Collaborative Action to Increase Access to Behavioral Health Services
As some aspects of life are resuming, educators, students, and their families continue to experience the unprecedented impact of the pandemic in schools and on their social and emotional well-being. C2C and partners such as the Pima County Health Department (PCHD) continue to identify opportunities for action to remove barriers and strengthen supports through the Behavioral Health in Schools Coalition.
Over the last month, PCHD has conducted outreach to K-12 students and teachers directly impacted by COVID to resources to assist them in connecting with behavioral health providers for services. To support this effort, Cradle to Career, led by United Way IT staff, streamlined the process by developing an online form for referrals. In the form, basic contact info is entered, and an email is automatically generated to a partnering provider that would then reach out. Through this process, individuals can submit a request at any time and will receive a quick follow-up to start next steps towards receiving help. PCHD and their partners are tracking data to understand how community members became connected to resources and which connections resulted in services received.
There are many systemic barriers that need to be addressed to ensure equitable access to behavioral health services and the healthcare system more broadly. Small programmatic improvements to practices and processes, like increasing the number of ways people can access services not only meets the immediate needs of our community, but can also serve as small tests of change that can inform larger-scale action.