Improving mental health care in schools

May 12, 2016

Growing up can be hard, and sometimes a helping hand can make all the difference. Island Hospital has been offering their support to local youth in the Anacortes School District since 2013, and its Psychiatry & Behavioral Health school-intervention program has garnered national attention, receiving a $10,000 award from Jackson Healthcare for impacting underserved communities. It was one of only 10 in the nation to receive the recognition.

The program followed a community health needs assessment that showed a significant need for mental health and substance abuse intervention services, and Jackson Healthcare specifically recognized the program for taking on the challenge of overcoming Washington’s barriers to mental health access through an outpatient clinic, which is the first hospital-sponsored clinic of its kind in the state. Jackson Healthcare deemed the program as a demonstration of excellence in community impact, innovation, collaboration, leading practices and replicability. It also recognized the Island Hospital Foundation’s fundraising activities and donor support, which helped make the program a reality.

“We are very proud of this innovative program to help our local students,” Island Hospital CEO Vince Oliver said in a news story in The Islands’ Sounder. “It’s developed into an effective program because of the great working relationship between the Anacortes School District and Island Hospital, along with an excellent staff at our Psychiatry & Behavioral Health clinic.”

Increasing access to mental health services is at the top of WSHA’s priorities, and the Psychiatry & Behavioral Health school-intervention program shows great promise for Anacortes students as well as other communities around the state, where similar successful programs could be instituted. Congratulations to Island Hospital on the achievement!

Click here to read more the news story in The Islands’ Sounder. (Tim Pfarr)


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