Mental health care providers discuss local needs

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

Mental illness affects one in four adults in their lifetime, and it's the leading cause of disability for people 15 to 44 years old.
WYMT's Marie Luby sat down with local experts to talk about the needs here in eastern Kentucky.

In a small town, people talk. Local mental health experts say that's a major reason why many eastern Kentuckians with mental or emotional problems suffer in silence.

Dr. Mark Phillips with the ARH Psychiatric Center says, "A lot of people wait until the moment of crisis to come and get treatment. Because of the stigma they don't go into the community mental health centers as often."

Access to treatment is historically difficult for rural populations. Eastern Kentucky has few private practice psychiatrists and therapists, and waiting lists have been the norm in many treatment programs. Kentucky River Community Care now has a system to schedule appointments for people the same day they call for help.

KRCC nurse practitioner Sandy Pratt says, "The longer someone has to wait to get into treatment the less likely they are that they're going to show up for that treatment. So we have had tremendous success with this same day service and same day access."

Mental health care providers say recent layoffs and flooding have led to an increase in the number of people seeking professional help.

Dr. Phillips says, "That's something that really affects a person's self esteem and their depression to where they may get down and feel like, 'You know I can't provide for my family anymore,' and start questioning whether it's worth living."

You can call the NAMI hotline at 1-800-257-5081 or the KRCC crisis hotline at 1-800-262-7491 for help. Both can give information about free programs for the mentally ill.

You can watch the entire discussion about access to treatment and related topics on the June 1st edition of Issues and Answers.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by report abuse on Jun 4, 2009 at 04:39 AM
    Mental health is essential, I think. Depression leads people to focus mostly on failures and disappointments, to emphasize the negative side of their situations, and to downplay their own capabilities or worth. Someone with severe depression is unable to see the possibility of a good outcome and may believe they will never be happy or things will never go right for them again. People with such problems need our support.
  • by Tami Location: Whitesburg on Jun 3, 2009 at 09:32 PM
    Thank you for responding Robert Location. I have tried KRCC but my problem is my condition as well as my children require stimulant drugs Vyvanse, and Concerta for ADHD. I understand they are potentially addictive medications but they have been proven the be the most benifical means of dealing with ADHD. My children do receive some concealing from KRCC from time to time and I do appreciate the sliding scale for that. I worry that maybe other children and adults with ADHD are not receiving the life changing benefits that ADHD medication offers.
  • by Robert Location: Hazard on Jun 3, 2009 at 08:48 AM
    KRCC *does* have a sliding fee scale and many low income people without insurance only have to pay $5.00. Xanax or Valium, however, is not prescribed as they are potentially addictive medications.
  • by Tami Location: Whitesburg Ky on Jun 2, 2009 at 07:15 PM
    I believe a big problem for people such as myself is finding a mental health provider who specializes in all areas of mental illness. Also mental health providers need to offer a sliding scale pay plan for those who may not have insurance such as the one MCHC offers to their communities.There should be more education offered about mental illness so that people may realize that they may have a mental illness and seek out help.
  • by Dr. Wyttenbach on Jun 2, 2009 at 04:37 PM
    the consensus of reports reveals that everyone can benefit from Xanax at some point and time. We are open til 6 pm y'all come on over.
  • by Gary Graye Location: Manchester UK on Jun 2, 2009 at 02:57 AM
    Hi Marie, Having read your article I was left feeling quite sad and disappointed that as always people’s mental health has to hit an all time low before they will seek out any kind of help. What I found interesting and also admire is your same day service and same day accesss policy, brilliant!! I will now watch the entire discussion about access to treatment and related topics in the June 1st edition of Issues and Answers. Thank you very much Regards
  • by anon Location: floyd county on Jun 1, 2009 at 09:18 PM
    i suffered many years not even my family knew what i went thru, and i didn't know how bad it was until i got help and realized so many people go thru the same thing. after you see how much better it can be you'll wished you done it sooner, because nobody knows your struggle.


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