Grand County Rural Health Network Launches
New Behavioral Health Navigator Program.
I’m grateful to be happy, healthy and surrounded by family. My oldest child just graduated High School this past weekend. Although it was a very exciting weekend, it also had its stressful moments. Would I get all my pre-graduation day To Do’s done? What should I do for meals for the eighteen out-of-state family members coming to celebrate with us? Don’t get me wrong, as I truly love my whole family. However, I seriously had to wonder about my mental health at times. I say that, but of course I know that it was just temporary and that there were stress relief mechanisms I could put into play (if I so chose to). For many of us though, that isn’t always the case or it isn’t always that straight forward.
Good health care involves paying attention to physical health, habits, behaviors, emotional health, and how these might interact with one another. Did you know that as many as 70% of primary care visits are related to behavioral health needs? And more than 20% of adults experience mental illness in a year, including depression and anxiety that is ongoing or as a result of a specific situation. Yet only 41% of people who experience a mental illness actually receive care.
Mental health comes in the form of many names – depression, anxiety, grief, frustrated, shame, to name a few. Unfortunately, there is often a stigma associated with mental and behavioral health issues. But wouldn’t you honestly agree that we have all experienced some, if not all, of the symptoms described at one point or another in our lives?
Most likely you are aware that there are professionals that could help with your particular situation. But you might wonder, what type of help do I need? Can I find it locally? Well, what if there was a resource, and helpful people, who knew what type of service might be best for you and how to get the help you need?
Ah, but there is! And it’s right here in Grand County. Grand County Rural Health Network is a nonprofit who has been around for nearly two decades and strongly believes in advocating for and supporting your health. They are a health alliance comprised of local health providers and community leaders focusing on improving access to care locally. In a nutshell, they are an invaluable resource for all your healthcare needs. In keeping with their mission, they have collaborated with Mind Springs Health, Middle Park Medical Center, and Grand County Government to form the Behavioral Health Collaborative and launched a new program, called the Behavioral Health Navigator Program. This program was developed to assist Grand County residents in accessing mental health care. The program is funded by the Colorado Health Access Fund, a donor advised fund of The Denver Foundation.
How did the program start?
The Behavioral Health Navigator Program was created through input by a variety of local primary care and mental health providers, human service organizations, and community members. The 2013 Grand County Community Health Needs Assessment and Prioritization Plan, led by the Network and Grand County Public Health Department, identified mental health and substance abuse as two of the top five community health priorities in Grand County.
How does the program work?
The Behavioral Health Cooperative offers assistance with the following services/treatments:
The Behavioral Health Navigator Program are Master’s level mental health clinicians. Meaning the Behavioral Health Navigators (BHNs) are trained mental health therapists. Many patients find both their physical and emotional health improve by addressing behavioral health concerns such as stress, worry, or emotional concerns about life problems. The BHNs do just this by seeing patients in your doctor’s office to help address immediate concerns. The BHNs also help you navigate the confusing mental health system to help pay for long-term therapy, access psychiatry or inpatient needs, and help you find other resources to get the mental health care you need when you need it. Most importantly, the BHNs help you find a long-term behavioral health therapist that fits your needs.
“In the short time since the inception of the program, we have already received positive feedback from a number of locals seeking services on their own that the program was exactly what they needed,” proclaims Jen Fanning, Executive Director of Grand County Rural Health Network. “In hindsight they realized they weren’t aware of all the options available to them, and felt a sense of relief after the BHNs provided valuable, one-on-one assistance.”
If you are interested in reading the official press release by Grand County Rural Health Network (including some interesting county statistics), click here.
For more information about the program, we encourage you to contact the Behavioral Health Navigators directly at 970.887.2179.
Remember that mental health is vital to all of our well-beings. Be grateful if you are happy and healthy. Be even more grateful if you have family that support you. If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, just be sure to reach out.