Twin Cities providing new service for mental health patients
–Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Twin Cities Community Hospital have partnered with the County of San Luis Obispo and the Sierra Mental Wellness Group to place employees, who are specially-trained on mental health, in emergency departments at both hospitals.
These employees provide an invaluable service by screening patients and providing support for those dealing with mental health issues.
“This partnership is providing an excellent service to our community,” said Anne Robin, Behavioral Health Director for the County of San Luis Obispo. “We are able to provide better care for patients by having these employees focus on the direct needs of mental health patients.”
Having these employees stationed in both hospital emergency departments is vital for patients experiencing mental health emergencies.
“Being at the hospital gives us the unique opportunity to be available to the staff and patients immediately after a patient arrives with a crisis, rather than having them wait for a member of the mental health evaluation team to be dispatched to the hospital,” said Heather Bailey, Crisis Specialist at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. “We are assisting with placement of patients who are awaiting transfers to out-of-county psychiatric facilities, which can expedite the amount of time it takes to get a patient the kind of treatment they need.”
“One of the biggest benefits of this program is that these patients are cared for in a timely manner, by employees who are trained in mental health,” said Dr. Cinnamon Redd, who specializes in emergency medicine at Twin Cities Community Hospital. “This is a great asset for both of our hospitals. We are able to utilize our resources in the community to provide superior care for our patients.”
The goal of this initiative – the first of its kind in the county – is to help manage the behavioral health challenges being faced in the community. One in four American adults live with a mental health condition, yet few seek the help they need due to stigma.
This program is funded jointly by the county of San Luis Obispo through Medi-Cal revenue and both Sierra Vista and Twin Cities. It is a unique private/public partnership that highlights the benefits of leveraging both financial and clinical assets for our community. The program demonstrates, by all organizations involved, a commitment to patient care and the specific needs of the mental health population.