Psychiatric service expansion boosted

Lakeshore Community Health Center was recently awarded a $245,000 grant from Aurora Health Care’s Better Together Fund to help expand psychiatric services in Sheboygan County and Manitowoc County.

While one in four people are affected by a mental health illness, it is estimated that there is less than one mental health provider for every 30,000 residents in Sheboygan and Manitowoc County.

Untreated mental health is- sues can lead to increased drug and alcohol use. In Manitowoc County traffic fatalities, with alcohol involved, are usually above the state average, and has been as high as fifty-nine percent of all traffic fatalities in the past.

“There is a tremendous, unmet need for psychiatric care in our community. Among our patients we estimate as many as 80% have a behavioral health or substance use condition,” said Kristin Stearns, Lakeshore Community

Health Center’s CEO. “Meeting the mental health needs of our patients not only benefits their lives, but positively impacts our economy and local health care system by reducing contact with community crisis response teams, ER visits and hospitalizations for psychiatric episodes.”

The grant will allow the organization to seek additional staff specializing in psychiatric care and begin offering tele-psychiatry services at their Sheboygan and Manitowoc locations.

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