Front row l-r; Monica Reed and Keira Wyatt from CONNECT, Vivian Shipe, MHAET board member and founder, I AM The Voice of the Voiceless, and Deborah Porter with New Directions Health Care; Back row l-r; Ben Harrington CEO of MHAET, and WBIR personality and emcee, and Katie Inman. Photo by Cynthia Finch

By Vivian Shipe

New QR scan code for those seeking help Photo by Vivian Shipe

KNOXVILLE, TN —  During the 5th Annual B4Stage4 Luncheon held at the end of September in Knoxville, the MHAET launched its newest initiative, one that meets the gap of the insured who are not able to receive mental health care assistance. The newest program is called the Treatment Access Bank. This program will provide mental health treatment access for those living above the 138% poverty line and can’t afford to pay therapy copays or high deductibles.

The program was started with funding from the City of Knoxville and Trinity Health Foundation and will match clients with therapists in the community and a peer specialist from the Peer Recovery Center, another MHAET initiative already in use.

Special Guest Speaker Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. Photo by Vivian Shipe

The program comes out of an initiative to promote mental health awareness and provide more access to health care that is heavily supported by Knox County Mayor Glen Jacobs, a strong supporter of mental health care, Mayor Jacobs was a special guest speaker at the luncheon and was also a driving force behind the production of a State of Mental Health Report of Knox County. The report, the first of its kind in the nation, created a data driven picture of where the county stands and what is needed to help the citizens.

The luncheon was well attended by local and state leaders including Lt. Governor Randy McNally. Over 26 mental health organizations attended as did many community leaders and partners.