JESPY clinicians recognized with Behavioral Healthcare Hero awards

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — JESPY House has announced that two members of its Clinical Services Department were recently awarded the 2020 Behavioral Healthcare Hero award, presented by the Mental Health Association in New Jersey. The winners are Kinga Lewinski, lead clinician, and Christina Caporrino, clinician.

JESPY House provides comprehensive services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

These clinicians were nominated by Sherry Scucci-Hamilton, the clinical supervisor at JESPY. She cited that, during the pandemic, both Lewinski and Caporrino greatly expanded counseling services to JESPY clients, in response to their urgent needs. Within days of having to cease in-person counseling, they selected a platform to use to provide telehealth services; successfully maintained client caseloads; increased services to more clients that needed clinical services; and utilized a range of social media for messaging clients.

“I nominated Christina and Kinga because they worked so well as a team under extremely difficult circumstances,” Scucci-Hamilton said.

Due to the pandemic, the way that clinical services were provided to clients needed to drastically change. “Our department has worked hard to provide all of our services exclusively through telehealth in order to continue to provide support to our clients and their families during this challenging time,” said Lewinski. “I am honored to be recognized as the July Behavioral Healthcare Hero. As we continue to navigate through this global pandemic, I will continue to work hard to provide therapeutic services to my clients.”

Lewinski is a licensed associate counselor in New Jersey who started with JESPY House as a counseling intern in September of 2015. She completed her master’s degree in counseling with a concentration in clinical mental health counseling at Montclair State University.

Caporrino came to JESPY as a counseling intern in 2018, before beginning to work full time in 2019. She has a master’s degree in professional counseling from Seton Hall University.

“I am grateful to be able to encourage understanding, acceptance and management of the mental health needs of clients,” said Caporrino. “Working as a counselor is a reward within itself, but I am thankful for the recognition from an influential organization.”

Both Lewinsky and Caporrino have seamlessly engaged with clients virtually — helping them to process their feelings and improve and adjust their coping skills — providing support to clients during a stressful time.

JESPY House also services clients in the areas of recreation, athletics, community-based supports, activities of daily living and, most importantly, advancing independence. Clients range in age from 18 to 73. To learn more, visit www.jespyhouse.org.

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