Institute wins $25,000 grant for Polk’s mental health, substance abuse needs

Published 4:17 pm Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Polk County Mental Health & Substance Abuse Initiative is an ad hoc group of providers, stakeholders and advocates from the public and private sectors who have been meeting for two years looking for ways to fill the gaps in service that exist in the county.

Institute officials say Polk County is blessed with two world-class private treatment programs in Pavillon and CooperRiis that primarily serve clients with resources to pay, but there are few mental health and substance use disorder services available for clients with no insurance or limited ability to pay. According to the institute, the planned health and wellness center will provide medical, mental health, substance use disorder, education and wellness services to all citizens of the county.

A nonprofit corporation, Polk County Mental Health & Wellness Center, Inc., has been formed for the purpose of creating and managing this project on an on-going basis. Its goal is to locate a permanent facility near St. Luke&squo;s Hospital to help ease the burden of emergency room visits by persons suffering from mental health and substance use issues. While this planning process is under way, however, the corporation will look to begin interim operations in temporary quarters sometime this fall.

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In addition to the planning for the Health & Wellness Center, other aspects of the strategy grant call for public education on mental health and substance use disorder issues and training of local primary care professionals on screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) of patients suffering from these issues.

For additional information on the details of the strategy grant or to find out more information on mental health and substance use disorder resources in Polk County, contact Jim Van Hecke at Addiction Recovery Institute, P.O. Box 987, 92 Pacolet Street, Tryon, N.C. 28782.