Caring Contacts Study Showing Positive Outcomes

Friday, November 19, 2021

Lella Still is a Doctorate of Social Work student in the Work Learning Program doctoral cohort and is Director of Social Work at Eastern State Hospital. As part of her studies, she is working on a research initiative titled Caring Contacts which aims to enhance patient transitions to outpatient community mental health centers. This program entails a social worker calling each discharged patient within 72 hours of discharge to monitor patient wellness, hear and address patient concerns, remind them of upcoming appointments, review their safety plan, and administer the suicide risk assessment screening if necessary. In the pilot study, within a 72-hour discharge window, the social work team contacted patients who were discharged from Gragg 3, a co-ed unit at Eastern State Hospital. Of those contacted, 53% of patients kept their follow-up appointments, compared with 28% of discharged patients from another co-ed unit, Wendell 2, at the hospital. 

“The best part of the Caring Contacts project is how happy most patients are to hear from us. The feedback from patients and families has been so positive. Hearing first-hand that our patients are doing well or helping them problem solve barriers to outpatient care, like obtaining needed medications, is incredibly rewarding and helps us ensure our patients get what they need in the community.” said Lella.

As of July 2021, all patient cohorts are included in the initiative as the social work team continues to compile and analyze data. BH WELL celebrates Lella Still and her commitment to caring for patients while in her care and beyond.

Learn more about the Work Learning Program