Schuylkill County to re-make mental health treatment

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Dec 11, 2015 3:46 AM

(Pottsville) -- Schuylkill County is asking some people how it can better help those with mental illness.

The responses will then be used to re-make the county's treatment plans.

Schuylkill County's administrator for the mental health department, Dan McGrory, says he's expecting a radical transformation of its work.

He says staff are starting to meet with families to get a sense of what they would like to see.

Already, he says they're considering reducing the number of service providers because some families can feel overwhelmed and confused.

McGrory says this has been a learning experience for his office.

"We all want to do what is best, we sometimes rush ahead of ourselves. Are the families with us? Or are the kids with us?" says McGrory.

McGrory says his staff is also learning about trauma-based treatment for those with mental illnesses.

"What occurred and how do you come about a resolution to that, or an accomodation with that trauma that you've suffered?" he adds.

Often, he says, a specific event led to depression or anger issues, and Schuylkill County is starting to work towards addressing the specific incident first.

He says revamping the county's mental health care could take years, and he's hoping the county will provide funding when a federal grant runs out.

The transformation may also reduce the number of treatment providers per person, as a way to reduce stress at a time when it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

McGrory says the changes are only just starting and could take years.

Schuylkill County is part of a group of 23 Pennsylvania counties that are implementing the new plan.

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