February 1, 2019
Resources for Ombudsmen to Assist Residents
with their Mental Health
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs (LTCOPs) investigate and resolve complaints on behalf of residents and provide other Ombudsman program services daily. Changes in public policy and in living options have resulted in changes in the resident population. In recent years LTCOPs are serving increasing numbers of individuals with mental illness who are living in long-term care facilities.
The issues that Ombudsman programs address are often complex and advocacy to ensure residents with mental health needs receive the care and support they need may be especially challenging. Ombudsman program staff and volunteers may feel that their knowledge is inadequate or may be uncertain about their approach and skills.
Below you will find resources and information regarding supporting residents with mental health needs for Ombudsman program advocacy and consumer education.
Mental Health/Mental Illness Issue Page
This page houses all NORC and Ombudsman program resources related to mental health and mental illness
LTCOP Reference Guide: Working With Individuals With Mental Health Conditions (updated)
This reference guide provides an overview of the topic, foundation points for Ombudsman program practices, key resources for more in-depth knowledge and to improve ombudsman skills.
Advocating for Residents with Mental Health Needs: What to do When a Resident Threatens to Harm Themselves Webinar
During this webinar, Dr. Arbore a nationally recognized expert, shared warning signs, ways to promote better-informed and healthier communities, and resources and supports for Ombudsmen and residents suffering from inner loneliness, sorrow, stress, and anxiety. Jamie Freschi, Illinois State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, shared her program’s policies and procedures, and a tool that guides the program in responding to residents that talk about committing suicide. Natasha Belli, an Illinois program representative, shared her experience working with a resident that has threatened suicide and the steps she took to support the resident.
Advocating for Residents with Mental Health Needs: Engaging and Changing the System
This session summary and resource guide was prepared by Sara Hunt, MSSW, and is based on Dr. Susan Wehry's session at the 2008 State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Conference. The purpose of this guide is to inform Ombudsman program advocacy and provide a list of resources that may be useful in teaching ombudsmen and caregivers and in advocating for individuals and for systems change.
For more information on mental health/mental illness visit the NORC website.
Read archived issues of NORC Notes here. If you have a question, are not able to find a resource, or want to share training materials or program practices, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.