Based in Washington DC, Neighbors’ Consejo is a non-profit organization providing free services for under-served members of the community. For more than two decades, Neighbors’ Consejo has provided culturally sensitive mental health care and substance abuse treatment.
In 1994, Neighbors’ Consejo began treatment in a church basement and has since grown thanks to donations from private parties and grants from government agencies. Outpatient substance abuse treatment is available for both Spanish-speaking clients and native English speakers.
Treatment and Staff
The original intention and mission behind the work at Neighbors’ Consejo, was to effectively help individuals and families affected by addiction and homelessness access treatment. The word consejo translates to “council,” communicating to the Spanish-speaking community that there is accessible help for those who want to change their lives. The facility is certified by the Department of Mental Health in the District of Columbia as a Core Service Agency (CSA). Individuals who are unable to pay are given priority. Through walk-in or appointments, potential clients must be assessed prior to admission. The assessment determines the presence of co-occurring disorders as well as the acuity of addiction.
Clients in need of dual diagnosis support are seen by the clinicians who specialize in medication management. Case management is an important part of recovery at Neighbors’ Consejo, ensuring that each client has an individualized treatment program. Counselors and clinical staff deliver treatment that is ethical, language-driven and respectful towards different cultures and beliefs. Counselors utilize evidence-based treatment as well as somatic experiencing to help clients to recover and work through the bodily manifestations of trauma. Clients attend group and individual therapy during treatment and duration is determined by progress and stability.
Community support groups like 12-step meetings are highly encouraged and recommended.
In addition to peer support through groups and meetings, clients are introduced to Access to Recovery (ATR). ATR is a federally funded program that provides clients with vocational services, housing and transportation assistance to and from the facility and work. All of these services are facilitated by mental health professionals with credentials that include LDAC, Psychiatrists and Physicians. Additional services including healthcare and family care may be coordinated or referred out.
Neighbors’ Consejo provides a wide range of options for care. If the outpatient program does not suffice, additional mental health care is available through other programs. Referrals for detox are also available as well as residential treatment options through a community housing complex under the Neighbors’ Consejo scope of practice.
The outpatient substance abuse treatment program through Neighbors’ Consejo is a safe space for clients to bridge the gap between primary care and integrating back into the community. Because Neighbors’ Consejo receives grants and donations, services are free for individuals who qualify.
3118 16th St. NW
Washington DC 20010
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Photo courtesy of Carol M. Highsmith [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)