RENO, Nevada (KOLO) – A recent partnership is helping Health WC reach more Nevadans.
Minority communities, including people of color, LGBTQIA, and immigrant families, face unique mental health challenges. From limited availability and affordability to cultural stigma, discrimination and lack of awareness.
“There are cultural biases and a lack of sensitivity in many places,” said Amy Roukie, director of growth strategies at WC Health.
Although behavioral health conditions are no different from those of the general population, the pandemic has brought to light racial and ethnic inequities in access.
“We have to go where they are, we have to know what’s going on in their world that impacts their ability to maintain stability,” Roukie said.
She explains that the organization recently partnered with Alliance Mental Health Specialists to expand psychiatric services and medication management.
“Historically, in our community, it took six weeks, minimum, after someone was discharged from the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and medication,” Roukie said. “Well, someone who’s been recently stabilized, can’t do with that wait, so we’re making sure you’re seen quickly. That as soon as you get out of the hospital, we get you an appointment.
With this new partnership, WC Health has added psychiatrists, physician assistants, and psychiatric nurse practitioners who have served not only adults, but also children and adolescents.
According to Roukie, this will also allow them to accept any insurance.
“Our departments are now staffed with a diverse group of clinicians,” she said. “We also have clinicians speaking a variety of languages and we intentionally have a staff that is as diverse as the representation of our community.
The organization recognizes that while its system is not perfect, it is still working to do more outreach in the community and let Nevadans know that there are resources available.
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