IN Health Centers Receive Grant for Substance Abuse, Mental Health

INDIANA STATEHOUSE NEWSROOM / INDIANAPOLIS -- Health centers around Indiana are getting more than $3 million from a federal grant to help in the fight against two major health care battles: substance abuse and mental health issues.

Healthnet is a community health center in Indianapolis and its representatives said it’s the first time they're getting grant money specifically for these two areas of need. And now is a crucial time to get this help.
Healthnet officials have seen first-hand the spike in mental health cases.          

“In 2006 Healthnet saw 2,188 mental health patients,” said James Jones, the director of pediatric behavioral health. “Last year we saw over 21,000.”                

They say there have also been a troubling number of substance abuse cases.

“We see families destroyed because of drug use,” said Rick Reifenberg, the associate medical director of internal medicine and pediatrics. “We see people lose jobs and become homeless. It's a tragedy and it's one we see every day in our health centers.”

In 2015 state data shows more than 500 people died from opioid overdoses. In 20-16 the Indiana Hospital Association reported there were nearly 1,000 suicides in the Hoosier state.                

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $3.6 million across 21 health centers.

Healthnet plans to hire a third psychiatrist to serve their patients.

“We want to expedite that as much as possible and be able to service our patients as quickly as possible,” said Jones. “And so this is going to help us do that and touch more lives.”  

They want to help pay patient fees for substance abuse treatment, which could be hundreds or thousands of dollars. They said it could be crucial since many of their patients are low-income.

The potential around the state could be life-changing.

“We're so excited to be able to have this funding and we hope to be able to touch so many more lives with it,” said Jones.

Below is a list of all the health centers getting grant money:

Community Healthnet, Inc. in Gary: $175,700
Echo Community Health Care, Inc. in Evansville: $150,830
HealthLinc, Inc. in Valparaiso: $175,700
Healthnet, Inc. in Indianapolis: $152,885
Heart City Health Center, Inc. in Elkhart: $175,700
Jane Pauley Community Health Center, Inc. in Indianapolis: $175,700
Lifespring, Inc. in Jeffersonville: $175,700
Maple City Health Care Center, Inc. in Goshen: $175,700
Meridian Services Corp in Muncie: $175,700
Northshore Health Centers, Inc. in Portage: $131,789
Open Door Health Services, Inc. in Muncie: $175,700
Porter Starke Services Inc in Valparaiso: $175,700
Purdue University in West Lafayette: $175,700
Raphael Health Clinic in Indianapolis: $175,700
Riggs Community Health Center, Inc. in Lafayette: $175,700
Shalom Health Care Center, Inc. in Indianapolis: $175,700
Southlake Community Mental Health Center Inc in Hammond: $175,700
The Health and Hospital Corp of Marion County in Indianapolis: $175,700
Valley Professionals Community Health Center Inc. in Clinton: $175,700
Wayne County in Richmond: $175,700
Windrose Health Network, Inc. in Trafalgar: $175,700

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