Access to mental health treatment does not come easy for all. For the single mother who has not one minute to spare between her two jobs and caring for her children, for the homeless man who is wondering where his next meal will come from, and for the struggling family provider who commutes two hours by bus to make ends meet, a mental health consult may seem far from reach.
With many citizens not getting help with their mental health issues, the folks at our Fresno campus were noticing a serious and widespread issue in the community. Police and hospitals were becoming overwhelmed with the booming need for mental health services. Many 911 calls and visits to the emergency room were spurred by psychological issues. And lack of resources coupled with bureaucratic disorganization gave way to what was known as the “Fresno Shuffle.” Underprivileged residents with mental health needs would be shuffled from department to department to attain treatment and would eventually just fall through the cracks. It was in the wake of this tremendous need that local government agencies, institutions (Alliant among them), and mental health organizations banded together to create the Multi-Agency Access Program (MAP). MAP is an integrated intake process that connects individuals facing housing, substance abuse, physical health, or mental illness challenges to supportive services matching individuals and families to the right resources; their tagline says it all: Right Place, Right Care, First Time.
For the past year and a half Alliant’s Fresno campus has hosted the MAP Community Conversations events where the leaders of Fresno and surrounding counties come together to help efficiently address the communities’ needs. This is a project near and dear to many of Alliant’s Fresno faculty, students and alumni because it provides a concentrated effort to improve mental health services for any and all.
“The Fresno Alliant Campus is excited to be a part of the local mental health community and we are happy to be able to host this important group,” said Dr. Raymond C. D. Greer, adjunct professor and advisor, Office of Professional Training at the California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno campus. “This program helps us to see what types of training and education our students need to be able to go into our hometowns and effect meaningful change.”
It is through efforts like MAP that the Alliant family’s passion, compassion, and vision shine through. We are proud to know that our students, faculty, and staff embody true dedication to the profession of psychology and ensuring that mental health treatment takes its place as a priority in all of our communities.