The Mental Health Center to Open an Integrated Treatment Program for Overall Wellness
By Sandra Seney
The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester (MHCGM) will soon open a new integrated care program, ProHealth NH, which will bring primary care medical services into the community mental health center. The new clinic will begin offering unique whole health services for young people (ages 16-35) who may be experiencing challenges with mental illness. In 2018, a $10 million U.S. Department of Health And Human Services grant was awarded to the State of New Hampshire to implement ProHealth over five years in 3 communities across the state, with Manchester being one of those communities.
The goal of ProHealth NH is to integrate primary care medical services, such as screening, detection and treatment of physical health conditions within mental health agencies, in order to provide both physical and mental healthcare services in one location, rather than in isolation. The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester will partner with the City of Manchester’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center, Manchester Community Health Center (MCHC). The clinic will be located on the first floor of 1555 Elm Street in downtown Manchester, NH.
Statistics show that on average, Americans with major mental illness die 14 to 32 years earlier than the general population. According to the National Institute on Mental Health, “ Americans who have a Serious Mental Illness die of the same things that the rest of the population experience — cancer, heart disease, stroke, pulmonary disease, and diabetes; yet they are more likely to suffer chronic diseases associated with addiction (especially nicotine), obesity (sometimes associated with antipsychotic medication), and poverty (with its attendant poor nutrition and health care) and they may suffer the adverse health consequences earlier.”
In addition to the primary care services and health protective wellness programs offered through ProHealth, individuals can choose to partake in incentivized programs for weight management, nutrition, fitness, tobacco prevention, reduction and cessation. Through the integrated wellness approach, participants will have access to other specialty services and evidence-based medical and behavioral health treatments offered by the partnering agencies. The ProHealth format will allow participants to make lifestyle changes and utilize all the services and supports that are available for improving overall health outcomes.
William Rider, president and CEO of MHCGM stated “We are incredibly fortunate to have Manchester Community Health Center as our community partner on this project. Not only do they have a record of providing outstanding healthcare, but they have a long history of healthcare leadership, commitment to integrated care, and success with adapting to the community’s changing healthcare needs.”
Kris McCracken, president and CEO of MCHC stated, “We are looking forward to establishing a formal union between physical and mental healthcare through our new relationship with The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester. We are fortunate to have a long and positive history of working with this wonderful organization on collaborative projects that put patients at the front of and center of the care model. This partnership will provide our existing patients, as well as community members, access to affordable and accessible mental healthcare during one appointment, under one co-location, while still receiving the same quality and compassionate care MCHC has always delivered. We are very excited about the opportunity this presents and the continuity of care it will provide to our mutual patients”
The State of NH anticipates that approximately 1,100 people will participate in ProHealth NH, which will be offered by The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester, Nashua Community Mental Health Center and Community Partners serving Dover and Rochester. ProHealth, will be made available to individuals regardless of one’s ability to pay or insured status.
ProHealth’s integrated services for overall health and wellbeing will compliment other established programs of The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester such as; the Mobile Crisis Response Team, Inshape, Intensive Transition Team, Assertive Community Treatment and more. ProHealth NH is one more program in which MHCGM and other community partners have aligned to provide greater access to care with a network of services for those in need.
It is anticipated that the Manchester ProHealth service will be fully operational by August 2019.