Iowa psychologist creates community amongst pediatricians, household medical doctors to broaden psychological well being providers statewide

Medical practices across Iowa can now enroll in the Psychiatric and Behavior Health Consultation (PBHC) program for free.

ANKENY, Iowa – More than 60% of rural Americans live in areas where there are insufficient providers of mental health services. Warren Phillips, clinical director at Central Iowa Psychological Services in Ankeny, says this is a huge problem in Iowa and across the country.

“The estimate is that by 2025 [the US] 250,000 mental health professionals are no longer needed at this point, “Phillips said.

Because of this, Phillips wants to make mental health more accessible, especially for those who live in rural areas. He’s already started a program called Psychiatric and Behavior Health Consultation (PBHC), which medical providers can enroll in to help Iowers access these much-needed services.

The program is funded by a regional grant so providers can enroll online for free.

“Help families connect with local behavioral health resources in their area and make this process of connection as fluid and quick as possible,” said Phillips.

To this end, the Phillips team in downtown Iowa is advising medical practices across the state to better equip them to deal with behavioral health problems.

“You can contact us and schedule a consultation, it could be a one-on-one interview between the pediatrician and one of our psychiatrists,” said Phillips.

The program will also provide telemedicine recommendations so that distance is not an obstacle for those seeking services. This means that a doctor’s patient could contact one of his psychological therapists directly via telemedicine.

“The research with telehealth services is pretty straightforward. [It’s] just as effective as personal services, “said Phillips.

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