Mary, Heather, and Neftalí got together in this webinar to discuss creative strategies aimed at increasing patient access to mental health care. From direct practice, community engagement, and integrated behavioral health perspectives, The panelists shared their experiences of successes from the past three years and highlighted growth opportunities. All mental health providers, professionals, clinicians, behavioral health graduates, public health researchers, and community-based organizations are welcome to review this session.

Some takeaways:

– “Do today’s work today.” If what we do is receive a new patient, they tell us the problem that’s bringing them in, and then all we do is set up another appointment to talk more about the problem next time. Then we have put off work that COULD have been done today for a future date. So the principal here is to do today’s work TODAY.

– Sometimes a deeper level of care is important. FEWER people will have to wait for an appointment if we stop treating everyone the same with just an intake without treating those problems today.

– When people DO have to wait on the waitlist, then we’re providing parenting support, phone calls that welcome them to our clinic and our list, what will happen next, etc. So instead of just putting them on a list and they wait with no word for 6 months, they are getting contact, opportunities for groups and other psychoeducation, potentially case management, etc.

– With the Lunch and Learn, El Futuro is building the capacity of the Mental Health system in NC to better serve the needs of Latino families. We can say thank you to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina for the support to help us initiate these approaches. How happy we are to partner with them!!