Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 2:02 PM on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Center to participate in national initiative

The Center: South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services is one of 56 behavioral health organizations chosen to participate in the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare's 2012 Same Day Access Initiative.

SPBHS will work with National Council expert consultants from MTM Services to help persons seeking public mental health access services quickly and easily. Over the next 12 months, SPBHS will assess and redesign their intake and assessment processes to reduce wait times. Improved access to care has been proven to reduce no-shows and cancellations and better engage persons in treatment and recovery.

"South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services is committed to improving people's timely access to behavioral health care. The National Council is pleased to strengthen our nation's public healthcare safety net for some of our most vulnerable citizens," said Charles Ingoglia, senior vice president for Policy and Practice Improvement at the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare.

Dave Branding, CEO at SPBHS, said this initiative was pursued in response to needs identified by community stakeholders.

"Early this spring we surveyed over 60 health and human service organizations and individual practitioners across our catchment area, learning the perception in the community is that public mental health services are consistently difficult to access in our community. By exploring strategies designed to decrease no-shows and cancellations, implementing processes to encourage people to keep their appointments, streamlining documentation by removing redundant information and simplifying forms and supporting staff to spend more time with people, involving them in their recovery plans with less post-session paperwork, we plan to speed our access timeliness demonstrably."