The program provides outpatient treatment of varying levels for adults 18 years of age and older with problems of psychological instability that are diagnosed with a serious and persistent mental illness or serious mood disorder. There are no exclusions based on socio-economic conditions, race or sex. Individuals who are an imminent danger to themselves or others are transferred to a safe environment until stabilized and discharged and then are returned to outpatient services if appropriate.
Treatment is client driven with opportunities for a wide array of services from which to choose to promote effective recovery and stabilization of symptoms for the clients. Services are offered in all three locations: North Augusta, Barnwell, and Aiken. Priority is given to those experiencing severe distress.
Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with some later appointments certain days of the week. In conjunction with the Crisis Intervention Program, Adult Outpatient offers emergency services twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. During regular working hours of Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., services can be accessed by contacting or walking in to the Main Center (Aiken), Polly Best Center (Barnwell), or Hartzog Center (North Augusta). After-hours telephone services are provided by on-call Mental Health Professionals in Aiken and Barnwell counties.
Adult Outpatient services are available to all adults 18 years or older who are experiencing serious mood disorders or serious and persistent mental illness. This population includes persons with all types of disabilities/limitations, legal issues, and various residential settings. The Adult Outpatient Program makes concerted efforts to meet the needs of special populations and persons with co-occurring disabilities. Aiken-Barnwell has multiple Memorandums of Agreement (MOA) with a variety of community agencies such as the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, The Aiken Center, Axis I (local Alcohol & Drug commissions), the South Carolina Department of Education, South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control, South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation and Continuum of Care. These MOAs clarify roles, responsibilities, services, and routes of linkage. In order to ensure that crisis services are responsive to the needs and characteristics of the racial/ethnic groups in our community, several strategies are utilized. Arrangements will be made to meet the needs of special populations. Clients who present for services who have a disability and cannot utilize the facility will receive individualized services. These services will be provided at Aiken Main Center for Aiken county residents and at the Polly Best Center for Barnwell county residents.
Reflective of the Center’s mission and core service values, the Child, Adolescent and Family Services Division (CAF) embraces the value that children grow, develop, and have the best opportunities for learning and practicing healthy emotional and social responses when in their home environments and communities. Integral to this mission is the full involvement of the care-givers along with appropriate intervention with the family as the primary psychological and social environment of the child, including the community in a culturally competent manner. We believe that given the opportunity, support and resources children, adolescents and their families can overcome obstacles and learn to deal with mental, emotional and behavioral difficulties successfully.
We are committed to services that promote the individual’s quality of life, focus on the individual’s strengths, foster independence and honor the rights, wishes and needs of the individual and his/her family. The person served engages in an active partnership with the clinician in the treatment planning process. Services are tailored to meet the needs of the individual, taking into consideration their strengths, needs, abilities and preferences.
It is the goal of the Child, Adolescent, & Family Services Division to develop client driven goals and objectives that are clear, outcome oriented, and individualized which reflect the desired outcomes of symptom reduction. Outcomes are measured utilizing the Child Behavior Checklist; access to services that meet ABMHC criteria; and for our clients to indicate to us that our services are beneficial to them through client satisfaction surveys.
The CAF Division offers an array of assessment and psychotherapeutic services to children, adolescents and families who are experiencing a variety of mental health problems. Treatment modalities such as individual, group and family therapy are tailored to meet the needs and preferences of those served.
Services are provided in the outpatient clinic Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM and Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Extended hours after 5:00 PM Monday through Thursday are for families who have difficulty attending during regular hours.
Emergency appointments are made the same day, as soon as possible when the call is made. The On-Call staff is also available to persons calling the main number after working hours. After hours face to face coverage is provided by the Aurora Respond staff at the Emergency Room who consults with Aiken-Barnwell On-Call staff as to what action should be taken.
Crisis Intervention Services
The Crisis Intervention Program provides an array of accessible emergency assessment and inpatient screening, treatment and referral services to all persons in Aiken and Barnwell Counties who are in or are dealing with a psychiatric crisis or need evaluation for inpatient substance abuse treatment. These services are provided twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week. The Crisis Intervention Program provides its various services to clients by maintaining them in the least restrictive, clinically appropriate environment. Crisis Intervention goes beyond simple assessment and disposition and represents “treatment” with clear and specific goals. Crises are viewed as an opportunity for change to empower our clients by developing skills, resources, and supports needed to improve the client’s level of functioning and avert crisis. Crises are influenced by all that surrounds the client including the family, the environment, and events. Accordingly, Crisis Intervention will involve the family as appropriate, utilize and mobilize the client’s natural support system, and mobilize other community services and resources need by the Crisis Intervention client.
The Dual Diagnosis program, “Harmony” at Aiken-Barnwell is based on the Dartmouth and Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) Model of the Integrated Treatment for Dual Diagnosis. Harmony provides services for clients with a diagnosis of substance abuse and mental illness. Harmony provides an array of therapeutic services including case management & group therapy which assists clients with moving toward a stable and healthy recovery for both illnesses. In addition Harmony works closely with the entire treatment team to promote integration of treatment.
Aiken Barnwell Mental Health Center is currently participating in the Co-Occurring Disorders State Incentive Grant (COSIG) and Initiative for the treatment of citizens in Aiken County that have co-occurring disorder (mental illness and substance abuse). Aiken-Barnwell’s current partners in the grant are Aiken Center for Alcohol and Drug Services and the South Carolina Department of Vocational Rehabilitation-Aiken Office. The initiative is designed to also promote new ideas and facilitate the development of new areas of mutual cooperation to the benefit of the community.
Community Based Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services
Millbrook Place & New Hope are psychosocial rehabilitation programs designed to help & empower persons with psychiatric disabilities. We have potential, power, strengths, and abilities. We work to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. We work to improve our mental and physical well-being in order to have a better quality of life.
How is the Mission Accomplished?
- Social Skills Training
- Symptom Management
- Recreational Development
- Independent Living Skills training
- Job Readiness Training
- Development of Self-Esteem
- Coping Strategies
The Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PRS) Programs at Aiken Barnwell MHC conform to a clubhouse & case-management model. Clients are referred to as members and take an active role with operating the program which includes preparing lunch together, operating a snack shop and planning and coordinating daily activities. Client are also provided assistance with needs in the community and/or linkage to services in the community.
In order to be eligible for the program:
- Must be diagnosed with a serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI) or serious mental illness (SMI) and with or without co-occurring substance abuse disorders
- age 18 and over
All clients of the mental health center for whom this service is appropriate will be made aware of the program and encouraged to attend.
Clients who present for services who have a handicap and cannot utilize the facility will receive individualized services. These services will be provided at Aiken Main Center for Aiken county residents and at the Polly Best Center for Barnwell county residents. Group Rooms are designated for program usage within the Aiken Main Center and Polly Best Center.
Services are designed to prepare members to function as actively, adaptively and independently in society as possible and appropriate. The service assists clients strengthen, restore and/or develop the necessary individual skills, abilities and environmental supports to improve personal, social, family, occupational/educational lives and overcome the isolation/withdrawal experienced by the persons with serious mental illness.
Special Activities & Groups
- Anger & Stress Management
- Arts & Crafts
- Dating & Relationships
- Consumer Advisory
Services are provided by trained and credentialed staff that provide services in accordance with Center and State Quality Assurance standards. Services are provided Monday through Thursday, Millbrook Place (Aiken) 8:30 a.m. –3:00 p.m. and New Hope (Barnwell) Monday-Thursday 8:30 am– 3:00 p.m.