An ambulance arrives at MetroHealth’s Trauma Center, transporting a victim of domestic abuse. The patient is immediately rushed to the emergency room – there, she is treated for the physical trauma her body has undergone. Just as she starts to feel some relief from the physical pain and effects of her ordeal, the emotional trauma she endured begins to surface, as she expresses her anxiety about going home and facing her abuser. Yet, she realizes if she doesn’t go home, she risks not being able to return to work and losing her job.
With the new partnership formed between MetroHealth and OhioGuidestone, this patient can now receive the all-encompassing support she needs – physically and mentally. For MetroHealth patients eligible for Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) services, OhioGuidestone will provide individualized, trauma-informed workforce programming, in the home or community settings, as often as needed.
“This is a way to treat the whole person, not only their physical injuries but also their mental health injuries,” says Jill Tayfel, Director of Community Counseling. “We are helping them have more productive and empowered lives by being able to successfully seek and keep employment.”
OhioGuidestone therapists will develop an advocacy plan tailored to each individual’s specific needs, including: counseling; case management; victim advocacy; and support in working their case through the justice system. At the same time, an OhioGuidestone Workforce 360° career coach will assist the individual in finding and maintaining employment.
“If you have a woman or a man who’s coming out of an abusive relationship and feeling like they can’t leave, they’re dependent on that other person, their abuser,” says Tayfel. “Providing the counseling they need and some advocacy to get them through court, and then providing them job seeking and job skills—it provides all the little tools that are necessary to help them live this great life that they’re so wanting to live.”
The initial contract and funding will run from April 1 through September 30, with the opportunity to reapply at its conclusion. This partnership and funding from VOCA means services will be offered to MetroHealth patients at no charge. Normally, individuals have to go through assessments and receive specific diagnoses in order for it to be billed to Medicaid. With support from the VOCA fund, they are able to receive services regardless of insurance status or diagnoses.
“All people aspire to live happy, healthy lives,” says Tayfel. “We are providing little pieces to this larger puzzle that will help them to get to their goal.”