Friendship House Inc Final

Friendship House


(308)-675-3345 707 W.1st., Grand Island, NE 68801


Individualized Approach and Services

The Friendship House focus on all members of the communities it serves from the individual to the family. The Friendship House accepts any insurance that its clients may have. If one is not insured, the Friendship House offers a sliding scale for its clients, which meets requirements for Medicaid approval. The staff is also very open and receptive to the needs of their clients, some offering pro bono work until their clients get established and back on their feet. “There are a lot of places that offer that,” says Tracee Franssen, dual-diagnosis therapist and clinic supervisor at the Friendship House Treatment Facility, “but I think we built a very strong reputation within the community with the work that we do individually [and] the work that we do with people in recovery.” The Friendship House always strives to never turn anyone away. The Friendship House Treatment Facility is contracted with a nearby homeless shelter. The shelter pays Friendship House for their services, and the members of the shelter can use the Friendship House while staying there,

which is something wholly unique to the Friendship House Treatment Facility. The facility has also built relationships with treatment centers across Nebraska for after-care referrals. The Friendship House works with State and Federal probation for additional referrals, keeping strong business ties between the agencies. The Friendship House is hoping to expand the outpatient clinic alongside the services it provides for the whole community. While constantly growing, the Friendship House is always seeking the best ways

to help their clients. “The atmosphere is homey. The employees that I work with are just a really good team. I walk around miracles every day,” says Counselor Kim Smith, an employee at the Friendship House for many years who has recently obtained her degree. The meals prepared at the Halfway House are produced and eaten there as a ‘family’, aiding in the feelings of hospitality and inclusion for staff and residents. The Friendship House has staff on its premises 24 hours a day each day of the week as well as a call center with the same hours. If one is struggling, the facility will have trained professionals willing and waiting to help.

“We just work really hard to discovery any core issues that remain after treatment that are unresolved and need further treatment.” – Connie Strand, counselor at the Friendship House Treatment Facility.

SERVICES The Friendship House crafts individualized care to each person, seeing what they need

creative with their treatment plans, thinking outside of the box for their patients. Meditation and mindfulness, anger management, and trips, during warmer weather, to the lake can all be part of group therapy, alongside the traditional 12-step program framing. Friendship House keeps to the 12-step program as it is the most common in the area, allowing their clients to have support from other groups when they leave the facility. The groups created in the Friendship House build upon the relationships the patients have to one another. “Some of the best talks they’ll ever have are sitting on the front porch with each other,” says Counselor Kim Smith. Additionally, the Friendship House continues its outpatient treatment as long as their clients require it, even after they have left the halfway house. The facility also provides skills, information, and resources to help their clients with their day-to-day living to set them up for success in the future.

in their treatments. Providing mental health, co-occurring, and substance abuse evaluations, these help Friendship House find the treatments the individual needs in and outside of their organization. With the strong ties to doctors and programs outside of their facility, the providers here can coordinate efforts to get their clients the treatments they need. Many of its facilitators are culturally competent as well, aiding in handling the plethora of people needing their help. The Friendship House provides mental health and substance abuse treatment and counseling. The facility is cognizant of co-occurring issues that have to be addressed before treatment can find success. Coupling this idea, too, with group therapy, the Friendship House tailors the group sessions for every member in the group and what will serve them best. The counselors are allowed room to be

“I know most of our providers will spend as much time as necessary finding the locations for an individual that needs to go to treatment if we don’t have anything in the area or we are unable to provide that for them. We are very dedicated to making sure that anybody that walks

in the door, leaves here feeling taken care of.”

Meet The Sta Clinic Supervisor Tracee Franssen

“I want to be able to not just help them stay away from that substance

that destroyed their life but help them address what got them there in the first place and to give them a better outlook

in the future.” -Tracee Franssen, dual-diagnosis therapist and clinic supervisor at the Friendship House Treatment Facility.

