TARGET 8: Patients need patience for mental health services in mid-Missouri

2 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Wednesday, May 02 2018 May 2, 2018 Wednesday, May 02, 2018 7:22:00 PM CDT May 02, 2018 in Target 8
By: Sydney Olsen, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Many people in mid-Missouri have to wait weeks to see a physician for mental health. Some clinics have waits as long as several months. (See interactive map below for wait times by clinic.)

People who live in Columbia can either get care in the same day or have to wait as long as three months, depending on where they see their doctor. 

Tim Harlan, president of the National Alliance on Mental Health of Columbia, said long wait times can discourage people from seeking help. 

"I remember getting a phone call one time at 7 o'clock in the morning from somebody who said, 'My family member is willing to go to treatment, desperately need it, today.' Well, there's a month wait," Harlan said. "In a month they may easily have more problems or decide not to do it." 

He said people should not assume everyone will get help for their mental health needs.

"I think the big issue is people assume there's a safety net and everybody's going to get treatment if they really need it. And that's just not true," Harlan said. "They might get treatment, but it's not going to be appropriate because somebody has to pay for it." 

Some counties have very limited resources for mental health. A lack of psychologists and psychiatrists in rural areas creates longer wait times for patients. 

Megan Steen, senior vice president of the Central Region for Burrell Behavioral Health, said, "I think one of the biggest needs that we see throughout all of our communities is the access to care and the ability to quickly access care."

Burrell Behavioral Health of Sedalia had one of the shortest wait times for new patients to be seen by a psychiatrist or psychologist. Burrell is contracted with the Missouri Department of Mental Health, qualifying it to be a federally Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic. 

Such clinics receive funding to expand treatment through the Excellence in Mental Health Act.  Steen said the act has helped Burrell see more patients and hire more providers. 

"The CCBHC initiative is really what helped us in establishing open access to care in more of our satelite clinics and locations. It also has decreased our wait times," Steen said. 

Harlan said legislators need to get serious about providing funding for mental health resources if they want other clinics to shorten their wait for patients. 

"There isn't anything that can be done that doesn't involve money," he said.

Harlan said it's a public health issue.

"It involves all of us," he said. "It involves safety for all of us, and we need to communicate with the legislature that this is an important issue and they are the ones that can change this."

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - After eight years serving in the Missouri House of Representatives, Rep. Gail McCann Beatty's, D-Kansas City, resignation... More >>
1 hour ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 6:12:00 PM CDT July 22, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - This recreational lake was just five spots shy of being the most dangerous place to... More >>
1 hour ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 5:55:00 PM CDT July 22, 2018 in News
BRANSON (AP) — A memorial service is scheduled for the people killed when a tourist boat sank in a Missouri... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 1:39:00 PM CDT July 22, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Missouri residents may see a limited elk hunt in 2020 if the state's elk herd continues to... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 12:16:00 PM CDT July 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump's lawyers have waived attorney-client privilege on his behalf regarding a secretly recorded conversation he had... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 11:49:18 AM CDT July 22, 2018 in News
COOPER COUNTY - A Blackwater man has died after being hit by a truck on Friday July 20, according to... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 10:42:15 AM CDT July 22, 2018 in News
BRANSON (AP) — "Grab the baby!" Those were the last words Tia Coleman recalls her sister-in-law yelling before the... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 9:59:07 AM CDT July 22, 2018 in News
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — One app promotes itself as a way to discuss sensitive negotiations and human resources problems... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 9:54:58 AM CDT July 22, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's choice for the Supreme Court has given members of Congress a pile of material... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:52:51 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The maker of a permanent contraceptive implant subject to thousands of injury reports and repeated safety restrictions... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:28:05 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The man accused of carrying out last month's deadly shooting at a Maryland newspaper has been indicted on... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:42:30 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The 2018 Show-Me State Games kick off Friday, bringing thousands of athletes, coaches and fans from around the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:15:00 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
ASHLAND – Seven locations throughout the state are open Saturday for parents to come and get their children I.D.’d, free... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:58:00 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Gracelyn Mae Violet Griffin already had a "Little Nugget" onesie picked out for her before she arrived in... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:35:28 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An organization backing one of three competing medical marijuana initiatives in Missouri has continued to bring... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 11:26:00 AM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A group of Columbia moms is starting Missouri Disability Empowerment, a new organization with big goals to help... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 6:33:00 AM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - 64 years later, a different lake and nearly triple the death toll, the duck boat... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 9:12:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Russian intelligence operatives attempted to hack into the online accounts of staffers on three congressional campaigns in the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:46:27 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 82°
8pm 80°
9pm 76°
10pm 73°
11pm 71°