Misinformation makes it difficult for users and caregivers to navigate the mental healthcare system, consisting of multiple levels of care and different types of services. According to the Mental Health Needs Council of Harris County (2015), 62% of the people suffering from a mental health issue in Houston in 2015 did not have access to treatment. The list of reasons includes insufficient state funding, inefficient policies, shortage of insurance coverage, stigma, but mostly a lack of connections between different levels of care and multiple types of services. More often than not, users and their families have the lonely task of building bridges between programs and negotiating with various agencies, and even mental health providers have little understanding of this complex network.
Real Talk is committed to helping individuals and caregivers to explore what resources they may need, want, or be required to access. It sometimes is a combination of resource acquisition that a case manager assists their client with. Case Management is a role that requires creativity, resourcefulness, and skillful networking.
Case managers and therapists should operate from a client-centered or person-centered perspective. For example, the case manager or therapist should not develop plans or courses of action based solely on their (the provider’s) perspective. Engagement with clients must put the client first. Collaboration is a central theme for case managers and therapists. Case managers and therapists can both navigate behavioral health systems and, although sometimes from different vantage points, both bring unique approaches to connecting their clients to “resources”.
While conventionally practiced in agency settings, clinical case management can be effectively implemented in private practice settings with child, adult and geriatric populations. In such instances, the psychotherapeutic elements in this work may be reimbursed through conventional insurance while other interventions, including phone contact, travel time and collateral contacts, can be reimbursed on a fee-for-service basis.