Tracee Franssen is a dual-diagnosis therapist and clinic supervisor at the Friendship House Treatment Facility. Holding a Bachelor’s in Psychology, Master’s in Clinical Counseling, license as an independent mental-health practitioner, and license in drug and alcohol therapy, she hopes to destigmatize and bring awareness to many of the problems their clients face. She started her career as an intern and, later, employee at a crisis stabilization and detox facility. ere, Franssen saw both mental health and substance abuse issues, and how the two problems worked in conjunction in the people she assisted. She came to work at the Friendship House in 2017, following a recommendation by her old supervisor and current worker at the facility, Dr. Keith Branfold. Dr. Brandfold was creating an outpatient clinic and wanted Franssen to help “jump start” the operations. e Friendship House at that time was only a half-way home. Franssen and the Friendship House sought to help all individuals who needed their care: children, adults, and families. ey are finding continued success and are exploring new avenues to help their clients. Working as a counselor at the Friendship House seeing 20 to 30 clients a week, Franssen also oversees the provisionally licensed therapists and providers as their clinical supervisor. Working with her team, Franssen assures that her employees and coworkers are properly trained, and that the general oŽce is handling its caseloads properly. Facilitating learning is a large responsibility that Franssen heads. “It is awesome having an environment where we are always learning and willing to help one another,” comments Franssen, “and give each feedback. It is a great on-going teaching environment.” Currently, Franssen is focusing on trauma work, working on additional training. Certified for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, Franssen hopes to use these techniques in aiding herself in being knowledgeable and helping folks in any type of trauma they may be experiencing. Additionally, Franssen is looking to expand support groups at the Friendship House, and in the foreseeable future, opening an intensive outpatient program alongside their regular services. Garnering the additional support they need, Franssen is excited for the care the Friendship House can and will provide. Franssen sees it as her mission to destigmatize substance abuse and mental health issues. She hopes to bring more awareness on the struggles that her clients are going through.

707 W.1st., Grand Island, NE 68801 (308)-675-3345

Two New Too l s for F i ght ing the Opi o id Epidemi c

One of the positive aspects of any war is the necessity of developing new technologies to advance the cause and eventually, defeat the enemy. Similarly, if we are to address the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic, we need new technologies to help us battle and make substantial progress to help save people’s lives. Two such tools, a software program called InsightVision, and a wiki platform entitled the Opioid Resource Coalition Hub, are making dealing with the epidemic a little easier. Bill Barberg, founder and President of InsightFormation, completely re-built their strategy management software platform, InsightVision, in 2012 so it would be ideal for helping communities, not just corporations, manage the details of strategy implementation. It has been helping communities across the nation ever since. Barberg says, “One of the biggest challenges communities have is being overwhelmed with all the different parts [of fighting the epidemic] so the software helps them come up with a comprehensive strategy, manage their plans and their progress in a much easier way.” Patrick Lenihan, Ph.D., Public Health Institute of Metro Chicago was the Executive Director of the PHIMC when they deployed InsightVision to manage the multitude of projects to improve healthy eating and active living that were funded by the economic stimulus act. He says, “Deploying InsightVision [software] was the highlight of our Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) Program.” The InsightVision software makes things easier in four basic ways. First, it helps improve collaboration among organizations and people who need to work together as a team to address a complex issue like reducing opioid misuse in a community. It can be a complex task to engage community cooperation and come up with mutual objectives, but this software makes managing this information simple and easily accessible. Second, the software enables people to share their wisdom with one another and make a collective, rather than simply an individual impact. Third, it can improve transparency and accountability by allowing the user to track progress on many different actions as well as the effectiveness of different elements of their strategy. Lastly, it can empower strategic plans to meet evolving changes. You can easily modify your plans within the software and deal with obstacles that were unexpected. The software is available for purchase and well worth the investment. More information on the software and its effectiveness can be found on

“Al - Anon par t i c ipat ion may fac i l i t ate ongoing inter ac t ion between Concer ned Ot her s and dr inker s , and help Concer ned Ot her s f unc t ion and f eel bet ter,” t he r esear cher s wr ote . “ Thus , shor t - term par t i c ipat ion may be bene f i c ial . Heal t h - car e pr of ess ional s should cons ider pr ov iding r e f er r al s t o Al - Anon and moni t or ing ear l y at tendance .”

Alanon: offering a way out of co-dependency It has been well-documented that addiction is a family disease. Alcohol and drug abuse impact not only the user, but family members, friends, co-workers and others who have a relationship with the user. Since it was founded in 1951 by the wives of two Alcoholics Anonymous members, Al-Anon has offered free and confidential support for anyone affected by an alcoholic or problem drinker. This includes parents, grandparents, spouses, partners, coworkers, and friends. Alateen, a part of Al-Anon, began in 1957 as a recovery program for young people impacted by a loved one’s alcoholism. Nar-Anon, a similar self-help group also based on the Twelve Steps, provides support to those affected by someone addicted to drugs. It has meetings in 45 countries, according to the group’s website. Al-Anon, Alateen and Nar-Anon are based on the Twelve Steps of AA and Narcotics Anonymous. There are no dues and no fees. Rather than relying on mental health professionals, members lead self-help meetings in a spirit of mutual help. The purpose is to share their hope, strength, and experience in dealing with an alcoholic loved one. Today, more than 26,000 Al-Anon groups exist in 130 countries, and Al-Anon literature is available in more than 40 languages. Al-Anon begins with the principle that alcoholism is a family disease, and those who care most about the alcoholic are affected the most. Al-Anon literature compares life with an alcoholic to a drama where people develop certain roles. Their behaviors center on the alcoholic and are dominated by: Obsession: going to great lengths to stop the alcoholic’s drinking, such as searching the house for hidden stashes of liquor, secretly pouring drinks down the drain, or listening continually for the sound of opening beer cans.



