Weather for the Following Location: Chattanooga on Map

Chattanooga Launches Mental Health Clinics Focusing on Traditionally Underserved Populations

Diverse group therapy session.

Chattanooga Launches Mental Health Clinics Focusing on Traditionally Underserved Populations

In response to a pressing need for intensive mental health services in Chattanooga, the local Office of Community Health is thrilled to unveil a line-up of mental health clinics focused on providing essential care to traditionally underserved areas within the city. The innovative initiative is fully funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health. Furthermore, these facilities will be situated within designated neighborhoods identified by the Office of Community Health to have a disproportionate need.

Mental Health Partnerships and Services

Chattanooga City Council has approved a series of collaboratively established memorandums of understanding (MOUs) which aim to provide mental health care to underinsured, uninsured, or those who are unable to afford a copay. The services will be provided in association with various key community partners who have established a consistent presence in the community.

Mayor Tim Kelly lauded the initiative, stating, “Closing gaps in public health, and leading on mental health, are key priorities of the One Chattanooga plan. This marks a significant milestone in our work. By partnering with local organizations, we’re healing communities and ensuring people in need are able to receive care.”

Dedicated Community Healthcare Providers

The new initiative involves official partnerships with numerous local organizations:
  • AIM Center: Allocating Spanish-speaking mental health service providers to Eastlake’s predominantly Hispanic community weekly, and providing essential aid to the homeless population.
  • First Baptist Cares and Align Wellness: Providing predominantly African American counselors at Carver, Glenwood, South Chattanooga, and the Chris L. Ramsey, Sr. Community Centers. This effort ensures that culturally competent support is available for these demographics.
  • Lifespring: Introducing an African American Nurse Practitioner and a Spanish-speaking counselor at Opportunity High School students for the unique mental health challenges of the youth population.
  • Mission Medicos: Providing culturally competent care to the rising Hispanic population, many of whom are uninsured. This organization offers integrated mental health services along with physical health care.

Addressing a Community Health Need

A 2023 public health survey of Hamilton County pointed out mental health and substance abuse as primary community concerns, underlining the need for more accessible mental health care options. In 2022, around 9.8% of residents were medically uninsured, totaling nearly 18,000 individuals. Without proper insurance coverage, mental health treatment becomes unaffordable for most, leading to unmet needs and potential deterioration in mental health conditions.

Bringing Quality Care to All Communities

“Access to quality mental health care is crucial to improving the overall quality of life,” stated Dr. Geeta Maharaj, the interim director of the Office of Community Health. “By closing the gaps in healthcare accessibility, we can make significant strides in lowering the barriers holding back residents in underserved communities.”

Setting Appointments

For those in need of these services, the program has facilitated an easy process to set appointments using a designated QR Code.

The launch of these mental health clinics marks a major step towards a healthier future for Chattanooga’s traditionally underserved populations – and for the community as a whole.

Article by HERE News Network

Leave a Reply

Sign up for our Newsletter