Medicaid to benefit kids with mental health concerns

Local News
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New York State has announced that children enrolled in Medicaid will now have access to community-based mental health services. They just rolled out the first three of six total services they plan to implement.

They are trying to be proactive when it comes to mental health concerns in children. The goal is to start to use preventative methods and social outlets in addition to formal treatment like therapy. 

Associate commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Health Donna Bradbury said they are trying to identify mental health issues and intervene sooner rather than later.

One of the local providers of mental health services is Compeer Rochester. They provide volunteer friends for people to socialize with, which allows them to take what they are working on in formal treatment and use it out in the community.

“When it comes to the Medicaid stuff we have paid staff who work with these individuals who are still referred by mental health professionals but it’s a little bit more targeted skill based. We’re using a relationship to meet these goals but it’s really about helping somebody gain independence,” said Director of Programs at Compeer, Sara Passamonte.

People who have insurance through Medicaid may have previously been using the money for services like emergency rooms or ambulatory services. They can now be assigned a care manager who will help coordinate their care to include these community-based services.

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