St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea announced the expansion of its Behavioral Health Services Department to include the addition of a Behavioral Health Services Navigator. The hospital appointed Kathryn Walz, LMSW, to fill the newly created position, which will help educate patients and their families and advocate on their behalf to eliminate barriers to timely access to care.
“We are pleased to receive additional resources to address behavioral health illnesses which impact so many throughout our community,” said Nancy Siegrist, MPA, director of Behavioral Health Services at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea. “Looking forward, this position will improve our level of service to individuals and their families and ensure our behavioral health patients receive the best care possible.”
Last year, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea conducted a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and developed an implementation strategy with interventions to address identified needs. Key findings from the needs assessment were:
—1 out of 4 people report having experienced depression or other mental health problems in the past year.
—1 out of 7 youths seriously considered suicide in the past year.
—1 out of 6 adults and 1 out of 12 teens binge drink regularly.
—1 out of 5 high school juniors and seniors use marijuana regularly.
“When we conducted our CHNA, we received a great deal of input from representatives of the community and various community organizations,” said Reiley Curran, MPH, manager of Community Health at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea. “Access to mental health and substance abuse services was shown to be a huge gap. With this newly created Navigator position, we aim to make an impact in this area.”
The Behavioral Health Services Navigator will expand the presence of behavioral health services in primary care and community settings. Walz holds a master’s degree in social work and is a certified prevention consultant, a certified HIV test counselor, has a certification in critical incident stress management and has completed three tiers of specialized behavioral health training in understanding and treating military service members and their families. She also has an extensive background in substance abuse prevention, community education and planning, and mental health interventions.
For more information about Behavioral Health Services at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, please call 734-593-5251.
This post was generated from a press release submitted by St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea.