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The Solution: Mental Health Assistants
Bridging the Gap to Effective Treatment
by Craigen Armstrong and Adrian Berumen

Overview


Two inmates charged with murder in LA County jail take on one of the biggest problems to date: incarceration of people with mental illness. Not only is this a pressing issue within jails and prisons, the lack of treatment and support for people with mental illness is contributing to our homeless issues throughout Los Angeles and the rest of the country. "The Solution" details effective strategies and successful methods for treating and caring for the mentally challenged. It is presented as a three part-analysis on how patients (inmates) are treated, the structure under which treatment is delivered and the goal of the Mental Health Assistants who deliver the treatment. It also highlights the effort and teamwork necessary to make this treatment a success in the incarcerated environment. Finally, "The Solution" is a demonstrative guide for those who desire a successful treatment program of their own.

Read more

Description


Two inmates charged with murder in LA County jail take on one of the biggest problems to date: incarceration of people with mental illness. Not only is this a pressing issue within jails and prisons, the lack of treatment and support for people with mental illness is contributing to our homeless issues throughout Los Angeles and the rest of the country. "The Solution" details effective strategies and successful methods for treating and caring for the mentally challenged. It is presented as a three part-analysis on how patients (inmates) are treated, the structure under which treatment is delivered and the goal of the Mental Health Assistants who deliver the treatment. It also highlights the effort and teamwork necessary to make this treatment a success in the incarcerated environment. Finally, "The Solution" is a demonstrative guide for those who desire a successful treatment program of their own. This book is written, researched and published by two inmates at Los Angeles County Twin Towers Correctional Facility (TTCF); young men who underwent a rigorous preparation to transfer from other county facilities into the towers that hold mentally ill inmates. One author has spent 12 years on death row and the other is a juvenile offender who has been awaiting trial for the past seven years. These two committed men have become the solution through their work as Mental Health Assistants at TTCF. The authors live 24/7 with acutely ill patients in a specialized setting which provides more intensive treatment and encouragement to prevent isolation, decompensation, and re-hospitalization. They have taken the initiative to develop a curriculum that address life skills, communication, court competency and planning for the future. With no direct access to computers or email, they cobbled together educational modules, quizzes, incentives and rewards to provide a much-needed structure to the men with whom they are embedded. This entire book was written out long-hand with a pencil and they had to exercise great patience and diligence to see it through to publication. Their hope is that others will find this program inspiring and useful. They themselves have benefitted from the opportunity to be of service to the inmates. Further, the inmates who participate in this program are better prepared to understand the legal proceedings they will experience, and they are better prepared for life on the outside.

Read more

About the author


Craigen Armstrong, Co-Author of “THE SOLUTION:  Mental Health Assistants” provides an exclusive inside look at the treatment of the mentally disabled inmates who are under the care of their incarcerated counter-parts; general population inmates (mental health assistant)  that are free of any mental illness.   Craigen shares his experience as a mental health assistant delivering peer to peer therapy to some of the most impacted inmates. These are inmates who are locked-up in HIGH OBSERVATION units inside the Los Angeles County Twin Towers Correctional Facility.

It is a known fact that jail is not the ideal environment for treating the mentally ill. Despite the environment, Craigen, his colleague, fellow mental health assistant,  Adrian Berumen along with the team of mental health staff, have managed to create a safe haven, inside the hellish walls of the Los Angeles County Jail; THE FORENSIC IN-PATIENT STEP DOWN PROGRAM.

During his time working in this environment, Craigen has realized the importance of this treatment, but is also keenly aware of the need for an alternative approach, one that is tailored specially to match the demands of the current crisis here in Los Angeles County; MASS METH-ABUSE EPIDEMIC, affecting the mentally ill.  Currently, he is in the process of developing and establishing a new method of treating the mentally ill with a groundbreaking approach.  This approach will change the way treatment is delivered in the state of California and ultimately the U.S. (preview in the epilogue of THE SOLUTION)

He also created the mental assistants program; a program that educates and train inmates on the basics of mental disease and how to appropriately treat patients in the incarcerated environment.

