Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Medical Assistance Services
Board of Medical Assistance Services
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5/28/23  2:35 pm
Commenter: Andrew Stankevich

agree with 10 person cap

As a former PRS client, I absolutely agree with the 10 person limit for psychosocial programming groups.  Too often, day programming providers financially exploit their clients by providing remedial programming to as many people as possible.  At PRS, I went to big group skill building classes that consisted of tic tac toe tournaments, or so-called nutrition groups that consisted of discussions related to which soda was the healthiest to drink.

Day programming agencies need to take their roles seriously, and provide appropriate, personalized psychosocial support to their clients as individuals.  The big group approach turns people with severe mental illness into a faceless commodity where we are no longer individuals.  Under Emily Hollidge and PRS's approach, the degrading big programming is geared towards intellectually disabled clients, and clients with higher education are treated as if we are intellectually disabled.  Psychosocial programming needs to be differentiated towards the different kinds of clients with severe mental illness, as people with doctorate degrees, like me, also develop SMI, and are also PRS clients.  Under Emily Hollidge's big group programming, I was subjected to skill building programming for people with intellectual disabilities with devastating results.  Emily Hollidge's big group programming at PRS was so harmful to my self-esteem that I tried kill myself repeatedly after leaving PRS and was repeatedly psychiatrically hospitalized and was even treated in the emergency room due to a suicide attempt.  But Ms. Hollidge and the PRS staff do not care about these outcomes for their clients, just as long as the big group programming makes their job slightly easier, and they can pay themselves more money after not having to hire more staff or provide personalized attention. 

CommentID: 217031