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Behavioral Health

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CADD - autism patient


Overcoming Barriers to Accessing Behavioral Health Care

Reimagining behavioral health services and partnering with other organizations to increase access to mental health support was a priority this past year. In May, the Specialized Treatments and Recovery Team (START) Program launched to provide access to urgent mental health and addictions services. This innovative clinic works with over 14 community partners to provide coordinated services to our neighbors in need. The team also partners with the Community Actions for Recover and Diversion initiative.

Across our communities we are reimagining behavioral health care and finding better ways to connect primary care and behavioral health teams to respond promptly to the needs of patients. This Shared Care model provides support for adults, teens, and children (5 years and older). The shared care teams partner with 57 family medicine, internal medicine, geriatric, pediatric and sports medicine practices to serve our patients better by:

  • clarifying diagnoses
  • managing medications or alternatives to medicine
  • performing psychiatric evaluations
  • coordinating brief therapy sessions
  • connecting patients to long-term care as needed

We also re-imagined how we connect to our neighbors for support. Over the past year we conducted 190,000 behavioral health virtual appointments to create access to care.



WellSpan behavioral health experts also support community outreach and training in an effort to elevate awareness and equip community members to better recognize and respond to mental health illness and support those in crisis. The following activities are a few examples of our community-based behavioral health education and outreach.

Mental Health First Aid
Offered 13 training sessions, equipping 133 community members with skills needed to recognize and respond to signs of mental health illness and those in crisis.

Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR)
Trained 255 community members on the warning signs of suicidal crisis as well as how to respond and seek help.

Mental Health Awareness Classes
Created a video that was viewed by approximately 100 people that will be launched more widely in the coming year.

Parent Training for Family-based Services
Reached 66 parents across the region with workshops to help create a healthy relationship with their children and deal with challenging behavior in a positive way.

Therapeutic Crisis Intervention
Trained about 2,200 individuals in the health system and community on providing crisis intervention.

Suicide Prevention Campaign
More than 120 individuals participated in coordinated virtual and in-person suicide prevention activities

Children's Mental Health
40 individuals (32 nurses and eight counselors) attended the Franklin County virtual School Nurse/Counselor Inservice focused on behavior health and coping skills.