Recently here in Wyoming it has not been “business as usual.” The best examples of this include new and strengthened collaborations. Casper’s mental health service providers are teaming up to secure access to all levels of care needed by individuals who are in crisis. These organizations have historically worked together for the benefit of clients and now they are concentrating on providing and promoting the best community care. This commitment to services is something that we are seeing throughout the community.
Joe Gallagher, Wyoming Behavioral Institute’s CEO, says he and Central Wyoming Counseling Center’s CEO, Brandon Wardell, have mapped out the best route toward helping people with mental illness who most of- ten find themselves in the emergency room. “None of what is happening in Casper right now would be possible without collaboration,” Gallagher says. “Wyoming Medical Center, the Natrona County Attorney’s Office, law enforcement Crisis Intervention team coordinators and the Community Health Center of Central Wyoming are also members of the system of care we are building here.”
Wyoming Behavioral Institute offers adult medical detox and acute care for children, adolescents, and adults. Residential treatment also is available for children and adolescents. Central is adding crisis stabilization beds and subacute care for people who do not meet criteria for admission to Wyoming Behavioral Institute but are not ready to go home.
“Casper has excellent inpatient care available for people in crisis,” says Gallagher. “But there hasn’t been anything else available for people who need 24 hour support that’s less intensive than what a hospital can offer. Central Wyoming Counseling Center is bridging that divide.”
“This collaboration allows each of us to be more efficient and effective by leveraging the economy of scale. With each of us focusing on our role and our core strengths we will be able to accommodate more clients with the services they need most,” highlighted Wardell.
Recently, Central was designated as the “gatekeeper” by the Wyoming Department of Health and as the treatment provider for Directed Outpatient Commitment (DOC) clients. Funding was made available to establish less restrictive options for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis and intensive case management services. This, with the strengthened partnerships with Wyoming Medical Center and Wyoming Behavioral Institute, has made it possible for Central Wyoming Counseling Center’s Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) to access individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.
Some of the new, less restrictive services coming soon are:
- SDU- Social Detox Unit (Under Construction)
- SAP- Supportive Apartment Program (Opening March 1st)
Wardell adds, “The best thing to come from all of this is the “no wrong door concept.” If someone in Natrona County has a behavioral health issue/incident, they are going to get help. And not just any help, they will get the correct level of help. This process makes accessing the correct services seamless. The consumer will not need to know how to navigate multiple systems of care. We have adapted our processes to client needs, when and where needed. It also eliminates duplication of care, so clients can more easily move from one level of care to another without having to ‘start the process over.’”