Representing the mental health program, Craigen attended a national conference, addressing mental illnesses and Covid-19 inside the jail. He was invited to educate officials on the current conditions at LA County Twin Towers, and to share precautionary measures exercised in his program. This was to assist other states and municipalities with additional safety options.  This is a link to the conference and Craigen’s interview is at 1:17. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RkQ4Elgvrs)

Incarcerated since 2001, after spending 12 years on death row, his conviction and sentence was overturned. He is currently awaiting a new trial and still facing death. At a young adolescent growing up in inner city Los Angeles/Inglewood, captivation by a gang culture ultimately placed him on California Death Row.  Craigen now want to share these mistakes with youth who will eventually, without guidance, follow his very same path. He attempts to educate these youth through his book; “COMMON SENSE” that he plans to publish next year.

Craigen credits his desire for transformation to his mother, son, and the realization of his actions and all those impacted.  As a result, this “helps me make the best decisions in the face of temptation or provocation.”

 

 An aspiring writer and artist, Co-Author Adrian Berumen has become influential on many levels amongst the incarcerated population. In April of 2013 at the age of 17,  he was arrested for a severe crime and directly filed into the adult courts. Although he currently awaits trial, remorse fuels his avid contributions of transformation, positivity, and joy.  Since 2017 Adrian has applied ingenuity to the most needed, The Department of Mental Health in the Los Angeles Twin Tower Facility.

He gives motivational speeches and teaches a variety of life skills on a daily basis. An effective leader , he guides 15-28 of the severely mentally ill daily; many men who have been deemed irreparable.

Adrian has goals of revolutionizing the entrepreneurial world, as well as the great problems of today’s society with thought provoking ideas. He eagerly awaits to apply his skills. He dreams of owning acres of land,  having horses, and writing most of the influential pieces of literature. He loves to read , exercise, and converse opinion and strategy.

He is a firm believer in two being greater than one. And so he knows he could never be as great as he should on his own. He hopes to have a family some day.

Adrian is currently working on publishing motivational material for the incarcerated:  “On Becoming, “ “The Process is Perfect” and “The Art of Seeking.”

Stay updated on Instagram @adriangreatstuff and on Twitter  @adrianberumen14.


Read more

Book details

Genre:SOCIAL SCIENCE

Subgenre:People with Disabilities

Language:English

Pages:128

Format:Paperback

Paperback ISBN:9781098328528


Overview


Two inmates charged with murder in LA County jail take on one of the biggest problems to date: incarceration of people with mental illness. Not only is this a pressing issue within jails and prisons, the lack of treatment and support for people with mental illness is contributing to our homeless issues throughout Los Angeles and the rest of the country. "The Solution" details effective strategies and successful methods for treating and caring for the mentally challenged. It is presented as a three part-analysis on how patients (inmates) are treated, the structure under which treatment is delivered and the goal of the Mental Health Assistants who deliver the treatment. It also highlights the effort and teamwork necessary to make this treatment a success in the incarcerated environment. Finally, "The Solution" is a demonstrative guide for those who desire a successful treatment program of their own.

Read more

Description


Two inmates charged with murder in LA County jail take on one of the biggest problems to date: incarceration of people with mental illness. Not only is this a pressing issue within jails and prisons, the lack of treatment and support for people with mental illness is contributing to our homeless issues throughout Los Angeles and the rest of the country. "The Solution" details effective strategies and successful methods for treating and caring for the mentally challenged. It is presented as a three part-analysis on how patients (inmates) are treated, the structure under which treatment is delivered and the goal of the Mental Health Assistants who deliver the treatment. It also highlights the effort and teamwork necessary to make this treatment a success in the incarcerated environment. Finally, "The Solution" is a demonstrative guide for those who desire a successful treatment program of their own. This book is written, researched and published by two inmates at Los Angeles County Twin Towers Correctional Facility (TTCF); young men who underwent a rigorous preparation to transfer from other county facilities into the towers that hold mentally ill inmates. One author has spent 12 years on death row and the other is a juvenile offender who has been awaiting trial for the past seven years. These two committed men have become the solution through their work as Mental Health Assistants at TTCF. The authors live 24/7 with acutely ill patients in a specialized setting which provides more intensive treatment and encouragement to prevent isolation, decompensation, and re-hospitalization. They have taken the initiative to develop a curriculum that address life skills, communication, court competency and planning for the future. With no direct access to computers or email, they cobbled together educational modules, quizzes, incentives and rewards to provide a much-needed structure to the men with whom they are embedded. This entire book was written out long-hand with a pencil and they had to exercise great patience and diligence to see it through to publication. Their hope is that others will find this program inspiring and useful. They themselves have benefitted from the opportunity to be of service to the inmates. Further, the inmates who participate in this program are better prepared to understand the legal proceedings they will experience, and they are better prepared for life on the outside.

