*Stay tuned for the upcoming release of the PCN App in Fall 2016*
The Person-Centered Network (PCN App) is a tool for use by a provider to first screen a patient to assess their gaps and strengths in their personal support systems and then, based on the results, link them to available community resources. The basic PCN App allows a user to collect data on a person’s personal network, identifying who they are connected to and how well connected (or not) those network members are to one another. It also assesess the content, strength, and importance of those connections. An additional feature to the App (currently limited to Colorado) is an automated link to available community resources. The App is currently in development and in beta testing, and expected to be launched in Fall 2016.
- • The PCN App was recently chosen as one of six participants in the Community First Foundation’s Innovators Society. The Innovator’s Society The Innovators Society is committed to improving mental wellness by investing in fresh, new ideas to improve awareness, foster well-being and change perceptions of mental illness. The Innovators Society selects four to six Denver-area nonprofit organizations to participate in a year-long program to develop their innovative mental wellness ideas. The program prepares them to compete for grant dollars by pitching their plan to a large audience. Find out more here: http://communityfirstfoundation.org/grantmaking/innovators
- • See a news feature on Dr. Varda’s participation in the Innovator’s Society here: http://spaviews.ucdenver.edu/2015/12/07/varda-innovators-society/
- • To find out more about the PCN App, see this one minute video description: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOpIS5h12Dc
More About the Person-Centered Network App:
The Problem: No one should be struggling alone to navigate the complex and fragmented mental health system. No one should have to overcome stigma and isolation on their own. Patients are lost, their families are lost, and the providers who serve them are lost.
The Solution. To address this gap, we have developed the Person-Centered Network (PCN) App for providers to easily collect patients’ social support network data and link the results of that assessment to available community resources in real-time. The PCN App is a technology solution for connecting people to resources and to each other, of valuing and mobilizing the strengths in the personal networks that already exist. This program is about understanding what works for individuals and then helping them mobilize their existing supports/resources and fill in the gaps. It’s a strengths-based, individualized approach to thinking about what people need when they are navigating systems.
Based on the PCN App’s questions and assessment, a provider can provide individualized, family-specific referrals for mental health and social support services through existing community resources and services.
Importance: There is no perfect model of what a “personal support network” should look like, given the cultural, social, and variations in health diagnosis among patients. Therefore, assessing each person in an individualized way and linking their specific gaps in resources and support can improve preventive, promotional and early intervention approaches to mental wellness primarily in the context of early childhood. While early work to develop the PCN App evolved around children with special healthcare needs, a tool like this has the ability to be a game changer in our ability to both systematically assess the strength of a person’s personal support network, link the person to available community resources, and ensure more meaningful care of a patient’s mental wellness in almost any setting.