What is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy (PT) is a type of mental health intervention that helps young people communicate, solve problems, and change their behavior. For more information, watch the videos below and click on our brochure. 


What is Recovery Works?

The Recovery Works program is designed to provide support services to those without insurance coverage who are involved with the criminal justice system. Recovery Works is dedicated to increasing the availability of specialized mental health treatment and recovery services in the community for those who may otherwise face incarceration. Treatment and/or recovery services are intended to supplement community supervision strategies to decrease recidivism. (source: http://www.in.gov/fssa/dmha/2929.htm)

Aspire Indiana is an Indiana Recovery Works provider and since November has served over 200 consumers through this program in all four of our service counties (Marion, Hamilton, Boone, and Madison). We have provided multiple services funded by this program including individual and group counseling, multiple of types of substance use disorders treatment, case management and skills training, supervised group living, and medication services and prescriptions. This program provides funding coverage to consumers who have been unable to obtain health insurance coverage yet or who are ineligible for health insurance due to their incarceration status. Aspire Indiana is proud of our relationship with our Criminal Justice Partners and of our efforts to reduce incarceration and recidivism rates. Questions about the programs can be sent to recoveryworks@aspireindiana.org or at http://www.in.gov/fssa/dmha/2929.htm.  

Aspire's Recovery Works Program

Congratulations to Amanda Page!

Written by Duncan Brown, Director of Engagement Services at Aspire Indiana

At the Indiana Council Criminal Justice Collaboration meeting this morning, I learned from the Recovery Works Program Manager that Aspire has "vouched" more services than any other provider in the state except for Centerstone, which is a much larger center than Aspire, since the program's inception in November.   Let me also add that Amanda Page, Account Receivable Representative is doing a great job handling a very challenging program to bill. It requires her to be on top of many different things and she is doing a great job with communicating and coordinating, to ensure that our Recovery Works consumers have access to the care that they need.   

5th District Congresswoman Susan Brooks Congratulates Hamilton County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Graduates

March 11, 2016 was graduation day for the 47 Hamilton County police, fire/EMS, and communications/ dispatch officers who completed 40 hours of CIT training. We celebrated this successful week with a luncheon and a special congratulations video from Congresswoman Brooks who assured the graduates that “officials at all levels of government are working to offer legislation solutions to support the good work they are doing on the ground everyday”. 

In Congress, Rep. Brooks is working with colleagues to pass a comprehensive, community-based set of reforms to our mental health care system, The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 2646). This legislation focuses mental health programs and resources on care and treatment for individuals most in needs of services and their families, and supports compassionate law enforcement interventions that divert people from the criminal justice system and into treatment where recovery can begin. Last summer, Governor Pence signed the unanimously passed Senate Enrolled Act 380, creating the Indiana Technical Assistance Center for Crisis Intervention Teams with NAMI Indiana to provide CIT in every county in Indiana!  She reminded the graduates that they are part of a "national effort to improve the way people with mental illness are treated and cared for in this country." With special recognition to Sgt Angela Ellison, Fishers Police and Detective William Haymaker, Carmel Police, for their leadership and enthusiasm, she thanked the graduates for “the courage they have displayed by taking on this difficult and growing crisis in our community” and “for helping keep Hoosiers in Hamilton County healthier and safer."

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model brings together law enforcement, other first responders, mental health providers, hospital emergency departments, crisis units, individuals with mental illness and their families, and mental health advocates such as NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) working together to improve responses to mental health crises. These CIT committees/coalitions include representatives from each of the above groups. In addition to planning and facilitating the training, the CIT committee meets regularly to evaluate data and outcomes and to review and improve processes. We work closely, often communicating daily and at times at 2:00 AM if needed to resolve a serious emergency.

The Fishers CIT graduating class.

The Fishers CIT graduating class.

CIT training gives officers tools needed to intervene safely, effectively, and compassionately. During the intensive, 40 hour training, officers learn about the signs and symptoms of mental illness, medications used in treatment; traumatic brain injuries (TBI); autism; PTSD; substance use disorders; Veterans mental health needs; mental health law; and verbal de-escalation skills. Role play scenarios provide opportunities to practice crisis intervention skills. Officers also receive a special training on “officer self care” presented by a fellow law enforcement officer. Most inspiring is the interaction officers have with individuals who come to the training to share their unique stories of surviving and recovering from a mental health crisis. The officers also spend four hours shadowing an emergency mental health assessment at one of the behavioral health crisis units such as Community Health Network Behavioral Health Pavilion.

Aspire has CIT programs in all four counties served by Aspire. This was the 6th Annual CIT training in Hamilton County. Boone County introduced CIT seven years ago. Madison presented it’s first CIT training November 2015 and Marion County has had CIT for over a decade. The success of CIT has generated increased awareness and interest in the program and mental health in general. Communities are eager to start CIT programs and we are proud of the progress we are making!

Here are a few comments from graduating officers:

“The training very much will help me for the rest of my career in law enforcement. It was very practical and better than what I expected. I thought I knew enough on the topics but realized how wrong I was. Not only do I have a better understanding of the topics, but now understand the importance of doing these things right.”

“I was told I was going to this training and have to admit, I was not looking forward to it. I am the typical 10 year gruff cop, and went into this thinking I did not need it. That said, I loved the class. All topics were presented and held my attention. Everything I learned was very practical and will be useful for the rest of my career. The class was not what I thought and exceeded my expectations.”

