Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve reflected about some of the innovative strategies that we’ve implemented with our behavioral health community partners over the last several years to improve the health status of folks with a serious mental illness. So far, I’ve covered integrated health homes and improvements to the crisis system.
On the kids front, more than 1,500 Maricopa County youth who experience behavioral health challenges have benefitted from participating in “MY LIFE” (Magellan Youth Leaders Inspiring Future Empowerment). Through this group- members get support from their peers and develop critical skills in leadership and mental health resiliency. Their activities have been invaluable in the fight against stigma associated with behavioral health issues.
Minors in the juvenile justice system in Maricopa County have had access to culturally relevant substance use and disorder treatment programs. Sixty-four percent of the participants in the 21-month program decreased or eliminated their substance use- and more than 70% report completing treatment without returning to the juvenile justice setting. Magellan earned the SAMSHA Science and Service Award for implementing this program.
I continue to hear from both SMI and GMH clients that they leave clinics because providers take no time to listen to them. Providers in most clinics have 15 minutes given to them to see their clients. I don’t know if that is true of SMI clinics, but certainly most GMH clinics. This is for medication providers. You can’t do a good job and get the information the state, RHBA’s, and clinic administrations require for billing and other purposes. Case managers are unavailable to clients because they are assigned far too many clients to do their job effectively. The system is about money not quality health care.