Saturday, September 26, 2009

Recovery Month Barbeque

BCI fired up the grill and the music at our Outreach Center for a Saturday afternoon Recovery Month celebration.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What's On Your Recovery Playlist?

What songs come to mind when you think of recovery or drug treatment? Do you have a favorite? One that's inspired you personally? One that reminds you of BCI? I've been thinking about music that relates to what BCI does, even since reading a post called "What's Your Non-Profit's Soundtrack?" at Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog.

While I'm not in recovery myself, I am a music fan and I thought of several topical songs right off the bat. I asked some other staff and they gave me more suggestions, and I did a little more searching, and put together an Imeem playlist for BCI, which you can listen to below. So far, we've got a pretty good variety - some singer-songwriters, some gospel, some alternative, and even a bit of humor.

Now we want you to add to our list! Know of a song we should include? Post it in the comments. You can even make your own Imeem playlist and post the link. We'll take suggestions for awhile and then put up a poll so you can vote and pick the best BCI songs! Maybe we'll even play the winning BCI Soundtrack at a special event.

Here are a few tips:
1. Obviously we want songs that are clearly anti-drug, not pro or ambiguous. "Heroin" by the Velvet Underground is one of those open-to-interpretation songs.
2. Many songs offer a message of hope without specifically being about addiction recovery. We included "I Believe I Can Fly" even though it could apply to about any "helping organization." The more specific to BCI, the better!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Recovery Month Softball Tournament 2009

Pics are up from Friday's 4th annual Sober Softball Tournament, which was won this year by Fellowship Health. Thanks to all the teams: Aquila, DSAMH, Thresholds, BCI Lancaster, and BCI Sussex.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Brandywine Counseling Awarded Federal Funds for Homeless Program

Brandywine Counseling Awarded $1.75 Million in Federal Funds
5 Year Project Will Expand Treatment for Delaware’s Homeless

WILMINGTON, DE – (September 18, 2009) – Brandywine Counseling, Inc. (BCI), a non-profit provider of addiction, mental health, and HIV/AIDS services, today announced they have been awarded a five-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (SAMHSA/CSAT) to serve homeless substance abusers in Sussex County, Delaware.

The program will be called STEP, Support, Treatment, Engagement, and Prevention. It will admit 200 homeless substance abusers and conduct 400 assessments annually in rural Sussex County. The target population has an average substance abuse history of over 8 years, with 3 or more treatment failures and dependence on more than one substance. The average client has co-occurring addiction and mental illness; primary health care needs; and is involved in the criminal justice and/or child welfare system. STEP will address the system and clinical barriers that currently hinder their long-term stability and health; specifically, uncoordinated services that frequently have incompatible service requirements, lack of affordable permanent housing, and no public transportation in an area where services are geographically dispersed.

STEP will provide evidence-based interventions through an integrated nested services approach, including substance abuse, mental health and primary healthcare treatment in conjunction with intensive case management and ancillary services. BCI will partner with a network of affiliated agencies, including La Red Health Center, Crisis House, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The primary goal of STEP is to improve stability, health, and quality of life by facilitating sobriety, treating mental health symptoms, treating health issues, stabilizing and improving housing and employment, and reducing criminal activity.

Sen. Edward E. Kaufman (D-Del.) said of the award, “The grant that Brandywine Counseling was awarded will provide proven services to those most in need. Groups like La Red and Crisis House, along with the Department of Veterans Affairs, have turned around countless lives through the years, and this funding will allow them to expand their ability to help in Sussex County. My hope is that this opens hopeful and recuperative doors to the downtrodden who have nowhere left to turn.”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). SAMHSA’s vision, “A Life in the Community for Everyone,” is based on the premise that people of all ages, with or at risk for mental or substance use disorders, should have the opportunity for a fulfilling life that includes a job/education, a home, and meaningful personal relationships with friends and family. SAMHSA works to achieve this vision through an action-oriented, measurable mission of “Building Resilience and Facilitating Recovery.”

Brandywine Counseling, Inc. is a community organization that provides holistic care to persons and their families living with addiction, mental health, and HIV-related challenges. BCI is Delaware’s largest provider of addiction services, serving over 2,000 clients age 18 and over at seven locations statewide. For more information, please visit

For more information on STEP, please contact Sheera Lipshitz, Director of Sussex County Services at 302-856-4700.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Client-Counselor Team to be Honored

BCI Counselor Keith Kaut and his client James M. will be honored at the state of Delaware's Annual Recovery Month Celebration as an example of a client-clinician team who illustrate that treatment works and recovery is possible.

Keith and James were videotaped, and brief segments of their journey working together toward recovery will be shown at the September 30 event at the Dover Downs Conference Center. They were one of five client-counselor teams chosen by the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to receive a 2009 award, which emphasizes the theme, Together We Learn, Together We Heal.

Keith and James were featured in our recent article, “A Life Saved by Inches.” Congratulations to them on this honor!

BCI Welcomes 3 New Board Members

Brandywine Counseling welcomed three new members to our Board of Directors September 15, 2009.

Stacey Clark of Middletown is a School Counselor with Campus Community High School in Dover. She brings not only her counseling background, but personal experience in addiction recovery. Stacey joined us because she believes the community as a whole benefits when its residents are healthy and well. She looks forward to finding resources, ideas, and community members to help Brandywine help our clients and their families. “I want to see more people remain in recovery and lessen relapses if possible,” she told us. “If I am able to help by being a Board member, I would love to be given the opportunity.”

