With the ongoing national mental health crisis, the need for access to services has never been greater. According to the National Institute of Mental Health Disorders, about 1 in 4 adults, or 26% of Americans, suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. On a New York State level, 1 in 10 adults and children experience mental health challenges serious enough to affect functioning in work, family and school life.
How is the local community addressing the increasing need for mental health services?
The Patrick P. Lee Foundation seeks to develop a lasting impact in our Buffalo community and is committed to achieving an immediate and measurable impact in the areas of Education and Mental Health. With this, the Lee Foundation awards grants to organizations and initiatives that support its mission and goals.
In alignment with the Lee Foundation’s $1.2 million annual grantmaking strategy in mental health, Horizon Health, along with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the Upstate Foundation, have each been awarded $100,000 for mental health and education resources.
Grant Money Utilization: Engaging Primary Care Patients in Mental Health Treatment via Staff Training and Care Coordination
Horizon will use the funds awarded by the Lee Foundation to focus on two primary care offices located in Erie and Niagara Counties. We will provide primary care staff training and ongoing assistance with:
- Identifying patients in need of assessment appointments
- Training and direct support in linking individuals to rapid mental health assessment appointments
- Securing telehealth services for patients to ease/expedite patients’ linkage and receipt of care
- Triaging patients to the most appropriate type and level of care both within and outside of Horizon
Through this initiative, a Practice Coordinator will be on-site to enhance communication and care collaboration.
As a result of the Lee Foundation’s generosity and commitment to their mission, Horizon will be able offer more effective identification of primary care patients in need of mental health care, provide them with expedited treatment access, and ensure continuity of care across providers.
Horizon President and CEO, Anne Constantino, states, “We are grateful to the Patrick Lee Foundation and look forward to increasing integration with our primary care partners. The demand for mental health care has never been greater and these additional partnerships will help ensure care collaboration and continuity for our patients in need of mental health treatment.”
As a community, we can and must continue to advocate for and provide treatment services to the many individuals facing mental health challenges. In doing so, we will not only provide hope and health to individuals facing mental health illnesses, but will also continue to reduce the stigma surrounding such disorders.