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Posted 11/30/2020

ECO Partnership with NCWR Provides Hope to Rural Communities

“Everyone knows everyone in a small town and patients are uncomfortable seeking treatment for problems like addiction,” explains Rachel Lindemann, LPC, LADC, behavioral health supervisor for East Central Oklahoma Behavioral Health Clinic in Henryetta. “People are afraid to ask for help with addiction because of what other people might think.”

The stigma of addiction is one of the top barriers to getting treatment, and the team in Henryetta recognizes this challenge and works to help those struggling with mental health and substance use disorders feel more comfortable asking for help.

In addition to professional counseling services, the ECO behavioral health team has partnered with the National Center for Wellness & Recovery (NCWR) to deliver expert addiction care virtually in Henryetta and Wetumka.

The Virtual Addiction Treatment Services program allows patients in rural communities to have virtual appointments with NCWR’s medical and behavioral specialists located in Tulsa. Patients receive one-on-one clinic time with an NCWR addiction medicine physician in a private setting using a confidential video platform.

Approximately 19 million people in the U.S. suffer from substance use disorders and nearly half of these individuals are also diagnosed with a mental illness. "Both substance use disorders and mental illness are complex brain diseases that often co-occur and benefit when they are both treated simultaneously," explains Kelly Dunn, M.D., executive director of clinical treatment at NCWR.

“Addictive behaviors are treatable with individualized medical and behavioral therapy, and our partnership with ECO and other rural health care facilities across Oklahoma is an extension of this expert care and ensures no community or individual is left behind on their treatment path,” said Dunn.

Each staff member at ECO Behavioral Health Center plays a critical role in caring for patients in Henryetta and surrounding communities. Counselors, nurses, outreach and administrative team members are working daily to raise awareness about mental health and substance use disorders; educate the community on available treatments, encourage them to seek care and inspire hope for those suffering from addictive behaviors.

Deanne Vick | November 2020