Open Sky is a leading provider of Adult Community Clinical Services (ACCS) for individuals referred by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH). The services are provided by an integrated team of licensed clinicians, program directors, housing counselors, outreach counselors, nurses, peer support specialists, family partners and addiction counselors.
We provide individualized goal-oriented services that incorporate evidence-based and best practice approaches and interventions. This approach to service delivery is designed to effectively assist each individual to become more self-aware and to learn the skills necessary to move them towards the achievement of their personal goals.
Residential Group Home Living Environment
Open Sky offers a wide range of residential group living environments in Worcester County, North Central Massachusetts, and Southern Worcester County for adults who face serious mental health challenges, and/or have a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance use disorders.
Each of our residential programs offers individuals the opportunity to access diverse skill-building activities, treatment, counseling, and supports in a highly structured therapeutic environment. Our programs emphasize personal voice and choice – helping individuals to set practical goals, define and utilize their natural supports, and work confidently towards a transition back to a less restrictive setting in the community, or to their own homes.
Information on Open Sky's residential services for adults with developmental disabilites can be found here.
Supported Housing/Community Supports
In addition to residential services, Open Sky offers a range of clinical and rehabilitative services for individuals with mental health challenges who are living in the community or are ready to transition from a residential program to a less restrictive living environment.
Care coordinators, housing counselors, clinicians, nurses and peers work with individuals in their own apartments and homes, in transition from residential programs, and in the community. Services vary in intensity and frequency, ranging from high supports to more basic intermittent support, depending on the needs of individuals.
We provide respite services to individuals referred by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH). These services are short term in nature and are provided in group or community settings. Services are provided by an integrated team of staff that includes: clinicians, nurses, peers, program supervisors and counselors.
Respite services are designed to assist individuals to remain safely in the community while dealing with many of life’s challenges such as: physical health challenges, homelessness, loss of a loved one, increased symptoms, a brief psychiatric hospitalization, loss of a job, etc.
Respite services are provided in two group settings located in Gardner and Southbridge. Services can also be provided in the community or in an individual’s home.
Open Sky's Crystal House Clubhouse is a community dedicated to the rehabilitation of adults recovering from mental illness. It is a member of the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition, an organization comprising 33 clubhouses throughout the Commonwealth.
Through a variety of meaningful and engaging tasks, members have the ability to develop, or refresh employment skills, explore educational opportunities, and participate in social activities.
Crystal House provides services to residents of the Greater Gardner Area. The club has an average enrollment of 80 members, with an average daily attendance of 30. In addition to Gardner, communities served by the club include Ashburnham, Barre, Fitchburg, Hardwick, Hubbardston, Leominster, New Braintree, Oakham, Princeton, Rutland, Templeton, Westminster and Winchendon.
For more information contact:
55 Lake Street
Gardner, MA 01440
Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES)
Open Sky Career Services is a wrap-around service model that includes active participation in high level collaboration, coordination and communication with all partners serving those receiving supports through Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES), which is funded by Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). We ensure that all resources are leveraged in order to assist all adults with disabilities to maximize their economic self-sufficiency through reaching employment goals.
Open Sky has been known as a leader in providing Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services for over 10 years, so when developing our approach in implementing the CIES model, we have used the principles of IPS as the foundation where appropriate including: 1) zero exclusion; 2) honoring job seeker preference in the type of job, supports provided, and disclosure; 3) integrating all members of the job seeker’s team; 4) competitive employment in integrated settings with equal pay; 5) benefits planning counseling; 6) rapid job search; and 7) provision of follow-along supports. In any instances where IPS and CIES don’t align, we adhere to the CIES model. In addition, through our affiliation with Boston University we piloted and adopted the “choose, get, keep” approach to rehabilitation; a model that mirrors CIES core principles as it assists individuals to set and achieve goals like CIES. We are flexible in engaging job seekers in the CIES components that are relevant to their needs and goals, recognizing that services must be tailored to match the job seeker.
Goal: To assist adults with disabilities to obtain and maintain competitive employment that matches their skills, preferences and interests. This can include partnership and collaboration with employers (when job seeker agrees to disclosure) to ensure better communication, support and accommodation to improve job placement success.
Career Services provides the following types of services, which are based upon components of the MRC CIES model:
Career Exploration – Career Counselor assists the job seeker with exploring and articulating initial employment goals through completion of interest and skills assessments, review of results and further exploration of possible career paths based on assessment results.
Employment-Based Skills Training – Career Counselor engages the job seeker in review of training curriculum and application of employment-based skills activities, which will help the job seeker to develop desirable and essential skills for employment.
Job Development and Placement – Career Counselor helps the job seeker prepare for job search by completing a Career Plan, resume and Checklist for Employment Supports, engaging in job search activities, exploring transportation options, preparing for interviews, navigating the interview and onboarding process, and, upon starting the job, providing supports to help the individual maintain the job for 1 month. This component is completed when the job seeker has obtained and maintained competitive employment for 30 days.
Initial Employment Supports – Career Counselor provides follow along supports to the individual to help him/her maintain employment from day 31 of employment through day 90 of employment, thus becoming a Successful Employment Outcome (SEO).
Ongoing Supports – Allows the Career Counselor to provide hourly supports to help the individual to maintains stable employment from day 91 and beyond. Employment supports can be provided on or off the job setting.
Interim flexible Supports – Allows the Career Counselor to provide hourly flexible supports (including Job Coaching) necessary to assist a job seeker who does not require full participation in another component. This can involve supports when the individual needs hourly flexible supports for a temporary period of time, such as a short-term training or a seasonal job.
To be eligible for Career Services, the individual must
- Have a goal of finding employment
- Be at least 16 years old and eligible to work in the U.S.
- Have a documented disability
- Be income eligible. If they have no income or are receiving SSI/SSDI, they qualify. If under age 24 and claimed on parents’ tax return, parental income is considered.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program
The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program is a unique service offered to individuals served throughout Open Sky's mental health programs. Program staff offer the cultural competence and understanding of being deaf and being fully connected to the deaf community. Services focus on helping people to transition to a more independent environment while maximizing their natural supports by building skills and achieving personal goals.