MHANYS Mental Health Community Partner Program

Note: contents for this page are in-progress.

The Mental Health Community Partner (MHCP) program helps participants to create a bridge between environments. The client is someone with mental health issues going through a transition (such as discharge from a hospital, return from a respite program) who will soon be living with family, independently, or in a different community.

The client chooses up to 5 supporters to participate in the program with them. If someone doesn't have a supporter, the MHCP Partner steps in as a supporter.

The program guides all participants to develop self-care and self-awareness habits so that everyone can monitor their own wellness and ensure that their needs are being met. This supports both the client and supporters through the transition, helps them develop common language, ensure their own needs are met, and reenforces belongingness amongst the participants.

As a certified Partner, we will provide support for the participants for about 3 months — the program involves an initial meeting for those interested then 12 weeks of program time. Afterwards, participants are given the opportunity to transition to the MHANYS CarePath™ Coaching Program.


The MHANYS Mental Health Community Partner Program provides an intimate and supportive environment designed to help a vulnerable client and their chosen supporters through a significant life transition. The primary client may choose a few of their own supporters (other participants), such as family or friends, to join them in the program — otherwise we step in as their supporter as well as a Partner for the program.

So for example, someone soon to be discharged from a mental health facility can ask their spouse, a sibling, any chosen family, a friend, etc. to join them in the program.

The curriculum is founded on the principles of trauma-informed care, wellness, belongingness, inclusion, relationships & building resilience.

Who is This Program Suitable For

This is a program for you if you:

  • in transition between an institution and home/community and not sure how you’re going to handle returning (rehab, prison/jail, inpatient, medical hospital, nursing home, etc.)
  • are going through an intensive life transition (leaving an inpatient facility, for example)
  • have what might be considered a "serious mental illness"
  • have a non-traditional family or intentional family that could use to "pull together" after your own crisis

MHANYS Mental Health Community Partner Program is an opportunity to work on wellness & resiliency while transitioning back to community from institutional care environments to build up your supports in the community. The program is founded on the principles of trauma-informed care, wellness, relationships & building resilience.

Program Goal

By the end of the MHCP Program, our goal is that participants like you will feel reassured that you can handle the transition, that a new focus on self-care improves your outlook, that discussing your status helps you get your needs fulfilled, and that participating with your supporters improves your sense of belongingness.

You & your supporters may have your own goals for the program.

If you're interested in the MHCP program, you and each of your supporters will work on the skills & self-knowledge needed to work towards your own better health. This program recognizes that relationships are central to achieving and maintaining wellness — because when a loved one is not doing well, it also impacts everyone who cares about them.

Our role as your Certified Partner is to support you and your supporters in learning about how wellness operates on a continuum, and to help each participant learn how to monitor your own status and determine what areas of your life need more attention. Participants will share the experience of learning and practicing these skills — and as a result, everyone in the group builds their individual resilience together.

Getting Started

You can schedule a 30-minute informational meeting to ask preliminary questions and determine whether or not you're interested in one of our MHANYS program offerings. We can discuss what supporters you might want to have in the program, any other preliminary questions you have, before booking a meeting for you and your supporters.If you can't think of anyone you'd trust or rely on to participate with you, we will step into the supporter role as your Certified Partner and do the program along with you.

Use this link to book a MHANYS Program Pre-Session Meeting for you (and your supporters, if any). This is scheduled as a 45 minute meeting to make sure that there's enough time to address questions for you and your supporters, and we'll send you (and your supporters if any) some materials and agreements to look over before the session.

Program Background

MHANYS Mental Health Community Partners was developed to assist people in transitioning from intensive treatment environments (such as inpatient, intensive outpatient, rehab, incarceration, etc.) and their supporters or family to help rebuild relationships and improve everyone's health. If you feel that you're going through an intensive life transition we haven't mentioned or thought of, this still may be the right program for you! Please don't hesitate to contact us.

What are the program meetings like?

We — you, your supporters (if any) and your Certified Partner (us) — will meet for 12 sessions during the 90 day program — about once a week. Sessions are 1 hour long, and have the same basic agenda:

  • Welcome back!
  • read the Communication Guidelines together
  • share where we are on the Wellness Continuum
  • share our Wellness Temperature
  • work on 1 new Visit Activity
    • Visit Activities include exercises to work on self-compassion, building a library of wellness tools, identifying self-care & wellness in your life
  • set the time & date for our next meeting & conclude any other group business

All participants in the program do the exercises for their own self-care, wellness, etc. This helps the client with their transition, but also helps the supporters prevent caregiver burnout.

How We Offer this Program

Rev. Criss is a Certified MHANYS Mental Health Community Partner, and due to health restrictions:

  • program offerings will be 12 sessions of about 1 hour each online in either a Zoom room, or in a Jitsi Meet fully encrypted video call environment. We can accommodate participants in other ways if necessary.
  • Rev. Criss will participate with screen sharing for materials, but will not be on camera. Other participants are welcome to utilize their cameras if they wish to. (This is due to our own trauma, no other reason.)
  • Rev. Criss will do their best to accommodate people of all abilities. Please let us know if you have any accessibility needs or concerns.

Program Fees & Scholarships

Here's our suggested sliding scale fees, and we're happy to work out payment plans and other arrangements that make sense for participants:

ParticipantsFull Program Fee (sliding scale) USD

We understand that not everyone has the means to meet our requested fees, so please do ask about scholarships & partial scholarships if needed — also ask your supporters if they can chip in. Paying part of the fee for the program preserves a partial scholarship for others. We have set aside a few full and partial scholarship opportunities for this program.

Also, other Mental Health Community Partners may be available for you if you are in New York State: please check with MHANYS or do a web search — once they have a directory we will list it.

What is covered?

The MHANYS Mental Health Community Partner Program consists of a pre-visit (no charge), over 12 hours of meeting time over a 90 day period and all participants can reach out to the Certified Partner by email for between-session support, plus administration time. Some phone support may also be available. Note: We are not available for crisis support: please call 911 for emergencies, 988 for crisis support (in the US), or see our Resources page for information for crisis resources (mostly US resources), or utilize your local emergency support team or national/regional help lines for assistance if you have a crisis situation.