Taylor Care Has Grand Opening in Tuckerton

By PAT JOHNSON | May 22, 2019
Photo by: Pat Johnson Taylor Care Program Director Nichole Glover and Tuckerton Mayor Susan Marshall cut the ribbon on the new facility located at 213 West Main St. in Tuckerton.

Tuckerton — The staff and clients of Taylor Care Adult Behavioral Health of Tuckerton were on hand as the Main Street office was officially opened on Thursday, May 16, with a ribbon cutting. Their handout brochure states its mission: “Taylor Care provides comprehensive and effective supportive services that can help you to achieve your mental health goals.”

And the hand-out states specifically what is offered: weekly psychiatric services, a supportive environment, case management and follow-up, free transportation, vocational placement/advocacy. Its programs and sessions include treatments for MICA (Mentally Ill, Chemically Dependent) Addictions, Emotions in Balance, relapse prevention, psycho-education, mindfulness and yoga, creative arts, pre-vocational counseling and balanced living.

The brochure says a lot of what is offered, but meeting and talking with the clients tells the best tale: Taylor Care is a safe place where people learn to heal.

Helena has been suffering from major depression for 17 years. She came to Taylor from the hospital that was treating her for her latest breakdown. “I’ve been coming here for six months, and it’s wonderful. The staff are wonderful, and I learn a lot in the groups.”

The psychiatrist-medical director has recently changed Helena’s medication. Since the change she has been feeling more positive, she said. “Every day I learn new things to help me.” Helena attends the program for six hours and receives breakfast and lunch and transportation from her home in Barnegat.

The groups are particularly helpful she said. “I learn I’m not alone and I can share with others and we learn together.”

Debra comes twice a week to treat her alcohol and drug dependency. Here she learned about the “disease concept” – that certain people are predisposed to become dependent on drugs or alcohol because of low levels of certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin. The disease concept takes away some of the guilt that plagues alcoholics and addicts as they begin to get well.

The staff are “good people,” said Debra, and the programs, art therapy, music therapy and meditation are helping and fun. “We even have a garden in back that we planted.”

Clients’ artwork decorates all the brightly painted walls.

Nichole Glover, program director at Taylor Care in Tuckerton, said the goal is for the clients to achieve better integration in their community and betterment in their everyday lives.

Taylor Care was created by Sean Taylor 15 years ago; there are two other Taylor Care offices, in Galloway in Atlantic County and Berlin in Burlington County. This is the first in Ocean County, and it fills a gap, said Glover.

“Most of our clients are self-referred,” said Glover. “They also come from hospitals where they have been treated during crisis situations or from drug and alcohol treatment. We have relapse prevention groups that teach them to identify triggers that could cause a relapse, and we teach coping skills such as meditation and mindfulness.

“We tend to address needs as we see them,” she added.

Mike Leotis is a peer counselor from the Ocean County Mental Health Association. He was diagnosed when he was 26 with bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder when he was hospitalized. He’s been out of the hospital for seven years now. “It’s always a journey, but I’ve learned that it’s OK not to be OK. I’ve learned that I’m not alone; when I was by myself, that was the worst of the worst. It’s great that there are facilities like this available – something positive. We still have a long way to go with stigma (about mental health), but it is less.”

Nichole Coleman is the patient care coordinator and director of network development. She said the center now has 35 clients. Adults must be 18 or older to participate and already have a diagnosis and be on Medicaid. But the company is in the process of getting a second license just for addictions, and that will open the doors for other insurances.

Some elderly patients with mental health issues can be clients but must be self-sufficient – able to use the bathroom, feed themselves and be mobile. Those with Alzheimer’s need a specialized daycare, explained Coleman.

Joe, a local man who spent his youth clamming in the bays, building homes and doing masonry, needed some help when a number of his family members passed away in a short time. He said the facility is very soothing, and conducive to “opening up.”

“We all try to help each other. We all have different stories, but we all want to get well,” he said. “It’s a wonderful place – I feel good.”

Taylor Care is now accepting new clients; call 609-879-2233 or email tuckerton@taylorcare.com.

— Pat Johnson

patjohnson@thesandpaper.net

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