WHAT IS A COMMUNITY SUPPORT TEAM (CST)?
A Community Support Team (CST) is made up of at least six mental health professionals who together provide services to adult consumers who have been diagnosed with a severe mental illness with the goal of decreasing hospitalizations, crisis episodes and increasing community functioning.
WHO BENEFITS FROM CST?
CST services are intended for adults whose mental health needs require the assistance of a team of professionals who can provide a range of services. These include therapeutic services that can help address a person’s strengths and needs; rehabilitative services to improve functioning in different areas; and support to reach goals and move closer towards recovery. In the end, consumers learn to function at their optimal level in home, community, work, and/or school settings.
HOW DOES CST WORK?
A FULL TIME TEAM LEADER: A mental health professional who has at least a Master’s degree provides leadership and supervision to a team of at least six staff.
A FULL TIME TEAM MEMBER IN RECOVERY: Each team is required to have at least one person in recovery as a fully integrated member of the team who assists consumers by sharing their experiences and providing hope for recovery.
A TEAM APPROACH: Each team has multiple staff members with differing areas of expertise who provide services to each consumer according to their strengths and based on the individual consumer needs.
SERVICES PROVIDED WHERE THEY ARE NEEDED: Consumers receive CST services in their homes, where they work, and in other settings in the community where problems occur or where support is needed.
SERVICES PROVIDED WHEN THEY ARE NEEDED: CST services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Someone is always available to handle emergencies.
COMPREHENSIVE CARE: Teams provide an array of services to help meet consumer needs. The services consists of therapeutic interventions that facilitate:
- Skill building
- Illness self-management
- Use of community resources
- Identification and use of natural supports