Entry Points of Mental Healthcare Project
Individuals with mental illnesses face a variety of challenges obtaining proper healthcare, including financial and insurance barriers, a shortage of trained providers, language and cultural barriers, and stigmatization. Gaining an understanding of the challenges the mental health community faces and the barriers to seeking appropriate care, as defined by community members, will provide an invaluable learning experience to medical trainees.
Students in healthcare may be unaware of the consequences of untreated mental health problems, which include the risks of suicide and early mortality, but also intersect with homelessness, food insecurity, job loss and economic hardship. Through collaboration with community members and partnerships, the students may learn from community members’ lived experiences and be compelled to lead their own mental health research projects.
The goal of this program is to improve the experience of both mentally ill patients and healthcare professionals when they encounter each other in the healthcare system at any entry point. This upcoming project will focus on identifying community needs, improving the curriculum at CU SOM through educational initiatives, and establishing a sustainable relationship with mental health community partnerships.