Seven Counties Services Expands Mental Health Care Access to Kentuckians

Kentucky residents will receive expanded mental health care access and outpatient services, thanks to UCC-related Seven Counties Services being named a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) agency. The program is made possible through federal funding administered by the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services.

CHHSM member Seven Counties Services is the leading provider of behavioral health care and developmental services in the Louisville, Ky., region. It delivers community-based treatment; support and services for persons with severe mental illnesses; children with severe emotional and behavioral disorders; individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities; and community-based and residential treatment and services for adults and adolescents with addictions.

In Kentucky, 43.1 percent of residents living with a mental illness receive no mental health treatment, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). One of the main reasons for the lack of treatment is the statewide mental health care shortage. Additionally, residents living in rural communities — where access to mental health care can be difficult — comprise nearly half the state’s population.

CCBHCs aim to solve this problem, providing easy access to care when people need it most. The program is designed with four goals in mind:

  • To provide high-quality outpatient mental health and substance use services;
  • To reduce barriers to health care services (e.g., financial, transportation, insurance limitations, place of residence, long waiting lists, etc.);
  • To increase effective, research-based care practices; and
  • To address mental health and physical health needs at the same time.
Abby Drane

“Seven Counties Services is our community mental health center, and we pride ourselves in providing the most comprehensive system of care in our region.” said Abby Drane, Seven Counties Services president and CEO. “We recognize the challenges our region, our neighbors, our loved ones and our staff have been through over the past two years. This program is just one more step in the right direction providing greater support, resources and health care access to Kentuckians.” 

Through this program, clients receive a thorough screening for physical health factors that could impact their mental health, and vice versa.

Clients will also experience care that is coordinated with their health care providers outside of Seven Counties Services, including U.S. Armed Forces members and veterans. The program will provide a military-informed care approach to veterans and coordinate community-based care with their Veterans Health Administration (VHA) providers, if applicable.

In 2018, Seven Counties Services received separate funding to start a similar program serving Bullitt County. The initial grant provided $2 million per year for four years to expand rural services and evolved to include an additional $250 million in emergency spending for the Covid-19 response. Building on the success of the Bullitt County program, new mental health services will be implemented across Jefferson, Henry, Tremble, Spencer, Shelby and Oldham counties.

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