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New psychiatric outpatient clinic reportedly doing well

Published August 16. 2013 05:04PM

A new psychiatric outpatient clinic in Carbon County is doing well, officials report.

During the Carbon County Child and Family Collaborative Board meeting on Wednesday, Kellie Price, supervisor of Behavioral Health Services at Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21, updated the group on the clinic, which "aims to provide support and assistance in the development of adaptive skills in order for the client to function positively in their family, school and community."

The new outpatient clinic is located at the Penn-Kidder Elementary School in Jim Thorpe but is open to anyone in need of psychiatric services.

She noted that the idea for the clinic began after the collaborative identified psychiatric services as an area that was lacking in parts of the county.

"Albrightsville is very remote," she said, "and there are no services there so people have to travel to Palmerton, Lehighton or the Poconos."

CLIU was chosen to take on this project last year and began working to get the telepsychiatry center operational.

There were a few snags along the way, Price noted, including delays in obtaining the necessary approval from the state.

The clinic began counseling sessions in February and takes students, families and adults who are referred to the program by guidance counselors or other agencies.

Since then, there have been 32 referrals for the clinic and currently 14 individuals active in therapy.

Price explained the clinic does take outside insurance and contracts with a few of the major insurance companies.

There are two licensed therapists on board that are conducting telepsychiatry sessions.

Price added that the children referred to the clinic have been very receptive to the telepsychiatry sessions.

Jeanne Miller, co-chairperson of the collaborative, said that it is amazing to see this project come to fruition.

In addition to Albrightsville, there are also psychiatric outpatient services through the CLIU available in Palmerton, Allentown and Orefield.

For more information or to make a referral, contact Suzanne M. Schaeffer, LPC, clinic coordinator, at 1-800-223-4821, ext. 2234.

In other matters, Miller thanked everyone who wrote letters and made calls to area legislators in support of the SHINE Afterschool program.

Recently, the state earmarked over $400,000 for the program, which was in jeopardy of not running for the 2013-2014 school year due to lack of funding.

The elementary SHINE program and the middle school Career Academy will now both begin in October.

Miller also pointed out that on Oct. 17, at 5 p.m., the Lights On program will take place and will celebrate the students achievements; as well as the fact that the program was able to continue. The event is tentatively scheduled for Panther Valley High School.

The collaborative, which is comprised of a number of organizations and agencies, also updated the board on happenings going on that help children and families.

The next collaborative meeting is slated for Oct. 9, at 9 a.m., at the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency, Nesquehoning.

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