Mental Health America of Kentucky
Job Title: Executive Director
Member of KHC for: 3 years
What KHC committees have you participated? Mental Health
Provide a brief description of your job: MHA Kentucky provides education on mental wellness for everyone, not only someone with a diagnosed mental illness. We also advocate for system change promoting early understanding, screening, and intervention for mental health issues.
Lowering cost is one of the three main priorities of the Triple Aim. What are the best strategies for addressing cost in our community?
Early identification, intervention and treatment are the best strategies for reducing community cost of mental health issues and mental illness. Too often, we only treat people with mental illness at “Stage 4” – with involuntary commitment or imprisonment. Those are the most expensive options. Our B4Stage4 initiative encourages early intervention for long-term savings, in addition to other benefits.
Improving health is one of the three main priorities of the Triple Aim. What are the best strategies for improving health in our community?
Incorporating mental health into our view of wellness is crucial to improving overall health. A number of physical ailments co-exist or are exacerbated by mental health concerns such as stress and anxiety. Too often, providers and health care decision-makers still stigmatize mental health issues or ignore their role in overall well being. That has to change.
Why do you and your organization belong to the KHC? What do you find most valuable as a member?
We decided to join the KHC when mental health and substance use disorder became priority issues, and we have not regretted taking that leap. The connections we have made with other stakeholders in the system have grown our mutual understanding.
Why do you think a multi-stakeholder coalition like the KHC is needed in the community?
Multi-stakeholder coalitions are drivers of real, systemic change. KHC has already provided many reports to the community at large that would have been impossible without collaboration from a variety of areas. It’s important to have a unified voice when asking for systemic change, and KHC has been a respected one.
What is your favorite quote?
“Words and ideas really can change the world,” Dead Poet’s Society.
What is your favorite app or social media outlet?
I’m a social media nerd. My favorite platform these days is Twitter (@MarcieTimmerman) but I’m part of some amazing Facebook groups.
What is your dream vacation spot?
Some day, I will get to Ireland.