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Implications for Staffing Modern Mental Health Facilities
[By Carol Miller RN MBA]
Community Mental Health Centers are also referred to as County Mental Health Centers and treat patients usually with no or limited insurance in a domiciliary setting versus an inpatient state or community facility.
And, both children and adults are eligible to receive such assistance.
These programs provide a wide range of psychiatric and counseling services to the residents in their community as well
as other types of assistance. But, what type of mental healthcare staff, and providers, are involved with these facilities?
Staffing levels at community mental health facilities depend on the size and funding of each clinic, and vary in number, qualifications, and mix. Many personnel hold or are working on Master’s degrees and various professional certifications.
Typical staffing would include:
Administrative or Mental Health Director ¾ This individual, working under general policy directives, is responsible for planning, organizing, coordinating, and directing delivery of a community’s comprehensive mental health programs and services. This would include the development and implementation of goals, objectives, policies, procedures, budget, standard compliance, and work standards for mental health services. The Director is responsible not only for the services offered under the program, but also for extensive coordination with other county departments, public and private organizations, citizen groups, and the Board of Supervisors.
Case management staff ¾ These personnel are responsible for compiling all the services related to the treatment program.
Psychiatrists ¾ These individuals may work for a mental health center full or part time, and be Board-eligible or Board-certified in Psychiatry.
Psychologists ¾ These individuals will hold Ph.D., Psy.D. or Ed.D. qualifications and be licensed as clinical psychologists in the state.
Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) ¾ These individuals will have expertise in such services as family counseling, child psychology, geriatric dementia, psychological testing, and so on.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) — These individuals are specialized in various fields and provide an array of counseling services to patients, dependent on the nature of their problem.
Clinical Nurse Specialists ¾ These personnel are certified in psychiatric nursing by a national nursing organization such as the American Nurses Association to practice within the scope of these services and are licensed in the state.
Support staff ¾ These staff members would include an administrative assistant to the Director, medical billers, transcriptionist, and possibly a receptionist.
Substance Abuse Counselor or Licensed Professional Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LPC or LPCC) — An individual who takes a holistic approach where they exam a person’s external environmental and societal influences while also monitoring inner emotion, physical and behavioral health.
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Mental Health Status of Inmates & the Homeless Population
In the third installment of this four-part Health Capital Topics series, the state of mental illness was discussed generally, along with the availability of services, popular treatments, and government implementation of mental health resources with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The National Sheriffs’ Association and the Treatment Advocacy Center have reported that there are more than three times as many mentally ill people housed within prisons and jails in the U.S. as are in hospitals (including psychiatric homes). Similarly, the study found that nearly 40% of the U.S. homeless population has a serious form of mental illness.
This last installment will focus on these two special populations within the mental healthcare system: (1) prisoners; and, (2) the homeless.