Jean Meussner of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania is Director of Human Resources for Jenner’s Pond in West Grove. Jean came to us looking for an opportunity to make a difference in the community. She explained that while she has been fortunate to not be touched by addiction in her own family, she has seen its effects on the family of a close friend. “It simply tears my heart out to see what this problem has done to the child and all of the family members,” she says. “The only thing I have been able to do is be a shoulder to cry on and the sounding board for [the family].” As a Human Resources professional, Jean also brings her enjoyment of working with people, and helping and watching others develop and grow.

Joseph Paesani of Newark is an Adjunct Professor with Wilmington University. He is recently retired from the Delaware Department of Correction, where he worked for several decades, most recently as Deputy Bureau Chief. He also remains actively involved with the Delaware Criminal Justice Council. Joe is a longtime friend of BCI who is well acquainted with us through his work with DOC, and has been a trusted advisor to us on numerous topics. He brings valuable expertise on Delaware’s criminal justice system, and working with offenders and law enforcement. Joe looks forward to continuing his support of BCI's cause in his new role as a member of our Board.

The BCI Board is comprised of volunteers who support the mission of Brandywine Counseling by serving as our “eyes and ears” in the community, and sharing their time, advice, and expertise. We are thrilled to have these wonderful people as part of the organization. Please join us in giving them a warm welcome to BCI!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Anyone Have a Small Fridge to Donate?

BCI is looking for a college size fridge or smaller. We are hoping someone will donate one. We need it by Oct 1. If you can help, please contact us. Thanks!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Support BCI in the 2009 United Way Campaign

United Way of Delaware kicked off its 2009 campaign yesterday with a cheer by school students on South Market Street. The state's largest charitable campaign announced a goal of $20.5 million this year to benefit more than 100 member agencies including BCI.

Brandywine Counseling thanks you for supporting this year's campaign. There is no wrong way to give, whether your donation is large or small, whether you designate it to one agency or spread it around to many. We also know in this economy, it's not easy to be charitable, but it makes a difference for our clients.

What do United Way funds mean to member agencies? At BCI they support one full time position on our outreach team that goes out to do education, testing, and make referrals. We like to think of outreach as "opening windows of trust." Our clients are reluctant at first. It takes a friendly face, maybe a cup of coffee, bringing the services to them, and most of all, persevering and having patience. Because eventually, the light bulb will go on, and when someone is ready for help, we are ready to give it.

Like all member agencies, we measure outcomes. We report to United Way on the number of HIV tests we do, how many outreach contacts we make, and how many people reduce their risk. Results matter, and as a donor, you know your donation is going to a program that really works.
Your workplace probably runs a United Way campaign. If it doesn't, it’s easy to start! Contact United Way at (302) 573-3700 and they will set you up with everything you need. You can request guest speakers from member agencies for your campaign rally. There are many options to give, including payroll deduction or a one-time gift.

You can help not only through donating, but by spreading the word to others about BCI. The more we raise, the more we can help those in need. How can you spread the word? Here are some easy ways. Use email to send a post from our blog that will inspire people. Send friends to our Facebook page to see our photos, become Fans, and join the conversation. Or, just talk about us! When you're excited about BCI's work, other people will get excited, and they'll want to donate.

Thank you very much for your support this year. It saves lives, and it is really appreciated.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cover Your Cough: Stop the Spread of Germs That Make You and Others Sick!

Flu season is coming. Protect yourself and others by following the advice of this poster, provided by CDC. Cover your cough and clean your hands after coughing or sneezing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's All In The Journey

I received in the mail today a copy of the 2 year anniversary issue of It's All In The Journey, A Magazine of Recovery. This is the first time I've seen it and it looks very cool, so I wanted to pass it along to those of you in recovery. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Recovery Month Contest: Make a Movie, Make a Difference!

Recovery Month is here, and BCI is celebrating with a contest! We want you to make a movie to spread the word that treatment works. What? You don’t have a video camera? No problem, you don’t need one, all you need is your keyboard. First, watch the clip below!

We made this movie about HIV prevention on It’s a Web site where you type in whatever dialogue you want, and the cartoon characters say it. Then you add sound effects, actions, and expressions. When you’re done, publish it and share it with your friends. It’s fun, easy, and anyone can do it!

So our contest is called “Make a Movie, Make a Difference.” Here’s the rules:
  1. Create a movie on the theme of recovery, treatment, HIV prevention, or any service BCI offers.
  2. After you’ve published your movie, enter it in the contest by posting the link in a comment to this blog post. Email us your name and contact information to contactbci[at]bcidel[dot]org.
  3. Entries are due by close of business October 29, 2009. Winners will be announced October 30, 2009. We will pick the best submission by a community member, and the best by a BCI staff member. Winners will get a prize to be announced, and your movie will be featured on BCI’s Web site.
We are looking for creativity as well as educational value. What would you say to support someone in their recovery? To tell someone where to go for treatment? To get someone to take an HIV test? Movie-making is a new and exciting way to get your message out. Maybe your movie will even “go viral” and be seen all over the net! What a difference that would make.
Those are the rules – everybody go to it!