Marion Health Receives $224k to Support Individuals and Families with Substance Use Disorder
Marion, Ind. (June 14, 2023) - On Tuesday, June 13, 2023, The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) announced that Marion Health is one of 30 entities that will receive funding from the Opioid Settlement Match Grant. Marion Health will receive $224,000 in funding. The FSSA Division of Mental Health and Addiction is focused on promoting innovative, community-driven responses to address substance use disorder issues. The funding Marion Health is receiving through the grant will assist in facilitating an expansion of access to mental health care by adding additional team members to include another psychologist and behavioral health therapists.
In rural communities, over 65% of individuals only receive mental health treatment from their primary care physician. Over 80% of the individuals seen in primary care with behavioral health needs who are referred to mental health services do not present for treatment (Robinson, 2016). Inclusion of psychologists and therapists in primary care reduces obstacles to engagement and allows more individuals to be seen.
Marion Health has been innovative in its approach to addressing the needs of the community by employing a Primary Care Psychologist who sees patients for psychological testing and short-term therapy. This has facilitated a collaborative approach between Primary Care Providers and the psychologist to identify mental health concerns earlier and provide a higher level of support services for patients. Having a psychologist in the primary care setting can reduce the stigma of mental health services. In a medical setting, having access to a psychologist who can assist with accurately identifying diagnoses such as ADHD, bipolar disorder, trauma, depression, anxiety, and/or alcohol or substance use also allows for a more accurate medical treatment plan, as these diagnoses can present similarly but are treated very differently medically. Also, substance and alcohol use disorders rarely exist without comorbid mental health disorders., so if providers are able to appropriately identify and effectively treat other mental health conditions, this can lessen and potentially remove barriers to engagement in care and improve treatment outcomes of alcohol and substance abuse.
Adding these additional mental health care team members will increase capacity to address immediate needs in multiple locations. Expanding the model of care will also reduce wait time for access to services. These mental health providers can meet with patients at their medical provider's offices and make direct referrals to appropriate community resources as needed, including higher levels of care, longer-term therapy, etc.