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Dispelling the misconceptions of how to access mental health care in our community

Dispelling the misconceptions of how to access mental health care in our community

I have written about this in the past but, especially during the holiday season, the subject bears repeating.

There are many ways to gain access to mental health help in our community. There are:

For the sake of this article I am going to concentrate on the services provided at CCMH in Gillette, Wyoming.

There are many programs for people at Behavioral Health Services. Campbell County Health Administration, providers and the staff have developed programs that best fit the community. Mental health has been a large part of CCH for a very long time—going back at least into the early 90s—and probably much earlier than that. Yes, things have changed over these decades but I have not changed access in the three years that I have been here. Access does happen in various ways. Let me outline a few of those for you, the reader.

  1. A person who is experiencing an especially hard time can come to the fifth floor of CCMH without an appointment. We have therapists on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therapists can help those who need help navigate the system and get them to a point where they feel as if they are not alone. This may mean you schedule an appointment with a provider/therapist or it may mean that you feel just getting to someone was enough to help you through whatever is ailing you. You would work through these questions with that therapist.
  2. Even if you are not in a particularly hard place but need to address some things that you have struggled with, you too can come up and schedule an appointment. We try to match people with therapists that are the best fit for their situation. One can call us as well and get an appointment. Sometimes appointment times are longer, sometimes shorter. Remember what I wrote in the first point: you can always come up if things get more difficult and you feel some attention to the issue would help you right now.
  3. We hold regular office hours, but as mentioned above we have therapists on call 24/7. If it is after hours, you can still get it touch with someone.
  4. If your situation is dire, we urge people to go to the Emergency Department. Some situations can be very serious. It is better to get to the ED than to get involved in a tragedy. The ED is well versed in getting in touch with a provider for mental health services. Depending on the situation, the mental health provider and the Emergency Department doctor can put their heads together, and get you the appropriate care for your circumstance. There are several ways this can happen, but for the sake of space and time I will not outline that here. Just know that these professionals are here to help you.
  5. If, by chance, your situation is brought up while you are at CCMH for another procedure, there are consultations that can occur. However, you must ask for a mental health professional to come to you to help assess your situation.
  6. And, finally, don’t forget about the Kid Clinic, where help is available for children. We have four therapists there, and they are ready and willing to help. The Kid Clinic is open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm, and you can call 307-688-8700 for more info.

This outlines several of the ways that mental health help can be accessed at CCH. I hope this is helpful. As always we offer a sliding scale for those that are on a limited income and as always we try to help as soon as is possible.

Have a great holiday, and Merry Christmas to everyone.

Jeff Rice is the director of Campbell County Health Behavioral Health Services at Campbell County Memorial Hospital. Behavioral Health Services provides the Northeastern Wyoming community with compassionate, confidential and comprehensive treatment of behavioral disorders, mental illness and substance abuse treatment following detox. Appointments are available Monday–Friday from 8 am–5 pm. Call 307.688.5000 or visit www.cchwyo.org/BHS.