Pathways Inc. gets $930,000 for mental health care
ASHLAND — Pathways Inc., the mental health agency serving 10 Kentucky counties, has been awarded a $930,000 grant to provide specialty mental health care for children for the next three years.
The money from United Health Foundation will be used to provide better access to specialty mental health care via technology for more than 3,000 children through the age of 18.
“This will allow us to expand children and adolescent services to our rural counties via telehealth,” said Jennifer Willis, Pathways’ chief clinical officer. “Our No. 1 problem (in providing mental health services) is transportation.”
Pathways will begin offering services to children up to the age of 18 in two weeks at the agency’s 16 outpatient locations in the 10-county area including Boyd, Greenup, Carter and Lawrence, Willis said Thursday.
“With the United Health Foundation as our partner, we will be able to provide life-changing services for children and families who need specialized mental health care,” said Dr. Kimberly McClanahan, Pathways’ chief executive officer.
“We will also be able to address the shortage of mental health care providers in rural Kentucky through our new telehealth technology,” McClanahan said.
Kentucky has seen a 25 percent increase in teen suicides since 2016, according to America’s Health Rankings. The grant will allow Pathways to increase the number of children served by child and adolescent psychiatrists by 30 percent, according to a news release.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Pathways to ensure children in Kentucky have access to mental health services,” said Tracy Malone, president of United Health Foundation.
“By leveraging digital tools to expand services to child psychiatrists for people in rural areas, this partnership is helping more Kentuckians get access to the critical health care services they need when they need it most,” Malone said.
The program will allow for mental health services via videoscreen and by next summer, via telephone, she said.