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Exploring Mental Health

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Hopewell 2016 Outcomes Report Shows High Rate of Resident Satisfaction, As Well As Improvement in Psychological Functioning

June 21, 2017

Mesopotamia, OH (June 21, 2017)—The 2016 Hopewell Outcomes Report is available for review by interested healthcare professionals, families and individuals who may be evaluating residential options for adults dealing with severe mental illness.

With support from The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation and in consultation with Hiram College faculty, Hopewell began a systematic data collection program of outcomes research to guide its efforts to help the seriously mentally ill. As part of this program, Hopewell tracks attendance and participation of each resident on a daily basis and collects periodic systematic measurements of each resident’s progress. The data recorded includes participation in work crews, therapeutic clinical groups, social activities, exercise and community meetings.


According to Rick Karges, Hopewell executive director/CEO, “Hopewell typically has improved Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) assessments more than 20% (9 points) for both men and women residents, while generating a resident satisfaction rating of 91%.”

When residents are admitted to Hopewell, a baseline of information is collected for assessing outcomes, including GAF scores, Individual Service Plan goals, Diagnostic Assessment information, medications, living situation, gender and diagnosis. Every three months, residents are administered Hopewell Satisfaction Surveys, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scales, Camberwell Assessment of Needs, Quality of Life Assessment and Hopewell Outcomes Worksheets. The GAF is completed at admission, periodically throughout the resident’s stay and at discharge.

Length of Stay and Phase System

Evaluating the appropriate length of stay, in close consultation with the resident and his/her family, is one of the primary ongoing tasks of the Hopewell staff. Length of stay averages: Autism Spectrum Disorders, 18 months; mood disorders, 6-9 months; schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorders, 20 months. Length of stay is sometimes short of optimal because of individual circumstances. The overall average length of stay at Hopewell is 6-9 months.

Hopewell’s system for encouraging and rewarding socially positive behaviors is a four-phase system where new admits start at the entry phase, the most restricted in terms of privileges. Starting at the entry phase allows the newly admitted to be safe in the community while the staff and other residents get to know them. Residents earn the right to move into other phases by higher levels of attendance and participation in community activities, and attention to activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (walking) and continence. Utilization of basic social values and modeling of behaviors for other residents are needed to move from entry phase to phase 1, 2, 3 and eventually transitional phase.

Preliminary Study Implications

Preliminary results indicate that measurable improvements are being experienced by most of the residents at Hopewell. The observed improvements include a general reduction in negative psychiatric symptoms, an improvement in overall social functioning and a greater readiness for community reintegration. Specific examples of improvements include successful integration of residents into their homes and families while securing employment, advancing their education and building new social relationships.

With a foundation in nature, the therapeutic farm setting offers a safe, tranquil and work-based environment. Hopewell is able to successfully incorporate concepts of the mind-body-spirit philosophy found in early “moral-based treatment” to provide a modern recovery-based healing model. In conjunction with effective medication, this research supports the conviction that Hopewell and similar therapeutic communities can, in fact, effectively generate measurable and positive recovery results for individuals experiencing serious mental illnesses.


“Hopewell 2016 outcomes report documents the treatment benefits of Hopewell,” said Karges. “Ongoing studies and data collection will continue to explore and refine these impressions, which in turn will drive future modifications to our treatment model. Our conclusion at this point is that, factoring in costs and other issues, Hopewell offers a financially advantageous and powerful alternative for delivering highly effective treatment to those with serious mental illness, and that persons with serious mental illness can optimistically and realistically, with help, look forward to self-satisfying and socially effective lives.”

About Hopewell

Hopewell is a 300-acre residential working farm located in Mesopotamia, Ohio, where adults with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and major depression learn to manage their mental illness and return to independent life. Hopewell is the only therapeutic farm community in Ohio. It is ODMHAS-licensed and CARF-accredited. Hopewell is a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the American Residential Treatment Association. Information, tours and assessments are available by contacting Laura Scarnecchia, Clinical Manager, at 440.426.2009 or by email at Visit

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