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Nzambissosso ‘Elsie’ Mouithys is a fun, caring, happy, and eager young woman, sister, and daughter. 

Elsie was born in Congo, Africa and moved to the United States with her sister and mom at the young age of eight. When she was 18 years old, she began to experience serious mental health symptoms including extreme paranoia, hallucinations, aggression, disconnect from others, as well as struggles with medication compliance. Following her high school graduation in Louisville, Kentucky, she had her first psychiatric hospitalization and has been readmitted a handful of times across the country. Elsie’s most recent hospitalization brought her to the Fergus Falls Community Behavioral Health Hospital and lasted eight long months. As she prepared for discharge, she was connected to CCRI Aftercare services. 

Alongside Elsie is her biggest supporter and rock during every step of the way, her mother, Larissa. As Elsie was being prepared for discharge from Fergus Falls, her team met consistently to ensure appropriate supports were in place for continued recovery in the community. The goals for both mom and Elsie were to stay out of the hospital and get her feeling like to the fun, outgoing, and happy girl she was. As her Aftercare Practitioner, we worked through the rocky road that included long interviews to get services, managing changes with insurance and medications, connecting to community resources, and getting long term providers. 

What feels like a short five months later, Larissa reported “Oh Julia, she is doing so well!” As she showed pictures of Elsie playing at the park, dressed up for a family wedding, and showing off her makeup skills on a trip to Walmart, we reminisced about how hard it was to just get Elsie to come out of her room, struggling to get her social needs met, and finding ways for her to increase her independence just earlier in the year.  

Elsie now has a long-term team filled with one-to-one staffing she quickly became connected with. She has enjoyed getting her favorite Chinese food, trips to Target, and learning to use her own debit card consistently. She now has case management, a medication prescriber, and a CADI service coordinator which provide continued support for both Elsie and her mother. 

In the last month, I have slowly started to take steps back as her practitioner, showing just how well Elsie is doing. Working in Aftercare, it can be hard to both step into someone’s life during some of their most difficult struggles and to step back when they are so doing well once again. As Elsie prepares for her graduation from Aftercare, it’s nice to take a step back and see the progress made from her, her mother, and her team in just nine months. Aftercare was just one of the pieces of a complex puzzle that helped her become more independent, recover from extreme mental health distress, and live a meaningful and enriching life. 

Julia is a practitioner in our Aftercare program. Aftercare provides intensive, short-term psychiatric stabilization and case management services. This service is available to adults who have a serious mental illness or serious and persistent mental illness who need supports beyond what other mental health services provide.