live with mental illness. Though it’s not as visible as a physical affliction, mental illness is every bit as physically and medically debilitating. Wellspring helps our clients learn to manage their mental illnesses – not to be managed by them. Since our founding in 1982, Wellspring has worked to improve the lives of individuals with mental illness in our community. From Ardery House, our flagship site where Wellspring began providing Transitional Housing, Wellspring moved on to develop Supported Housing and Independent Housing. In 1995, Wellspring opened Kentucky’s first Crisis Stabilization Unit, the Gaines Center, and a second CSU, the David J. Block Center in 2007. These diverse sites offer a variety of supported housing options designed to provide a best-practices approach for the recovery of our clients. In addition to our services in Jefferson County, Wellspring expanded into Shelby County by establishing a site in Shelbyville. As a result of these unflagging efforts, Wellspring has been recognized as Kentucky’s lead provider of such services, and we are the only such provider in this region. Wellspring’s work is based on the belief that once individuals with mental illness have the stability and dignity of housing, then the work of psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery can begin. Recovery from psychiatric illness does not mean finding a cure; rather, it means developing a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life despite the presence of mental illness. Recovery is a unique process for each person. To most effectively promote recovery from mental illness, Wellspring offers an array of options to meet individual clients’ needs and preferences. Wellspring operates with a staff of over 100 professionals and paraprofessionals, who serve over 600 clients in Jefferson and Shelby counties annually through nearly 20 sites of safe, attractive and affordable housing. Housing options include crisis stabilization units, transitional housing programs, highly supported permanent housing programs, and subsidized rental housing, including supported apartments, independent apartments, and single-family homes Wellspring offers a variety of programs that provide a best-practices approach for the recovery of our clients. We incorporate recovery-oriented programming through client-centered individualized care, using a multi-disciplinary approach. Providing quality services has garnered Wellspring an “exemplary” rating from the Kentucky Department of Mental Health. Wellspring has also been cited as a model program in national reviews of residential service providers. With mental health funding declining in the current financial climate, every cent counts. Keeping administrative costs down so that client care can be maximized is a mandate for Wellspring. Finding the most efficient, effective methods of getting our jobs done are simply a matter of necessity. That’s why Microsoft is such an irreplaceable component of our work system. Wellspring relies heavily on Microsoft Office for day-to-day operations. Outlook, Access, Excel, Word and Publishers are invaluable to a small administrative staff that must work as efficiently as possible. Microsoft helps us accomplish this in myriad ways. Most of our intra-agency communication is through email. In the Development Department alone, “Outlook’s” features – the ability to sort by name and date, flagging by color, and most of all, the ability to make new folders and move emails – are a godsend. We use folders to categorize-mail messages into those relating to budget, general giving, our annual fundraising event, volunteers and more. This saves us valuable time and energy when compiling all correspondence. The “Calendar” keeps us on track for meetings, events and appointments. Its reminder feature keeps us on time for appointments and deadlines. “Contacts” keeps all of our important clients and frequently used information easily accessible. Committee members, board members and others are grouped together to make sending out news and information easy and efficient. The “Tasks” list is also an invaluable tool for us. It allows us to keep track of projects and assignments as they are received and completed. In addition, “Outlook” alone has saved the need for ordering physical address books, desk calendars, and having to print and file ‘must save’ correspondence.“Access” stores Wellspring’s client and donor information. From this, we pull our mailing lists for newsletters, updates, campaigns and other printed pieces. Its flexibility allows us to enter and set up data in a format most manageable for our needs.“Word” is magic! Everything we ever need or want to do to a document can be done in “Word.” Whether simply bolding a heading or changing text color, inserting a chart or a page break, or merging letters and printing envelopes, “Word” helps us to be more effective in our communication and more efficient in our output. “Excel” is used extensively to keep track of donations to the Capital Campaign and General Fund. Our Finance Department produces their budget using “Excel.” The calculating feature takes the ‘work out of work’ and human error out of the equation. It is used in both Finance and Development to compare income and expenses in a variety of areas. Reports can easily be compiled and inserted into letters to Board members and others. We’ve also taken advantage of “Publisher”. When producing a professional bulletin, invoice or even putting together a flier under a deadline, “Publisher” helps us through. The format readily (and easily) accepts our selected pictures, logo and text. The final product always makes our non-profit look top-notch.As we’ve shown, Wellspring relies very heavily on Microsoft Office for our day to day operation. Donations, such as Microsoft’s, help keep Wellspring’s work possible. We work to save lives, to save families, and to make our community stronger. We fight to bring mental illness out of the dark. And we are grateful for this opportunity to increase our capacity to do so.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery