Mental Health Green Awareness ribbon

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

The MHC Coalition for Health and Wellness helps increase access to Behavioral Health services in our community

Mental Health Awareness Month not only helps people realize the many ways in which mental illness touches their own lives, but also helps them learn about available services, and discover ways to advocate for increased support.

Sadly, many Americans are living with from mental illness and still lack access to care. To kick off Mental Health Awareness month, the Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness is working to increase awareness of the behavioral health services that are available within their community health centers. The Coalition operates Bassett Family Practice and Ridgeway Family Health, where behavioral health providers work closely with the primary care providers. This collaboration allows them to care for the “whole-person” and those who have emotional, mental or physical concerns.

Tracie Hampton, FNP-BC/C, PMHNP-BC, BSN, RN, has been with the MHC Coalition for Health and Wellness since October 2018. Tracie obtained a Post Master’s Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health from Radford University. She graduated from Walden University with a Master in Science of FNP. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 2010 from Radford University. Prior to that, she earned an Associate’s in Science of Nursing in 2008 and an Associate’s in Science in 2006, both from Patrick Henry Community College.

Mental health is essential to one’s overall health and well-being and mental illnesses are common and treatable. “It’s all about finding the right balance to benefit both the mind and body,” said Tracie Hampton.

Karen Brodie, LCSW, joined the MHC Coalition for Health and Wellness in November 2017. She relocated from the coast of South Carolina. Karen is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a dual Master’s degree in Social Work and Drug and Addiction Studies. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Karen has worked extensively with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health in both inpatient and outpatient facilities.

“Living a healthy lifestyle may not be easy, but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes,” said Karen Brodie.

Integrated care is an approach in which primary care and behavioral health providers work together with patients and families to address both the physical and mental health needs of patients. This approach uses systematic and cost-effective strategies to provide patient-centered care that improves outcomes. As federally qualified health centers, Bassett Family Practice and Ridgeway Family Health, use this approach. Some advantages of integrated care in an underserved, rural community, such as Martinsville-Henry County, include helping to improve access to care, regardless of a patient’s income, increased collaboration among providers, development of an integrated, individualized care plan, more effective medication management, along with helping to reduce the stigma that can be associated with a patient receiving behavioral health services.

The Coalition’s vision of behavioral health is growing and they are planning to add a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) to the behavioral health team this June. Bassett Family Practice and Ridgeway Family Health welcome most insurances, including Medicaid and Medicare, uninsured and underinsured patients and referrals for behavioral health services are accepted at both health centers. All patients are encouraged to apply for the sliding scale fee, which is based on household income and may be applied to behavioral health and medical services.

If you are concerned about your mental health, talk to your primary care provider or to schedule an appointment, call Bassett Family Practice at (276) 629.1076 or Ridgeway Family Health at (276) 956.2233. Both offices are welcoming new behavioral health and/or medical patients.

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