Press releases from Meridian Behavioral Health Services
Evergreen Foundation grant to Meridian helps pay for needed Medications
With the rising costs of medication our communities are facing, we are seeing an increased need for additional supports to help those without insurance or other means to pay for their medications, get access to those medications. Thankfully the Evergreen Foundation has partnered with Meridian Behavioral Health Services to provide a Patient Assistance Program (PAP) for rural western North Carolina. The $37,000 grant for the year helps defray costs of Certified Medical Assistants, who support Meridian’s psychiatric providers and assist individual patients with obtaining their medications for free. This partnership between Meridian and Evergreen has resulted in our communities receiving much needed medications for free, which would otherwise cost millions of dollars. Meridian is a nonprofit behavioral health organization serving adults, children, and families the western counties of North Carolina. Meridian patients in Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Transylvania, Cherokee, Clay, and Graham counties have access to the Patient Assistance Program. Evergreen is a local nonprofit agency that provides grants, scholarships, infrastructure, and other supports to improve access to high quality behavioral health services.
Specialized Treatment for Trauma for Rural North Carolina
Meridian Behavioral Health is pleased to announce an exciting specialized trauma intervention that will be offered throughout Meridian’s service area. Thanks to a generous grant award from the Evergreen Foundation, Meridian has selected therapists from every service provided and from every county where Meridian provides service, to become trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR. This treatment process has been shown to achieve maximum effectiveness in the shortest period of time, which is important as our health care costs continue to climb. EMDR is an evidence-based practice that has been endorsed by numerous national organizations, including the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (2013), the AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION (2004) and DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (2004). It is a unique trauma intervention due to the level of effectiveness that is often attained within just a handful of sessions, particularly for individuals with discrete trauma events. This method has been successfully used for supporting and treating first responders, soldiers, and children. EMDR is often only offered in private practice settings, due to the high cost of clinician training and the level of commitment that is necessary to become proficient in the technique.
Thanks to the grant from the Evergreen Foundation, at least 25 of Meridian’s clinicians are being trained through the Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) which is the nonprofit arm of the EMDR Institute that provides trauma intervention around the world to individuals that are refugees or victims or wars and other disasters.
We are pleased to announce that at least one EMDR-trained clinician will be available within every service and/or at every site where adult or child services are offered by Meridian. This includes some of North Carolina’s most rural counties like Macon, Jackson, Cherokee, and Haywood. Based on available research, we anticipate that EMDR therapy will significantly impact individuals in our communities with symptoms of PTSD and allow the individual to function in a happier and healthier manner in their lives.