Seven Counties Services expands mental health care access to Kentuckians

By Hayley Robb, Building Kentucky

Kentucky residents will receive expanded mental health care access and outpatient services, thanks to Seven Counties Services being named a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) agency. The program is made possible through federal funding, administered by the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services.

43.1% of Kentuckians living with a mental illness receive no mental health treatment, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). One of the main reasons for the lack of treatment is the statewide mental health care shortage. Not to mention, nearly half of the state’s population is living in rural communities, which makes it even harder to access mental health care with longer commutes to metro areas, financial limitations and other challenges.

CCBHCs aim to solve this problem, providing easy access to care when people need it most. The program is designed with four goals in mind:

  • To provide high-quality outpatient mental health and substance use services
  • To reduce barriers to health care services (i.e. financial, transportation, insurance limitations, place of residence, long waiting lists, etc.)
  • To increase effective, research-based care practices
  • To address mental health and physical health needs at the same time

“Seven Counties Services is our community mental health center, and we pride ourselves in providing the most comprehensive system of care in our region.” said Abby Drane, Seven Counties Services CEO and President. “We recognize the challenges our region, our neighbors, our loved ones and our staff have been through over the past two years. This program is just one more step in the right direction providing greater support, resources and health care access to Kentuckians.” 

Through this program, clients receive a thorough screening for physical health factors that could impact their mental health, and vice versa.

Clients will also experience care that is coordinated with their health care providers outside of Seven Counties Services, including U.S. Armed Forces members and veterans. The program will provide a military-informed care approach to veterans and coordinate community-based care with their Veterans Health Administration (VHA) providers, if applicable.

In 2018, Seven Counties Services received separate funding to start a similar program serving Bullitt County.

The initial grant provided $2 million per year for four years to expand rural services and evolved to include an additional $250 million in emergency spending for the Covid-19 response.

Building on the success of the Bullitt County program, new mental health services will be implemented across Jefferson, Henry, Tremble, Spencer, Shelby and Oldham counties.

For more information about the CCBHC agency certification or the work at Seven Counties Services, visit

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