Hamilton Center Employee Recognized as a “Hero in the Fight” - January 11, 2010

On December 17th, several hundred individuals gathered at a luncheon at the Omni Severin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis to honor five individuals who were selected from nominees across the state as a “Hero in the Fight,” a recognition program that was established by Lilly USA to celebrate dignity, courage, hope and recovery in the ongoing treatment of people with serious and persistent mental illness. Lilly USA co-sponsored the program with several local mental health organizations including Mental Health America of Indiana.

One of the five individuals honored was Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Virgil Macke, an employee of Hamilton Center. Mr. Macke’s leadership with the Vigo County Adult Mental Health Forensics Program is clearly one of the reasons for this prestigious award. The Forensics Program consists of two parts. (1) The Vigo County PAIR (Psychiatric Assertive Identification and Referral) Program and (2) The Vigo County Adult Mental Health Deferral Program. Both are collaborative efforts between the Vigo County Superior Courts, Terre Haute City Court, the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office, the Vigo County Public Defender’s Office, Mental Health America of Vigo County and Hamilton Center.

The Vigo County PAIR program is for those individuals who are arrested on a misdemeanor charge and who have some type of Mental Health issue. As part of their Diversion Agreement, they have to agree to be in treatment for one year and to be monitored by the court monthly. If they successfully follow their agreement, their charges are dismissed after one year.

The Vigo County Adult Mental Health Deferral Program is for those individuals who are arrested on Felony Charges and who have some type of Mental Health issue. A court team reviews and selects appropriate candidates for the program. As part of their diversion agreement, they have to agree to be in treatment for 1-4 years, based on their level of felony and to be monitored by the Court monthly. If they successfully follow their agreement, their charges are dismissed. The forensics program is intended to give the participants the services they have long needed. The idea is that if they are on their medication and follow treatment for the length of time they are on the program, then they will stay out of the legal system.

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