New initiative aims to increase mental health services for uninsured Virginians

New initiative aims to increase mental health services for uninsured Virginians


(LAURA) ALL NEW AT FIVE-THIRTY: (LAURA) A NEW PROGRAM AIMS TO INCREASE ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN VIRGINIA FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE UNINSURED OR UNDERSERVED. (STEPHANIE) FROM OUR CAPITAL BUREAU IN RICHMOND, TEN ON YOUR SIDE’S EVANNE ARMOUR SPOKE WITH ONE PERSON WHO SAYS THE HELP IS NEEDED. SOPHIA LAKIS (LAY-KISS) IS A PATIENT AT HEALTH BRIGADE IN RICHMOND. SHE SAYS SHE MOVED TO VIRGINIA.. FOR ITS MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES. SOPHIA LAKIS / CLIENT “IT WAS A GODSEND I GUESS YOU HEALTHCARE SAFETY NET.. MADE UP OF FREE AND CHARITABLE CLINICS AND COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS. FOR LAKIS.. HAVING ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES LIKE THIS HASN’T ALWAYS BEEN EASY. SHE.. LIKE MANY VIRGINIANS.. IS UNINSURED. SOPHIA LAKIS / CLIENT “I CAN’T NECESSARILY AFFORD IT, SO HAVING A PLACE I CAN GO TO WHERE THAT ISN’T NECESSARILY AN ISSUE IS REALLY HELPFUL TO ME JUST KNOWING THAT I’M GOING TO BE HEALTHY.” VIRGINIA HEALTH CARE FOUNDATION SAYS EVEN MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE. THEY JUST ANNOUNCED A 1-POINT-5 MILLION DOLLAR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH INITIATIVE.. DESIGNED TO INCREASE ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES.. FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE UNDERSERVED OR UNINSURED. IT’S CALLED “BEYOND BLUE.” EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DEBBIE OSWALT SAYS IT HAS A THREE-PRONGED APPROACH.. -TREATING DEPRESSION IN DIABETIC PATIENTS. -INTRODUCING A TRAUMA-INFORMED APPROACH TO CARE, FOCUSING ON RESILIENCY TRAINING. -AND INCREASING THE NUMBER OF PSYCHIATRIC NURSE PRACTITIONERS IN THE STATE. DEBBIE OSWALT / VIRGINIA HEALTH CARE FOUNDATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR “I FEDERALLY-DESIGNATED MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL SHORTAGE AREA.” RIGHT NOW.. THERE ARE 213 PSYCHIATRIC NURSE PRACTITIONERS STATEWIDE. OSWALT SAYS THEY WANT TO SEE THAT NUMBER TO GO UP, SO MORE VIRGINIANS CAN GET THE MENTAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES THEY NEED. EVANNE ARMOUR.. 10 ON YOUR SIDE (LAURA) THE “BEYOND BLUE” INITIATIVE IS A TWO-YEAR

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