By Chris Sardelli

Crisis shelters, youth therapy groups and a variety of family services were all on display at CCPGM’s Behavioral Health Fair on June 22.

Held at CCPGM’s Hedgemore facility, the event featured several agencies who spotlighted their services for the local medical community.

CCPGM’s Behavioral Health program coordinator Chiquita Patterson said the goal is to establish a strong network of providers in the area.

“My hope is for community stakeholders to learn more about other Behavioral Health providers and collaborate more with each other. We want everyone in the community to be aware about the various agencies that are available,” Patterson said.

Keshia Ginn, with Mecklenburg County Mobile Crisis Team, was on hand to explain her team’s many services, from emergency psychiatric assessments to family interventions. Looking around the room she called the fair a “great collaborative effort.”

“It’s an amazing event and an opportunity to have providers come together and learn about services each agency provides,” Ginn said. “Most of us come into contact with the same group of consumers and continuity of care is important, so we want to make sure consumers get the care they need.”

Her group’s primary goal is to provide Mecklenburg County residents with crisis assistance.

“We respond to mental health situations, substance abuse problems and situational crises,” she said. “We dispatch wherever we are needed at no cost, for all ages, 24/7, 365 days a year. The goal is to go out and stabilize crises and prevent emergency room visits.”

Hughes Crisp, relational manager with Alexander Youth Network, was also pleased with the event. His agency offers a wide variety of therapeutic and psychiatric services for children.

“This is an investment in our future. It’s always great to see other providers with the same passion. All we can do is leave a legacy for the kids, the world and the future,” Crisp said. “We use a specific therapeutic model to meet children where they are that is not punitive. It’s not about punishment, but finding ways to help them self-regulate.”

With brochures in hand, community liaison Jesse Stroud stood nearby to discuss his group, Turning Point Family Services.

“What I find most useful (about this fair)- not only to collaborate with other people that are in the field and find good referral sources- is just to be able to explain firsthand about our agency,” he said. “To explain what we do, what services we offer and to just to try and be a help to people.”

For Lisa Porter, who works at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center and attended the fair with her coworkers, the event was “wonderful and really helpful.”

“I know with our patients who have developmental disabilities, some are not getting serious needs addressed so having this fair and knowing everyone who could help is great,” she said. “They feel more confident and so do we. It really helps.”

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