The healthcare system can be confusing, restrictive, and not always easy to access.
Individuals with a serious mental illness often find it even more challenging. We talked to Mary, Systems Navigator on the Behavioral Health Home (BHH) team, about helping clients get the care they need.
Q: Why is navigating the healthcare system a challenge?
Mary: Our healthcare system is overwhelming and complex. Take into consideration a person who is homeless, unemployed, experiencing mental health symptoms, living with chronic pain and is financially unstable. These circumstances can make accessing medical care challenging. For many, the struggle is not knowing who to turn to for help, how to speak the language, or difficulty accessing health insurance.
Q: In what ways could we improve our healthcare system so that people with a serious mental illness find it easier to access healthcare?
Mary: I think it comes down to funding. In order to improve our healthcare system, we need additional resources in mental health support, recovery & addiction, and housing stabilization. When an individual’s basic needs aren’t being met, it creates a barrier to working on health/wellness goals. Outreach programs, advocacy, and affordable/accessible health care services would make it easier for people with serious mental illness to get the help they need.
Q: As a Systems Navigator for the BHH team, how do you help clients access the help they need?
Mary: Connecting individuals to resources and making referrals to necessary supports is one of the main goals of BHH. It’s important to meet the client “where they are at” with their goals. Oftentimes, simply scheduling a visit with a primary care doctor is the first step towards getting clients the help they need. Having knowledge of community resources is extremely important in this line of work. Knowing where to seek help for mental health support, homelessness, addiction, financial support, and vocational rehabilitation are just some of the ways that System Navigators are able to access help for their clients.
Q: Why are BHH services important?
Mary: Behavioral Health Home services are important because they are easy to access and provide ongoing support, regardless of the individual’s level of care. Requirements for our program are minimal and we use a person-centered approach when working with clients. Our goal is to connect individuals with mental health support and to assist with establishing relationships with medical providers in order for them to lead better quality lives.
Helping You Access the Care You Need
Guild’s BHH services help clients navigate the healthcare system. Interested in referring yourself or a loved one? Call the team at (651) 286-8605. If you’d like to learn more about eligibility or have access questions, call our Community Access team at (651) 925-8490.