New mental health services filling a need in the county
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
Mental Health Services are flooding into Henry County lately and these services are providing much needed help.
Henry County Center Point of Coordination (CPC) Sarah Berndt shared her monthly report with the board and discussed with them the Recognition and Prevention Program (RAP) that the CPC governance board is helping to fund.
“Right now, Keokuk County is working on trying to get a traveling RAP program running,” said Berndt. “The RAP program helps those who are chronically ill and if there are enough people for this program, there is a possibility of creating a peer support drop-in site.”
The RAP Program is dedicated to the early identification and treatment of adolescents and young adults who are considered to be at clinical high-risk for developing serious psychiatric illness as adults, especially psychotic disorders.
The major goal of the RAP program is to prevent illness from developing in at-risk youngsters. Since the onset of the RAP program in 1998, over 500 young people have participated in both treatment and research components of the program.
While a high rate of clinical improvement has already resulted from the RAP intervention procedures, new treatment strategies, both pharmacological and psychosocial, continue to be evaluated with a particular emphasis on family involvement.
“First Resources of Ottumwa is helping with the start up of this program and they have offices in Washington, Keokuk, Jefferson and Henry counties,” explained Berndt. “We (the governance board) got a proposal from them do this and start up funding. In our management plan it said that in order to do a contract for something like this, the provider has to serve at least six regions.
“But we have decided that when they (First Resources) are doing aggregate services for drop-in programs and group programs, we will contract with them,” said Berndt.
First Resources is a private, non-profit corporation that offers a full range of programs for people with disabilities, children and families in need, drug and alcohol counseling and mental health services for adults. It aims to give support to those who are in need of counseling and its services.
Berndt then told the board that Kristin Helm of Hillcrest Family Services in Washington and Mt. Pleasant was chosen as the governance board representative.
“Kristin (Helm) was chosen to be a part of the governance board,” said Berndt. “There were four people who wanted to be the representative and Helm was chosen. She got all the votes and that tells me that in the short period of time she has been interacting with people, she has made an impression. She has her hands full now doing impactful things,” said Berndt.
Berndt also stated during the meeting that Hillcrest Family Services is now in three counties. It has expanded to Des Moines County as well.
“Hillcrest will be posting for another therapist soon because the therapist they haven now is pretty busy in the three-county region,” said Berndt. “They are getting a lot of business and it’s a really good thing.”
The Henry County Board of Supervisors will meet again in regular session on Tuesday, May 27, at 9 a.m. in the board room at the courthouse.