The members of the Hamilton County CIT committee/coalition include:

  • Sgt. Angela Ellison, Fishers Police
  • Detective William Haymaker, Carmel Police
  • Donna Yancey, NAMI Indianapolis
  • Kari Voss, Hamilton County Dispatch
  • Brenda King, Hamilton County Dispatch
  • Kimble Richardson, Community Health Network
  • Lou Ann Lemaire-Pyle, Aspire Crisis

For more information about CIT, contact Lou Ann Lemaire-Pyle, Manager, Crisis Services at 317-587-0563. 
February Crisis data: 1120 Crisis calls; 45 police initiated evaluations; 61 Aspire Crisis initiated emergency evaluations. 

If you need to call 911 for a mental health emergency, please ask for a CIT officer.

I hope that you will join me this year in raising financial support for Aspire Indiana Health Center. Click on the video above view Jerry Landers' humbling story.

Our Aspire Indiana FQHC Story 

Our story began in 2003 when the Center for Mental Health was the first Community Mental Health Center in the United States to be awarded a HRSA integration grant…. But a lot has changed since 2003. First and foremost is our understanding of how powerful and beneficial integrated care can be for our consumers. Second, is the increased energy that others such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA),  and even the state of Indiana are putting into this goal of creating integrated care entities.  

An Integrated Care Entity, also known as ICE, is a model being promoted by the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) and the Indiana Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA). The model emphasizes coordination of care between primary care and behavioral health care to the point that both are provided through a concept called “No Wrong Door”.

The “No Wrong Door” philosophy emphasizes the importance of the person receiving the right services at the right time… regardless of which door they enter (e.g., Primary Care, Housing, Employment, Behavioral Health, etc).

Some of you may be wondering what this goal means for Aspire? It means that Aspire will undergo a transformation and as part of that transformation Aspire will grow. Aspire will grow in the number of staff employed, the scope of our mission, and the number of clients served annually. Historically Aspire has been a behavioral health care provider. That will not change. What will change is the number of staff that also focus on primary health care. Specifically, we will increase the number of staff who use curriculums developed for bidirectional primary and behavioral health integrated practices. Bidirectional basically means that both resources and information flows in whatever direction is best for the client. To operationalize this concept we will need to increase the number of staff that are trained in the concepts of wellness and behavioral health recovery.

Fortunately for Aspire this transformation was not unexpected. Behind the scenes our leadership team has been hard at work, preparing our organization for the change we knew was needed, and coming, even all the way back in 2003. Now the transformation Aspire sought is underway. In July of 2015, we opened our first Health Center location on the corner of 19th Street and Broadway in Anderson. Nine months later we have health center locations in Anderson, Elwood, Carmel and Washington Township in Marion County. We should easily pass 1,000 unduplicated patients this year with anticipation of more than 3,000 next year.   

As we pursue Our Vision, "to be a recognized leader in healthcare transformation, and an employer of choice: redefining excellence and innovation in our communities", we know that becoming an Integrated Care Entity is an essential part, because integrated care is best care. So from now on, if someone asks you, “What is Aspire?” the answer should be, “we are an integrated health system that provides primary care and behavioral health services as well as addresses the social determinants of health, such as housing and employment.”  We are still a community mental health center but we are also so much more!

About the Author:

Jerry Landers serves as Vice President of Business Development for Aspire Indiana and Executive Director for Aspire Indiana Health, Inc. Landers holds a Master of Science degree, a Master of Business Administration degree, and is a certified occupancy specialist for HUD. He is currently working on his Doctorate in Business Administration. Landers serves on the Board of Directors for Aspire Indiana Affordable Housing, where he continues to advocate for affordable housing. He also serves on the Board of Directors for InteCare, Inc, InteCare Housing, and Archeon. 


  • Kristin Crow - HIV Care Coordinator - Bolin Building
  • Jackie Howell - School Based Therapist - Noblesville OP
  • Katie Hutson - Care Coordinator/LSI-Home Based - Noblesville OP
  • Karen Iseminger, APN - General Medical Nurse Practitioner - Aspire Indiana Health - Carmel 
  • Wendy King-Greene - Care Coordinator/Life Skills Instructor - Bolin RST
  • Angela Gunn - Life Skills Coach - May House
  • Emily Lawson - Wraparound Facilitator - Systems of Care - Brown Street
  • Mark Samuel - Housekeeper - Social Enterprises
  • James Thomas - Life Skills Coach - Questend Group Home
  • Amanda Trombley - Care Coordinator/LSI - Home Based - Lebanon
  • Carey Weller - Care Coordinator/LSI--Home Based - Brown Street
  • Sheila Wright - Life Skills Instructor - Chase RST


Support Associate of the Month, which began in August of last year, was designed to let our consumers and staff know what a great job they do every day and to show our appreciation for their hard work. Nominations are received each month and the person nominated receives a certificate of accomplishment, a small personalized gift, a fish figurine and lunch with their supervisor. Please help us congratulate the persons below for their outstanding work!

  • August 2015: Kim Nipper
  • September 2015: Lexi Dollens
  • October 2015: Kelly Fleischman
  • November 2015: Mary Wilham
  • December 2015: Kathy Stewart
  • February 2016: Emily Jarvis
  • March 2016: Stephanie Bostrom