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

7 months 1 week 4 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
(CNN) -- House and Senate negotiators have struck a deal over long-stalled legislation to revamp the way sexual harassment complaints... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 9:43:00 PM CST December 12, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Better Business Bureau is warning people about some new trends in scams and offering advice on spotting... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 8:15:00 PM CST December 12, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - It is lights out on a popular holiday display at Columbia College. The plug has been pulled on... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 7:29:00 PM CST December 12, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Republican Party is calling on an attorney for the secretary of state to... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 5:49:30 PM CST December 12, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Prosecutor's Office charged Mizzou defensive end Tre Williams with domestic assault, court records confirm. ... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 4:10:00 PM CST December 12, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - The FDA and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMA) recently released a dog food recall. MU Veterinary... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 2:53:00 PM CST December 12, 2018 in News
MEXICO - A Mexico man says frustration over bullying at Mexico Middle School led him to make threats towards principal... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 2:24:00 PM CST December 12, 2018 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Cohen, who as President Donald Trump's personal lawyer and fixer once vowed he would "take... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 11:42:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - A Lincoln University student died Tuesday night in an off campus incident. Students arrived on a... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 11:22:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in Top Stories
PAGEDALE (AP) — Authorities say two children were wounded in suburban St. Louis after a toddler found a pistol in... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 11:07:23 AM CST December 12, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police are investigating after a person died from a gunshot wound Tuesday night. Wednesday the Jefferson... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 9:17:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mayor Brian Treece and other special guests will meet Monday to announce the future of Columbia’s holiday parade... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 3:29:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- Volunteer hours for the City of Columbia are down from last year. In Columbia, volunteers served 39,204 hours... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 3:10:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A second-degree domestic assault charge against Missouri Football defensive end Tre Williams will not be filed, according... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 8:24:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An investigation into a First Student bus concern has lead to an increased police presence in one... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After almost three years, Jefferson City now has new and improved fire trucks. Jefferson City Fire... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:03:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Neighbors on Lasso Circle in Columbia's Old Hawthorne neighborhood feel safe, but are more vigilant exactly a year... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 6:07:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
FULTON - Fulton Soup Kitchen is working to open its new location in Fulton, but a $1,700 utilities down payment... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:18:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 44°
3am 40°
4am 40°
5am 41°
6am 41°