Treatment Improvement Protocol 63, “Medications for Opioid Use Disorder,”

reviews the use of methadone, naltrexone, and

buprenorphine, the three FDA-approved medications to treat opioid use disorders.

Data indicate that OUD-treating medications are both cost effective and cost beneficial

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has published new guidance to help health care professionals better understand medications that can be used to treat Americans with opioid use disorder (OUD). Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 63, “Medications for Opioid Use Disorder,” reviews the use of methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine, the three FDA-approved medications to treat opioid use disorders. TIP 63 provides guidance for health care professionals and addiction treatment providers on how to appropriately prescribe these medications and effectively support patients using these medications for OUD treatment. “We know that people can and do recover from opioid use disorders when they receive appropriate treatment, and medication-assisted treatment’s success in treating opioid use disorders is well documented,” said Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. “TIP 63 emphasizes that increasing access to medications to treat opioid use disorder will help more people recover, enabling them to improve their health, living full and productive lives.” TIP 63 is part of SAMHSA’s larger response to the opioid crisis. More access to treatment with OUD medications is critical  to closing the gap between treatment need and treatment availability and an important public health strategy. Data indicate that OUD-treating medications are both cost effective and cost beneficial.

I N AN EFFORT to encourage new treatments for opioid addiction, the Food and Drug Administration plans to begin permitting pharmaceutical companies to sell medications that help temper cravings, even if they don’t fully stop addiction. The change is part of a wider effort to expand access to so-called medication-assisted treatment, or MAT. The agency will issue draft guidelines in the next few weeks. A senior agency official provided details of the proposal to The New York Times. the agency said it would soon publish two guidances, recommendations for drugmakers, on the issue.

The new approach was signaled Saturday by the health and human services secretary, Alex M. Azar II, in remarks to the National Governors Association. Mr. Azar said the agency intended “to correct a misconception that patients must achieve total abstinence in order for MAT to be considered effective.” While the Trump administration has generally supported medication-assisted treatment, Mr. Azar’s predecessor, Tom Price, was not completely on board with it. Mr. Price caused an uproar among treatment experts when he dismissed some medications that reduce cravings through synthetic opioids last spring as substituting one opioid for another. He subsequently �al�ed �ac� t�ose co��e�ts� sa�i�� officials s�o�ld �e ope� to a broad range of treatment options. �r� ��ar� ��o too� office late last �o�t�� said �e �o�ld �or� to reduce the stigma associated with addiction and addiction therapy, and would not treat it as a moral failing. The opioid epidemic is considered the most unrelenting drug crisis in United States history. In 2016, roughly 64,000 people were killed by drug overdoses, including from prescription opioid painkillers and heroin. to correct a misconception that patients must achieve total abstinence in order for MAT to be considered effective. Noting federal data showing that only one-third of specialty substance abuse treatment programs offer medication-assisted treatment, Mr. Azar said, “We want to raise that number — in fact, it will be nigh impossible to turn the tide on this epidemic without doing so.” Mr. Azar’s comments echo those of the F.D.A. chief, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who has made battling opioid abuse a priority for his agency. Dr. Gottlieb has moved to reduce opioid prescriptions by doctors and dentists and to promote more medication- assisted treat�e�t� defi�ed as dr��s �sed to sta�ili�e �rai� chemistry, reduce or block the euphoric effects of opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions. The F.D.A. has approved three drugs for opioid treatment — buprenorphine (often known by the brand name Suboxone), methadone and naltrexone (known by the brand name Vivitrol) — and says they are safe and effective combined with counseling and other support. But the agency said it would soon publish two guidances, recommendations for drugmakers, on the issue.

707 W.1st., Grand Island, NE 68801

Hear from a Former Resident Kevin, a client and former resident of the Friendship House, is celebrating his two-year sobriety on June 22nd. Although he faced many struggles and a relapse, Kevin finds himself as a productive member of society, working full-time and has his addiction under control. “They influenced me to where I want... to help people out.” Going in for treatment is a huge first step for many. Kevin was just released from prison and was unsure of what he was getting himself into.

Kevin had been living with his mother, but knew he needed additional help for his treatment. When Kevin first walked into the doors at the Friendship House Treatment Facility, he was greeted by the morning tech, Mary, and the rest of the staff. He found them to

be warm, accommodating, and amiable. Kevin found himself joking with Mary right away. Kevin knew the seriousness of why he was there but realized then that he could call the Friendship House

home. “From there, I told my mom when she was leaving, ‘I think I am going to like it here.’”

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707 W.1st., Grand Island, NE 68801

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