Mental Health 2/20 Update

IMPACT Mental Health Initiative

Research Fact Sheet    February 20th, 2014 

After meeting with 13 local care providers and mental health organizations, our research committee has defined a major gap in mental health care in our region:

Psychiatric care

The problem:

We know of 376 students in our public schools seriously considered suicide last year. Kids in crisis who need psychiatric help and medication management may wait up to 6 months to see a psychiatrist; during this wait the crises continue.

More information:

+ If during their wait to see a psychiatrist their crisis escalates to the point where they are a danger to themselves and others, the nearest psychiatric inpatient beds are located in Richmond, Staunton and Lynchburg.

+ Region Ten offers only 9 hours of psychiatric care each week for children in Charlottesville and Albemarle; 16 for their entire service area

+ One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14

+ Only 132 children were seen by Region ten psychiatric services in FY2013; a full-time psychiatrist could see an additional 304 children.

The solution:

We are not going to accept that the current situation is the best that our community can do. Our research committee is at the point where we can now start dreaming of what is possible; what do we want to see for our city?

Next steps:

+ Inform your network! Bring them into this initiative by asking for their prayers and thoughts; make sure they are committed to attend your network meeting and the IMPACT Rally (April 7th).

+ Attend research visits as they are scheduled. We are currently scheduling with:

+ UVa Child and Family Psychiatric clinic

+ Private child psychiatrists (Miles Frank, David Byrnes, Deborah Younger)

+ Diane Boyer, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Early Intervention Update

Our research discovered a gap in funding for a program that places Region Ten Counselors into our public middle and high schools. These counselors saw 910 students last year, often times acting as a central entry point to the mental healthcare system. The gap in funding was going to reduce the number of counselors from 9 down to 5.

Region Ten and the schools have made this program a priority, and in the last two weeks have found a private funding source to maintain all of the counselors. Thank you to all who were praying for this initiative!