Mental health is an important part of well-being. Whether a child or parent is experiencing anxiety, "the blues", emotional stress about a diagnosis or a major mental illness affecting daily functioning, the resources below can help.
Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs)
Services for children and adults with mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse problems are provided through Kentucky's 14 regional mental health and mental retardation boards. County listings are available at the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID) website, as are phone listings for crisis and suicide helplines.
In addition to basic clinical services and counseling, a wide range of additional supports (e.g. in-school services, after-school programs, day treatment, etc.) are available in each region. Most regions offer a fairly complete array of services. The local CMHC will likely be a very valuable resource and is a good first step when attempting to find appropriate services.
Family Consultants and Support Navigating the System
Family to Family Health Information Resource Centers offer support through family consultants. In addition, each regional mental health provider employs a family liaison who remains available for peer-to-peer support and assistance in accessing services and formal support groups. A current list, with contact information for each liaison, is available on the DBHDID website.
This department infuses the consumer/parent perspective into policymaking and practice and maintains an Office for Consumer Advocacy to be responsive to needs and concerns. Links to several community groups are maintained on their website.
In addition to public services available through CMHCs, many communities have a wide variety of private providers in the helping professions (e.g., social workers, psychologists, professional counselors, etc.) available to assist families with problem solving. While a definitive directory is not available in a single location, links to state chapters of many professional organizations can be found through the state regulatory board for each respective profession.
Assistance for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
A range of resources is available to individuals with developmental disabilities. CMHCs serve as a front-line resource for individuals with developmental disabilities. Case management, day programming, respite, supported employment, residential (in some cases) services may be available, as are a number of waiver programs to coordinate supportive care and maximize functioning in the community setting. The definitive resource guide is the Disabilities Resource manual published by the Human Development Institute at University of Kentucky.
Support groups are helpful to many people. Local newspapers often list area groups.
SAMHSA (Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) provides a Web-based mental health information center and service locator that lists several state and national agency links that assist children and families with support.
The DBHDID website provides a host of information on services and programs in Kentucky.