Mental health service responds to need

By Rachel Keller Collins

Tribune-Courier 

Reporter

editor@tribunecourier.com 

 

  A new mental health facility located in Draffenville is still accepting new patients even as its clientele continues to expand. Mountain Comprehensive Care Center (MCCC) Office Manager Jane Adams said MCCC recognized a need in the area and chose a clinic space with room to grow in an effort to meet the needs of the community. In addition to assessing the needs the clinic is able to fulfill via the clinic, Adams said MCCC’s four mental health associates are in Marshall County’s schools each day working with and assessing the needs of students.

  Adams said while the clinic is new to Marshall County, MCCC is not new in the realm of mental health. She said MCCC’s inception was more than 30 years ago in Prestonsburg, Kentucky (east of Lexington) and in the past two years has been spreading toward the west end of the state. She said Hopkinsville and Owensboro are the sites of the most recently opened clinics but there are also clinics in Princeton, Madisonville and Trigg County and MCCC has a licensed therapist in Mayfield and two licensed therapists in Ballard County.

  Adams said since the Marshall County clinic began accepting patients in mid-Jan., MCCC has already had to provide an additional part-time licensed and certified therapist because one just wasn’t enough. She said Dr. Sabrina Grubbs is available two days a week, which assists Dan Clemons with the growing day-to-day patient load. The Marshall County clinic currently serves patients not just from within the county but also from Mayfield, Murray and Reidland and the places in between. Just last week, she said, the Chief Operating Officer of MCCC was meeting with school officials, discussing the potential for hiring and placing more mental health associates in the schools because “the case loads for the girls are extremely high.”

  Adams said in the schools, the mental health associates “are touching and improving the lives of a lot of kids” by offering professional help with behavioral and mental health counseling. But, she said, when there’s an emergency or need for immediate assistance that’s beyond what they’re licensed to do, Clemons or Grubbs are dispatched immediately to the appropriate school.

  Adams said the clinic offers a number of services, both psychological and psychiatric, including psychiatric medication monitoring, mental health counseling, victim services, substance abuse services, emergency evaluation and referral treatment, parenting and family life issues, behavior problems, addiction problems, mood disorders and personality disorders. She said they’ve also accommodated requests for family counseling as well.

  Regarding the psychiatric care, Adams said the clinic doesn’t yet have its own psychiatrist or APRN on staff so patients who need to work with that level of professional do so via “tele-health.” She said the APRN on staff in Princeton actually meets with each patient privately via video conference and manages medication that way. She said the Madisonville clinic has its own APRN and she anticipates that if the Marshall County office continues to grow at the same rate, it won’t be long before that clinic has its own APRN as well. 

  Adams said she had never worked in mental health before MCCC hired her in Nov. to get the clinic up and running but she enjoys the work and looks forward to being part of the solution for even more individuals and families in the future.

  “Since Jan. I’ve already seen the difference between when I first saw the clients and now, the people who come once a week, and it’s just unbelievable,” she said. “We don’t work miracles but it’s very rewarding to see them improve and get what they need. That’s what the mental health industry is all about, giving people hope.”

  Adams said there’s still a little housekeeping to do around the clinic, including some landscaping, but as soon as the weather turns (and stays) nice she intends to hold an open house and invite the community in. 

  The clinic is located at 145 Vine Street in Draffenville and is open Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information about the services offered or to schedule an appointment, call 270-252-9434.