August 2, 2008

Mental Health Services Go to Wagoner

By Krystal J. Carman, Claremore Daily Progress, Okla.

Aug. 2--Grand Lake Mental Health Center in Claremore has moved some of its services to a Wagoner hospital.

"We've been wanting to do this for years -- make it a one-stop shop for our services," CEO Charles Danley said. "This will enhance the level of care to our consumers. Now, if our consumers are in need of crisis stabilization and medical services too, the Wagoner facility will be able to provide both."

Consumers refers to patients or clients admitted either directly or referred to the center for assessment or treatment.

The Crisis Stabilization Program at GLMHC provides short-term crisis intervention and rapid stabilization services, evaluates treatment needs, and develops plans to meet the needs of adults,18 years or older. Many of the patients' emergency needs arise from psychiatric or substance use. The goal is to reduce and/or prevent admission to a more restrictive level of care.

The change occurred Wednesday when the Claremore facility notified area law enforcement and emergency service agencies that emergency detention order consumers would have to be transferred to Wagoner.

Before the change, if an EDO was ordered, any medical services required were performed at Claremore Regional Hospital before the person was transported by law enforcement to GLMHC. Now if an EDO is required, the person will be transported by law enforcement to the Wagoner facility.

This change, Danley says, will be beneficial to consumers and law enforcement even though it will initially mean more driving time and mileage for area law enforcement.

"Instead of bringing a consumer back to their county for court, we will be using a video system," Danley said. "That will save law enforcement from needing to transport the consumer from county to county. And families who wish to visit family members at the Wagoner facility will be able to use the video system as well."

Another plus regarding transportation to and from the Wagoner facility is that GLMHC will now transport consumers to their destination once released.

"Use to, law enforcement or family members would have to drive to pick our consumers up," Danley said. "Now we will be transporting them to where they need to go and giving them medications. Then they can follow up with our local clinics."

The Claremore facility serves seven counties: Rogers, Mayes, Craig, Delaware, Ottawa, Nowata and Washington. The facility will still offer services through its clinic. Those services include community integration, outpatient treatment and case management.

Danley said Grand Lake Mental Health Center serves a population of approximately 270,000 in a 5,000-square-mile area.


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