Behavioral Health Services
One of the fastest growing initiatives of Delta Health Alliance over the last year has been Behavioral Health Services. In July of last year, clinic staff saw less than 30 patients. Twelve months later, that number had increased to 545. The professional staff now includes a psychiatric nurse practitioner, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, and nurses.
This explosive growth is attributable to a huge demand for these kinds of services that, until now, had never been available to many Delta residents. Not only do untreated mental health problems complicate a patient’s ability to participate effectively in treatment plans, but they often go undiagnosed in patients with chronic conditions. For example, rates of depression across the lifespan of individuals with diabetes are twice the rate found in the general population.
Behavioral Health Services reaches individuals and families in the following ways:
• On-site services at the Leland Medical Clinic include child, adolescent, family and marriage counseling, medication management, EPSDT screening, developmental, behavioral and Autism screens and assessments, as well as occupational, physical and speech therapy.
• School-based services that are currently being provided to eight school districts, including Sunflower Consolidated, Greenville Municipal, Western Line Consolidated, Hollandale Municipal, North Bolivar, West Bolivar, Coahoma County, and Leland Municipal.
• Services include developmental, behavioral and psychological screening and evaluation, occupational, physical, speech and behavioral therapies.
Early Childhood Screening and Services
• Early childhood screening and services is part of the Mississippi Department of Health First Steps program. Working through Head Start and other early childhood providers, Delta Health Alliance staff conduct comprehensive evaluations of children from birth to three years of age to identify any developmental or behavioral health issues.
• With the consent of the parents, trained professionals can provide speech, physical, occupational, or behavioral therapy services to the children, in their homes, at no cost to the families.
• Currently, DHA is on contract with the First Steps Program to service the following counties: Washington, Sunflower, Humphries, Leflore, Carroll, Bolivar, Coahoma, Tallahatchie, Quitman, Grenada, Yalobusha, Panola, and Montgomery.