Community Connections
The Isis Project: Mental Health Services for African-American Women with HIV

The Isis Project (funded by SAMHSA/CMHS, 2006-2011), is designed to improve the mental and physical health of African American women in the District of Columbia who are HIV positive.
 
The Isis Project both increases the accessibility of needed services and provides an array of culturally competent, gender-specific, HIV-informed mental health services. The project's target population includes three groups: HIV-positive women who have severe mental disorders; HIV-positive women whose mental health status has not been evaluated or who do not have a DSM-IV diagnosis; and those individuals who are part of these women's natural networks.
 
The Isis Project's activities are organized around three goals. First, Community Outreach and Liaison activities work to increase identification of mental health concerns among African American women and providers of HIV/AIDS services and of HIV-related concerns among providers and consumers of mental health services. Second, Integrated Mental Health Support Services emphasize the close coordination of mental health and other medical care and will provide a full range of community supports through a Wellness Intensive Case Management team. And third, Specialty Mental Health Services respond to several priority mental health and network needs of project participants.
 
An experienced group of health services researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine partner with us to conduct process and outcome evaluations of the project. Our primary desired outcome is enhanced mental health (decreased PTSD, depression, and anxiety symptoms) for Isis Project participants. For appropriate participants, we expect the following benefits: decreased substance abuse; decreased high-risk behaviors; improved social supports; decreased self-reported stigma and discrimination regarding HIV-related concerns; increased sense of physical well-being; and improved recovery/coping skills.
 
For more information please contact Rebecca Wolfson Berley, MSW, Isis Project Director at 202-608-4735 or rwolfson@ccdc1.org. For more information about the project evaluation, please contact Roger D. Fallot, Ph.D. at 202-608-4796 or rfallot@ccdc1.org.
 
The Isis Project:
The Isis Program is proud of its active Consumer Advisory Board, which meets monthly and contributes to all aspects of Isis Program Activities.  The CAB is comprised of up to 11 African American women with mental health concerns, all living with HIV. 
Mission Statement: The Isis Program’s Consumer Advisory Board will provide outreach, education, and support to HIV positive, African American women with mental health and/or co-occurring mental health and substance use issues. We are dedicated to promoting the success and development of the Isis Program.
 
See our Order Form to purchase relevant books and manuals developed at Community Connections.
 
See Employment for current opportunities to join the staff of particular projects or team specialty areas at Community Connections.