Virginia Health Care Foundation announces new mental health initiative

May 31, 2017 | By Hannah Story

To mark its 25th anniversary, the Virginia Health Care Foundation has announced a $1.5 million behavioral health initiative designed to increase access to mental health services for medically underserved and uninsured Virginians.

The new initiative is called Beyond Blue.

It will focus on three prongs as part of the initiative: Integrating behavioral health services with primary medical care for diabetic patients with depression; preparing interested organizations to implement a trauma-informed approach to care in their practices;
and increasing the number of psychiatric nurse practitioners.

The foundation says it’s time to realize in order to have overall health, you need mental health.

“We go to the doctor to take care of all of our physical ailments, but somehow there hasn’t been a connection between the brain and the rest of the body,” says Virginia Health Care Foundation Executive Director, Deborah Oswalt.

The initiative will officially kick off later this summer.

Martinsville and Henry County are part of the mental health professional shortage area, so they are eligible for help from the foundation.

http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Virginia-Health-Care-Foundation-announces-new-mental-health-initiative–425549994.html