There are many times one may desire to seek professional help and take real steps toward changing their life for the better, but they simply cannot afford to do so financially.
That is one area where the St. Charles Community Health Center’s Behavioral Health branch attempts to intervene and offer a lifeline.
The agency provides accessible, high quality health care with a focus on delivering psychiatric evaluations and medication management for people and communities that might have difficulty accessing healthcare.
Difficulties can often arise because of lack of insurance or necessary insurance coverage in the area of psychiatric health care. The Community Health Center (CHC) can offer pricing on a sliding scale.
“It’s a great barrier to treatment,” said Lydia Roberts, Behavioral Health Manager at St. Charles Community Health Center. “When you have someone who can help you gain access to these services, it makes treatment a lot easier.”
Roberts said that there are many individuals in the community who are struggling and don’t seek help because they cannot afford it, and that many of the center’s clients would not otherwise be able to receive assistance for their issues.
Among the behavioral health services offered, the CHC has a child adolescent psychiatrist for medication management on staff, as well as a psychiatrist nurse practitioner who serves as an adult provider. A social worker and licensed professional counselor render therapeutic care.
“We’re able to treat all populations,” Roberts said.
That’s made possible, in part, due to funding by United Way of St. Charles, which has allowed CHC to help people who are uninsured or underinsured find appropriate mental health care.
“(United Way) plays a vital role in our community helping those who need treatment find that care,” Roberts said.
One way CHC’s behavioral health branch is evolving is the addition of a case management specialist on staff that assists with providing resources for those who might need a bit of extra support, be it finding housing or transportation.
There are offices in Luling, Norco and St. Rose, the latter open only during the school year. Clients range from ages 4 to 66 and receive full range therapeutic treatment for depression, anxiety, autism and other issues.
Social anxiety and panic attacks are two issues that can leave a person potentially debilitated and impaired, which can negatively affect their relationships, employment or schooling.
For each new patient, Behavioral Health conducts an in-take evaluation with a licensed clinical social worker.