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Growing need for mental health services – Daily Local

Growing need for mental health services – Daily Local


Mental Health is a subject that has many facets, making it difficult to put one’s arms around it. It includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also governs how we handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices.

It is part of health care that has not been understood or included for many years and only was brought to the societal forefront in the early 1900’s. Unfortunately, today, mental health issues still carry a stigma and without attention can cause dangerous consequences.

Lenda Carrillo is a strong advocate for mental health services. She is the Clinical Coordinator for Outpatient Mental Health Services offered by Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems, 920 E. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

In an interview with Lenda, she shared her personal story of becoming interested in becoming a mental health advocate. She says, “If we are honest, every family has had one or more members who have suffered with mental health issues. This was the case for me and my family fifteen years ago, after I had my first son. I didn’t know how to approach it or what to do next. It was scary.”

“With this experience, I promised myself I would go back to school in the field of mental health and receive my master’s degree. This way I could help others with a special attention to my Spanish-speaking community. Coming from a different culture and not speaking English are strong barriers in seeking and receiving psychiatric and mental health services.”

Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems joined Chimes Family of Services, a non-profit in 2000. They provide a comprehensive range of services and supports for people with mental health, substance abuse, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and co-occurring disorders. They also provide an array of prevention and educational programs for youth, parents, and adults to encourage healthy choices and lifestyles.

Lenda said that the Kennett office is under the Chimes umbrella and covers a forty-mile radius making up Southern Chester County and moving into the state of Delaware. At this site they offer individual counseling, family counseling, medication management, group therapy and mental health evaluations. In addition to Mental Health Services, Holcomb also provides Drug and Alcohol services at the Kennett office.  The Drug and Alcohol program offers Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient levels of care for individual and group therapy as well as medication management.”

At the Kennett site, Lenda reports that Holcomb has psychiatrists, one nurse practitioner, full-time and part-time counselors along with three master’s level and PHD students. They are busy and sometimes there is a waiting period to receive services. Currently they have over three-hundred appointments in a month.

Counseling services are covered by private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. The unfortunate clients are those without insurance. Lenda said: “There is Chester County funding for psychiatric visits, but counseling and medicines are not covered unless they are approved for Medical Assistance. Many of the Spanish-speaking clients do not have the funds to cover these expenses. I have started advocating for financial support because it is a strong barrier in receiving help.

The pandemic left its scar on many residents’ mental health. What was difficult before COVID became even more difficult during the shutdown. Some of the factors that affected mental health in the Spanish-speaking culture were family dynamics with children being schooled from home; demand for technology that many did not have; loss of work and finances; immigration policies; discrimination; and domestic violence are just a few. 20% of our current client caseload is Latino and there are many more who need services.

Lenda said, “I have made a commitment this past year to get out into the community to help the broader community learn of our services at Holcomb and to facilitate the process. I was present at the Kennett Library at their Spring Forward Event and attended the Cinco de May in Avondale and work with The Garage Community & Youth Centers.

Holcomb also needs more bi-lingual counselors, and I am recruiting for them, as well. You might say I have two missions; Helping anyone who needs mental health services gain access and then recruitment of bilingual counselors.”

We have an intake number that anyone may call. It is: 1-800-258-8860. For mental health crisis call Valley Creek Crisis at 610-280-3270.

The Story of Kennett – Shaping the future one child at a time” Joan Holliday and Bob George’s book on Kennett may be purchased on Amazon and at the Mushroom Cap. You may contact Joan at: dochollisv@aol.com  

 

 

 

 

 



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