Read more

About the author


Craigen Armstrong, Co-Author of “THE SOLUTION:  Mental Health Assistants” provides an exclusive inside look at the treatment of the mentally disabled inmates who are under the care of their incarcerated counter-parts; general population inmates (mental health assistant)  that are free of any mental illness.   Craigen shares his experience as a mental health assistant delivering peer to peer therapy to some of the most impacted inmates. These are inmates who are locked-up in HIGH OBSERVATION units inside the Los Angeles County Twin Towers Correctional Facility.

It is a known fact that jail is not the ideal environment for treating the mentally ill. Despite the environment, Craigen, his colleague, fellow mental health assistant,  Adrian Berumen along with the team of mental health staff, have managed to create a safe haven, inside the hellish walls of the Los Angeles County Jail; THE FORENSIC IN-PATIENT STEP DOWN PROGRAM.

During his time working in this environment, Craigen has realized the importance of this treatment, but is also keenly aware of the need for an alternative approach, one that is tailored specially to match the demands of the current crisis here in Los Angeles County; MASS METH-ABUSE EPIDEMIC, affecting the mentally ill.  Currently, he is in the process of developing and establishing a new method of treating the mentally ill with a groundbreaking approach.  This approach will change the way treatment is delivered in the state of California and ultimately the U.S. (preview in the epilogue of THE SOLUTION)

He also created the mental assistants program; a program that educates and train inmates on the basics of mental disease and how to appropriately treat patients in the incarcerated environment.

Representing the mental health program, Craigen attended a national conference, addressing mental illnesses and Covid-19 inside the jail. He was invited to educate officials on the current conditions at LA County Twin Towers, and to share precautionary measures exercised in his program. This was to assist other states and municipalities with additional safety options.  This is a link to the conference and Craigen’s interview is at 1:17. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RkQ4Elgvrs)

Incarcerated since 2001, after spending 12 years on death row, his conviction and sentence was overturned. He is currently awaiting a new trial and still facing death. At a young adolescent growing up in inner city Los Angeles/Inglewood, captivation by a gang culture ultimately placed him on California Death Row.  Craigen now want to share these mistakes with youth who will eventually, without guidance, follow his very same path. He attempts to educate these youth through his book; “COMMON SENSE” that he plans to publish next year.

Craigen credits his desire for transformation to his mother, son, and the realization of his actions and all those impacted.  As a result, this “helps me make the best decisions in the face of temptation or provocation.”

 

 An aspiring writer and artist, Co-Author Adrian Berumen has become influential on many levels amongst the incarcerated population. In April of 2013 at the age of 17,  he was arrested for a severe crime and directly filed into the adult courts. Although he currently awaits trial, remorse fuels his avid contributions of transformation, positivity, and joy.  Since 2017 Adrian has applied ingenuity to the most needed, The Department of Mental Health in the Los Angeles Twin Tower Facility.

He gives motivational speeches and teaches a variety of life skills on a daily basis. An effective leader , he guides 15-28 of the severely mentally ill daily; many men who have been deemed irreparable.

Adrian has goals of revolutionizing the entrepreneurial world, as well as the great problems of today’s society with thought provoking ideas. He eagerly awaits to apply his skills. He dreams of owning acres of land,  having horses, and writing most of the influential pieces of literature. He loves to read , exercise, and converse opinion and strategy.

He is a firm believer in two being greater than one. And so he knows he could never be as great as he should on his own. He hopes to have a family some day.

Adrian is currently working on publishing motivational material for the incarcerated:  “On Becoming, “ “The Process is Perfect” and “The Art of Seeking.”

Stay updated on Instagram @adriangreatstuff and on Twitter  @adrianberumen14.


Read more

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