Medical practices across Iowa can now enroll in the Psychiatric and Behavior Health Consultation (PBHC) Program for free.
ANKENY, Iowa — More than 60% of rural Americans live in areas where there aren’t enough providers for mental health services. Warren Phillips, clinical director at Central Iowa Psychological services in Ankeny, says it’s a big problem in Iowa and across the nation.
“The estimate is that by 2025, [the US] will be 250,000 mental health professionals short of the need at the time,” said Phillips.
That’s why Phillips wants to make mental health more accessible, especially to those who live in rural areas. He’s already started a program called Psychiatric and Behavior Health Consultation (PBHC) that medical providers can enroll in to help Iowans access these much-needed services.
The program is funded by a regional grant so providers can get enrolled for free online.
“Help families get connected to local behavioral health resources in their area and to make that process of connection as fluid and as quick as possible,” Phillips said.
To do that, Phillips’ team in central Iowa will provide consultations to medical practices across the state to make them more equipped to deal with behavioral health issues.
“They can reach out and schedule a consult, it could be a one-on-one consult between the pediatrician and one of our mental health professionals,” Phillips explained.
The program will also provide telehealth referrals so that distance isn’t a barrier for those seeking services. That means a medical doctor’s patient could visit directly with one of their psychological therapists via telehealth.
“The research with telehealth services is pretty clear. [It’s] just as effective as face-to-face services,” Phillips said.
Originally Appeared Here