Hancock Health Foundation: Making Mental Health Possible

When Hancock Health set out to make health possible for our community, we were thinking about much more than fighting disease, healing broken bones, or even bringing new life into the world. We were also thinking about Hancock County’s mental health.

That’s because we knew our friends and neighbors needed help, and the statistics proved it:

  • One in four American adults, and one in five children, live with mental illness.
  • Indiana ranks second in the nation for suicide attempts among young people.
  • 65 percent of Hancock County youth report knowing someone who has had serious thoughts of suicide.
  • Indiana ranks fifth in the U.S. for states with the worst drug problems.

“As it stands now, we are underserving for mental health and substance abuse. But when we invest in programs to address these problems, we help our communities become a lot stronger,” said Dr. DeLynn Williams of Hancock Counseling and Psychiatric Services. “I think a lot of people think mental health is a choice or substance abuse is a choice. But we know that some people have higher levels of genetic and biological predisposition, so these things need to be treated.”

Enter Hancock Health Foundation’s campaign to make a difference in our community.  Our goal is to raise $3.5 million to build the mental health and substance use treatment capacity we need to support our growing community. We need more professionals. More treatment options for more people. And more capacity to fund the programs our community desperately needs.

Funds raised will be used for:

  • Rapidly connecting patients with care by adding 10 licensed clinical social workers, plus a new psychiatrist, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and other staff.
  • Dramatically increasing our capacity to provide individual and group therapy—and add medication-assisted treatment.
  • Adding two recovery and mental health-focused navigators to help patients and family choose treatment options, identify and overcome barriers, and stay on a path to wellness.
  • Increasing our ability to assess mental health and substance abuse disorders and direct patients to the right care.
  • Developing youth programs, including school-based prevention and early intervention and treatment services.

Right now, Hancock Health Foundation has an endowment holding $2.6 million to help pay for this program, but funding ongoing operations will require the additional $3.5 million we are trying to raise. Funds will go to the endowment to ensure the financial stability of the program in perpetuity.

“Too many people are falling through the cracks because mental health has been very low down on the list for getting funding,” said Dr. Melinda Cobb, also of Hancock Counseling and Psychiatric Services. “This is an effort to address that.”

Without additional treatment options, the community will pay for the problem in different and more tragic ways, added Williams.

“If we don’t spend what we need to on mental health, then we have higher crises in schools, long-term hospitalizations, residential treatment, burials, and other types of issues—so we’re going to pay for it one way or another,” said Williams. “I think we’re a better society if we pay for it on the earlier end.”

And that’s what we’re trying to do at Hancock Health Foundation. If this campaign is something you’d like to help fund immediately, thank you for donating now. Or if you’d like more information, check out our website, download our brochure or call the foundation office at 317-468-4583.

Dr. DeLynn Williams and Dr. Melinda Cobb have offices at Hancock Counseling and Psychiatric Services, 120 W. McKenzie Road in Greenfield. They can be reached at 317-468-6200.