September 10, 2012
Contact: Amanda Matthews
Title: Executive Director, NEW Mental Health Connection
Phone: 920. 636.6876
For Immediate Release
47 PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS WILL LEARN MORE ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH THROUGH COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS
Recent local and national events have underscored the dire and often deadly consequences of mental health issues. Besides the perceived stigma associated with mental illness which often scares people away from seeking help, another major obstacle is poor access to mental health specialists.
In an effort to address this issue a local program will start Tuesday, September 11th thanks to the collaborations of the NEW Mental Health Connection.
The mission of N.E.W. Mental Health Connection (NEWMHC) is to connect community stakeholders and resources to improve the mental health of our community. The NEWMHC has several committees working to increase access and navigation of mental health services in the Fox Cities for consumers and their families.
One of the committees working to do this is the Primary Care Support Program. Approximately 18 months ago a group of local physicians began meeting to discuss mental health care access and management. After surveying many local physicians in regards to comfort level in managing mental health issues, two problems became clear: 1) There is a huge disparity in training and therefore comfort level that exists in primary care in regards to diagnosing and managing mental health concerns; and 2) Primary care physicians do not feel they have reliable access to psychiatric consultation.
To address these concerns local mental health providers have created a 9-month course open to local medical providers to offer basic information on mental health diagnosis, testing and medication management. The curriculum will be delivered by local area experts. In addition to basic lectures, case discussions will hopefully foster an informal atmosphere of trust and familiarity. Ideally, these discussions will then translate into a more productive and trustful informal working relationship between primary care providers and mental health experts.
The group will meet the second Tuesday of each month from September 2012- May 2013 from 6-9 pm at Pullmans.