Louisville expands initiatives to support mental health
Trauma, stress and economic pressures have increased the prevalence of anxiety and depression in our community. While there is more awareness of the importance of mental healthcare, many residents do not know where to start the search for a provider.
“Many people struggle with finding the right provider, and we want to make that easier,” said Amanda Villaveces, director of Mental Health Lou. “The resource guide is home to not just local mental health providers, but it also offers referrals to services beneficial to mental health like yoga and acupuncture.”
“The relationship between a client and therapist is essential for treatment,” said Lauren Muir, a certified clinical trauma specialist. “Utilizing a searchable database can assist clients with finding a provider that best fits their individual needs.”
This is part of a larger project to expand mental health initiatives in Jefferson County. The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW) has secured approximately $400,000 in federal grant money that will go toward enhancing mental health resources and suicide prevention methods over the next two years.
About $200,000 of the funds will help establish a Suicide Fatality Review Board. The committee will be made up of mental health professionals and representatives from different agencies and organizations in the area. The goal of the board will be to prevent suicides by evaluating the circumstances that lead to suicides, as well as identifying risk factors and trends in suicidal deaths for future prevention and intervention efforts.
“Data from the coroner’s office shows that more than 170 people died by suicide in Jefferson County last year,” said T Gonzales, director of the Center for Health Equity and LMPHW. “Our goal is to achieve zero deaths by suicide in our community. Additionally, we hope to address mental health inequities by identifying ways we can improve conditions and services in Louisville communities facing the greatest barriers to optimal mental health.”
Money will also go to organizations like Americana Community Center, Louisville Urban League and Queer Kentucky to help host events focused on suicide prevention training and addressing issues that impact the mental health of underserved populations.
“Improving access to mental health services is an important first step toward improving our community’s health,” said Ben Goldman, administrator of the Behavioral Health Equity team at LMPHW. “Our department is committed to working with community partners to identify and address systemic barriers to mental health, while reducing the stigma of mental illness and mental healthcare.”
If you are thinking of hurting yourself or ending your life, you can text LOU to 741741 or call/text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. For a list of other mental health resources, visit MentalHealthLou.com.
# # #
ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH LOU
Mental Health Lou is Louisville 's connection point to mental wellness resources. We provide referrals for individuals seeking mental health assistance, education to help reduce mental health stigmas, workshops to improve mental health in schools and businesses and develop mental wellness friendly events for the whole community.
ABOUT LOUISVILLE METRO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW) is a nationally accredited, independent, academic health department committed to achieving health equity and improving the health and well-being of all Louisville residents and visitors.