Horizon Health Grows Behavioral Health Team

Horizon Health Grows Behavioral Health Team

Horizon Health continues to expand its behavioral health team to meet the increasing demand for services.

The Paris Clinic expansion was completed in June 2022, merging primary care providers and behavioral health services under one roof. Doing so supports an integrated model of providing a “whole-person” approach to improving patients’ overall health and wellbeing.

“Like other rural communities, we have faced shortages of behavioral health services and have worked hard to address that need,” said Ollie Smith, Horizon Health president & CEO. “While our behavioral health services have grown substantially, we will continue to build our program to ensure everyone gets the care they need.”

The behavioral health team has grown to 25 specialist providers serving three Horizon Health locations: Paris, Chrisman, and Terre Haute (Sycamore Pain & Wellness). Horizon Health also operates Senior Care, a voluntary behavioral health service for patients with Medicare part B ages 65 and older, as well as Medicare disability patients.

The behavioral health team, led by psychiatrist Dr. Qun Wu, consists of a psychologist, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners, social workers, and counseling therapists. They treat common to complex conditions, including ADHD, depression, anxiety, addiction, child behavior or academic issues, obesity and/or eating disorders.

Increased demand

The demand for behavioral health services continues to increase, which can be frustrating for patients who need an appointment, said Lacey Stults, vice president of clinic operations. Horizon Health has a patient waiting list and continues to recruit staff to meet the demand. The goal is to see patients within 30 days of an appointment request.

“We’ve been successful at meeting that goal,” Lacey explained. “Behavioral health is unique because of the one-on-one therapy/counseling component that is involved. An appointment typically lasts an hour, often weekly, and providers quickly reach their maximum capacity of 40 patients. That’s drastically different from a medical practice that may go months without seeing a patient.”

Comprehensive services

Horizon Health’s extensive behavioral health service consists of the following specialties:

  • Psychiatry – Provides assessment, diagnosis, treatment & prescription medications.
  • Psychology/Therapy Services – Provides psychological testing, assessment, diagnosis & treatment through counseling/psychotherapy.
  • Social Services & Case Management – Coordinates access to home care, medical equipment; transportation, housing, utility, and food assistance.
  • Senior Care – Provides individual, family, group counseling, health education & monitoring for traditional Medicare part B patients (ages 65 and older), as well as Medicare disability patients.

When a person accesses behavioral health services, the Horizon Health care team will perform an assessment. The individual will be connected with a behavioral health specialist and clinic location that best meets his or her needs.

Horizon Health also offers support groups to ensure good mental health. Support groups are available for cancer, caregivers, grief, bariatrics, Parkinson’s disease, and addiction.

Referral requirements for behavioral health services vary by Horizon Health location.