County Health Departments: Mental Health In Pinellas County
The North East High School Clinic program in Pinellas County, Florida offer health and mental health services to students who either have limited access to or under utilize health care services. This program offers students access to these services, allowing them to reduce the time the student misses school and provides support to parents who don’t have to miss work or delay seeking health services due to work or transportation constraints. Pinellas County Health Department offers these services for free; they are confidential and offered during school hours. The school officials coordinate with the student’s primary care physician for care, and provide services such as illnesses, sports and school physicals, check-ups, STD examinations, accidents or injuries, medication administration, immunizations, education, social service counseling, mental health care, and nutritional counseling. Written parental consent must be obtained prior to any services being rendered for a student under the age of 18.
Other County Health Departments around the country also offer mental health services. Will County, Illinois offers case management services, coordinating your care. Case management includes assistance in finding an affordable place to live, making medical appointments, providing transportation to get you to your appointments, providing nutritional education, reminding you to take your medications and teaching you ways to remind yourself. They also offer individual counseling and psychotherapy, psychotropic medications, and medication administration.
Marion County, Oregon offers a full range of outpatient services, including mental health assessments, individual/family/group counseling, case management, skills training, psychiatric assessment and medication management. Marion County serves groups such as Adult Mental Health, Children’s Mental Health, Psychiatric Crisis Care and Early Childhood Team.
Riverside County, California provides adult mental health services, older adult mental health services, children’s services, public guardian, and substance abuse programs. Services such as crisis intervention, hospitalization and supportive counseling highlight the benefits available to residents in this county.
Utah County, Utah utilizes Wasatch Behavioral Health Services, a comprehensive community mental health center offering programs and services for children, teens, and adults. They provide inpatient care, residential services, day treatment, case management, outpatient services, a 24-hour crisis line, outreach programs, follow-up services, referral screening, consultation, education and prevention.
Recently, the city of Houston, Texas piloted a program entitled, “Crisis Intervention Response Team.” The CIRT combines a Houston Police Department Crisis Intervention Team office with a licensed mental health clinician, allowing them to respond to calls for the mentally ill in need of assistance. This program will offer services such as providing assistance to patrol officers on calls dealing with persons in need of mental health assessment or intervention.
Communities around the nation understand that providing mental health services betters the health of the entire community. Check your local county or city government to see if mental health services are available in your area.