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Diversion Program Program Description

Adults find a safe place for healing in a comfortable home-like environment and are involved in individual and group therapy and educational and skill-building activities.


The focus of the Diversion program is to provide short term, intensive and individualized treatment services for the identified persons in order to successfully re-integrate them into their community.  The program will be a diversion to or a step down from more intensive treatment services, and it has a local community location to allow for a more comfortable environment near the individual’s family and community and natural supports. The facility consists of two 3-bedroom semi-detached homes that accommodates up to seven individuals who meet program criteria. The expected length of stay ranges from 6-12 weeks, dependent upon the individual’s needs. Diversion program services are available to all individuals regardless of gender, race, age, religious creed or national origin.


The mission of the the Diversion program is to provide individuals with a serious and persistent mental illness and on-going significant issues with social supports, living skills and lack of natural supports with a safe environment to develop emotional, relational, and daily living skills required to be more successful in their independence in the community. Program participants have an active role in their treatment and will be encouraged to take full advantage of the opportunities available in the community.


Lancaster County BH/DS has a significant role in the coordination of community services and will be consulted in the treatment and service delivery for the person using this service. Treatment services are designed to support individuals in developing self-sufficiency skills that will allow them to live as independently as possible in the community. Staffing and program design have been developed to facilitate one to one interventions when individual attention is required to de-escalate or stabilize people who may be experiencing difficulty. Program staff develop a crisis intervention plan that is individualized for each resident to support staff in anticipating potential times of crisis and respond in times of crisis. Educational programming and therapy of varying modalities (individual, group, family, recreational etc.) are offered in different combinations on a daily basis. Staff also work with individuals to develop a comfort level and the necessary skills in order to continue integration within their community. Community based activities are incorporated to augment therapeutic and educational activities of the program based upon the specific recovery goals of the person. The program recognizes the critical role families play in the recovery of all people and whenever possible and upon the request of the individual, program staff will seek to involve people’s families and/or support systems in treatment.

Admission Criteria

All persons using the service must meet the following criteria:

  1.  Is at least 18 years old.
  2. Has a chronic psychiatric illness and a history of long-term hospitalization and/or has been identified by MH/MR/EI as being at risk for inpatient or state hospital services.
  3. Is judged to not be a danger to self or others and agrees to contract for safety in the event of harmful ideation towards self and/or others. 
  4. Currently is not a threat to self or others.
  5. Is receptive on education of  medication participation.
  6. Is willing to address any current drug and/or alcohol issues while in the program.
  7. Agrees to maintain the requisite degree of therapeutic alliance needed to benefit from the milieu and adhere to program guidelines.  
  8. Has had a complete physical examination within the first 5  days of admission.
  9. Appropriate medical care can be coordinated.
  10. Has the ability to self administer medications.

Admission Process

All referrals are made through the Lancaster County MH/MR, and are reviewed in conjunction with the Diversion program. Individuals must meet the admission criteria to be considered for the program.  Diversion is a community-based program, which is designed to help individuals with serious and persistent mental illness develop the skills necessary to successfully integrate into the community.