New mental health program coming to Webster County

$4 million federal grant to make inclusive care system possible

A new, comprehensive approach to helping people with mental illnesses is on the horizon in Webster County.

The UnityPoint Health – Berryhill Center has received a $4 million federal grant that will enable it to provide a more inclusive system for mental health care that encompasses physical health as well as any needed substance abuse treatment. It will require expanded coordination between health care providers, social service agencies and law enforcement.

The goal, as Aaron McHone, the director of UnityPoint Health – Berryhill Center, described it, is to treat people for ”everything they have going on.”

Community and Family Resources and Central Iowa Recovery will be the major partners with UnityPoint Health – Berryhill Center in the new venture.

The grant money will be used to establish a Certified Community Behavorial Health Clinic. Up to 23 people could be hired to make the new clinic a reality.

If there is any doubt that such a clinic is needed, there is one fact that should dispel any such notions. It is this: in 2019, the Berryhill Center served 3,158 Webster County residents.

In an area of the state which faces a chronic shortage of psychiatrists and inpatient beds for mental health treatment, this new plan is sorely needed.

It is good to see some of the tax money that Webster County residents send to Washington, D.C., every year coming back here to finance a needed service.

But more importantly, it is good to see an innovative plan coming to together to help our family members, friends and neighbors who need care.

We thank the team at UnityPoint Health – Berryhill Center, Community and Family Resources and Central Iowa Recovery for developing this program.


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