Tippecanoe County mental health leaders call for action this legislative session

Local mental health leaders are asking state lawmakers for four things in 2020.

Posted: Jan 7, 2020 6:33 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — A future with better mental health services in Tippecanoe County could be up to the General Assembly session this year. Local mental health leaders are asking state lawmakers for four things in 2020.

- Increase mental health and addiction funding.

- Support mental health and addiction workforce development.

- Reduce administrative burdens in the community mental health and addiction service delivery.

- Continued support of mental health services within our schools.

Practice Manager Stafka Poweleit with the Meridian Addictions and Recovery Center said each issue directly affects another.

“When we look at the Medicaid products, the cost that it cost me to provide those services, Medicaid pays me under that so my ends will never meet so how do I be able to keep providing services to people that need it? Well I can't pay my staff as much as I would like to,” said Poweleit.

This affects the number of people choosing to pursue a career in the mental health field.

“Where we continue to struggle is workforce and that's with providers both MD's and licensed clinical social workers and nurses and so we are in a workforce shortage area,” said Zoe Frantz, Valley Oaks Mental Health Chief Strategy Officer.

Along with staff shortages, some mental health services are also finding it difficult to work around certain regulations.

“We have to get prior authorizations to treat mental health, whereas, if somebody's having a cardiac arrest, we don't have to get a prior authorization to revive somebody so why do we have to do that with a mental health crisis,” said Sheri Moore, NAMI West Central Indiana Executive Director. 

Frantz said Tippecanoe County mental health services have come a long way since all the different organizations decided to partner. She said it has helped fill the gaps for those needing help.

“There were a number of access issues, where people could not get services and so a group of leaders within our community came together to figure out how we could address the need,” said Frantz.

There are nearly 10 different mental health organizations offered in Tippecanoe County. The organization leaders meet regularly to update each other on the status of their services. As these groups work to be on the same page, they’re hoping state lawmakers also take part.

“Our hands are tied without our legislators' support," said Moore. "If we get their support and help us move this forward, we're going to be able to help provide service to more people and help manage mental health."

These mental health leaders say the problems they face affect everyone. They're encouraging the community to advocate with them.

Here's who you can reach out to if you're interested in helping:

List of legislators

Brian Buchanan, Indiana State Senator, District 7
Phone 317-234-9426
Email Senator.Buchanan@iga.in.gov

Ron Alting, Indiana State Senator, District 22
Phone 317-232-9541
Email Senator.Alting@iga.in.gov

Phil Boots, Indiana State Senator, District 23
Phone 317-234-9054
Email Senator.Boots@iga.in.gov

Sharon Negele, Indiana State Representative, District 13
Phone 317-232-9816
Email h13@iga.in.gov

Don Lehe, Indiana State Representative, District 25
Phone 317-234-2993
Email h25@iga.in.gov

Chris Campbell, Indiana State Representative, District 26
Phone 317-232-9794
Email h26@iga.in.gov

Sheila Klinker, Indiana State Representative, District 27
Phone 317-232-9875
Email h27@iga.in.gov

Tim Brown, Indiana State Representative, District 41
Phone 317-232-9651
Email h41@iga.in.gov

West Lafayette
Few Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 85°
Kokomo
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 73°
Rensselaer
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 75°
Fowler
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 84°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 76°
Frankfort
Overcast
79° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 81°
Delphi
Overcast
76° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 76°
Monticello
Overcast
76° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 76°
Logansport
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49575

Reported Deaths: 2739
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11812690
Lake5337247
Elkhart343257
Allen2867133
St. Joseph202569
Cass16439
Hamilton1629101
Hendricks1439100
Johnson1306118
Porter78038
Tippecanoe7439
Clark67144
Madison66864
Vanderburgh6296
LaPorte59727
Bartholomew59245
Howard58258
Kosciusko5654
Marshall5217
Noble49128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4773
Delaware46052
Boone45944
Hancock45736
Shelby43425
Floyd39144
Morgan32831
Monroe31528
Grant30226
Montgomery29720
Henry29316
Dubois2906
Clinton2882
White26810
Decatur25532
Lawrence25125
Dearborn24723
Vigo2408
Warrick23229
Harrison21722
Greene19132
Miami1892
Jennings17912
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess15017
Wayne1496
Perry1409
Orange13623
Steuben1332
Franklin1278
Jasper1252
Ripley1247
Wabash1152
Carroll1122
Fayette1037
Gibson1032
Newton9910
Whitley995
Starke963
Huntington822
Randolph804
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox650
Clay644
Rush603
Owen511
Adams491
Posey490
Benton480
Spencer461
Sullivan451
Brown421
Blackford392
Fountain332
Crawford320
Tipton311
Switzerland280
Parke240
Martin220
Ohio210
Vermillion170
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events