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Partnership Benefits Mental Health in our Community

MHPProvidence St. Peter Hospital Behavioral Health Services has a longstanding partnership with CHOICE Regional Health Network, a local organization which provides safety-net services to patients and drives regional health system improvements. Last year, Providence St. Peter Foundation awarded a $20,000 grant through the Psychiatry Fund to support the Mental Health Access Program (MHAP), making it possible for low-income individuals experiencing anxiety and depression in our community to access mental health care.

Pictured Right: Mental Health Access Program staff includes Cary Ann Clark, MHAP Coordinator and Jennifer Brackeen, Donated Care Program Manager.

According to Winfried Danke, Executive director for CHOICE, “Counseling options for the uninsured are extremely difficult to find. This is especially troubling for clients whose life circumstances drive them to seek services, often after losing a job or a loved one.”

Sue Beall, Manager of Outpatient Behavioral Health, says "We really value our partnership with CHOICE. The program improves mental health for these people, and they can avoid being admitted to the hospital. It's a win-win."

In 2012, the program served 86 individuals, which was a 25% increase from 2011. Danke emphasizes, “These lives were touched in very profound ways.” Those that needed this assistance received at least four therapy sessions provided by volunteer licensed mental health professionals. The demand for mental health services increased dramatically in the fall, which prompted MHAP to offer a stress and anxiety group therapy session as well as increase the number of individual sessions offered.

Danke says, “With the Foundation’s help, we were able to provide mental health counseling for more low-income individuals than ever before.”