Coping and Mental Health Resources
Mental health is an important part of well-being. Whether a child or parent is experiencing anxiety, "the blues", emotional stress about a diagnosis or a major mental illness affecting daily functioning, the resources below can help.
Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs)
Services for children and adults with mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse problems are provided through Kentucky's 14 regional mental health and mental retardation boards. County listings are available at the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID) website, as are phone listings for crisis and suicide helplines.
In addition to basic clinical services and counseling, a wide range of additional supports (e.g. in-school services, after-school programs, day treatment, etc.) are available in each region. Most regions offer a fairly complete array of services. The local CMHC will likely be a very valuable resource and is a good first step when attempting to find appropriate services.
Family Consultants and Support Navigating the System
Family to Family Health Information Resource Centers offer support through family consultants. In addition, each regional mental health provider employs a family liaison who remains available for peer-to-peer support and assistance in accessing services and formal support groups. A current list, with contact information for each liaison, is available on the DBHDID website.
This department infuses the consumer/parent perspective into policymaking and practice and maintains an Office for Consumer Advocacy to be responsive to needs and concerns. Links to several community groups are maintained on their website.
In addition to public services available through CMHCs, many communities have a wide variety of private providers in the helping professions (e.g., social workers, psychologists, professional counselors, etc.) available to assist families with problem solving. While a definitive directory is not available in a single location, links to state chapters of many professional organizations can be found through the state regulatory board for each respective profession.
Assistance for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
A range of resources is available to individuals with developmental disabilities. CMHCsserve as a front-line resource for individuals with developmental disabilities. Case management, day programming, respite, supported employment, residential (in some cases) services may be available, as are a number of waiver programs to coordinate supportive care and maximize functioning in the community setting. The definitive resource guide is the Disabilities Resource manual published by the Human Development Institute at University of Kentucky.
Support groups are helpful to many people. Local newspapers often list area groups.
SAMHSA (Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) provides a Web-based mental health information center and service locator that lists several state and national agency links that assist children and families with support.
The DBHDID website provides a host of information on services and programs in Kentucky.
Diagnosis Specific Resources
A wide variety of groups and organizations exist that may provide information and support for individuals with certain conditions as well as the professionals who work with them. Many of these links contain pages with helpful links to other resources. While this list is not comprehensive, it may be a good place to start when searching for more information.
Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by CCSHCN. Other resources may be available in your area.
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Financial and Utilities Resources
Sometimes families have a hard time managing the expenses of life and need to turn to agencies or programs that may be able to lend a financial helping hand to avert a crisis. While it is beyond the scope of this guide to list every possible local resource, a number of agencies exist statewide and serve all or most counties.
Programs available in all counties
Assistance.ky.gov is the governor's website created to link Kentucky families to resources they need. The first section deals with financial assistance for different circumstances.
Community Action Agencies: Community Action Agencies (CAAs) serve every county and assist families who have difficulty meeting basic needs through emergency assistance, employment services and heating/cooling/weatherization programs. To find a local CAA, visit the Community Action Kentucky website or call 800-456-3452.
Department for Community Based Services/Family Support provides a variety of programs (most notably Medicaid and food stamps) and maintains offices in every county. Find the local office at the DCBS website.
Programs available in many counties
United Way: Currently, 22 Kentucky counties in three regions nearest the largest urban areas are served by the 211 information and referral phone service. Many other counties, but not all, are served by the United Way. To find a local United Way, check the United Way of Kentucky website or contact 502-589-6897.
Family Resource and Youth Service Centers are school-based programs designed to help children and youth overcome barriers to learning. These centers are wonderful resources that can help families find programs in their communities. More information is available at this website.
Many local churches or houses of worship, whether large or small, are willing to assist with emergency needs. In some communities, ministerial associations or full-service denomination agencies, such as Catholic Charities, Jewish Community Federations, etc., exist.
Many national organizations or state/regional chapters of such organizations help certain populations (people with certain disabilities or diagnosis) and are listed on the Diagnosis-Specific Resources page.
A variety of charitable patient foundations exist. Examples include United Health Care Children's Foundation and the Colburn-Keenan Foundation.
Food and Nutrition Resources
Good, healthy food is essential for all children to achieve their physical and developmental potential, but being overweight can lead to serious health problems. To assure that children and youth with special health care needs are well-nourished, maintain a healthy weight, and are able to function in the activities of daily life, the following resoruces are provided.
CCSHCN Healthy Weight Partners
CCSHCN urges everyone to remember 5-2-1-0
- Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
- Limit TV & other screen time to 2 hours or less a day
- Participate in at least 1 hour of physical activity a day
- 0 soda and sugar-sweetened drinks
Check out the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s 5-2-1-0 website.
Food Insecurity/Hunger Programs
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – commonly known as food stamps, this program helps people with little or no money buy food for healthy meals at participating stores. Food benefits increase a household's food buying power when added to the household's money. Any household meeting basic income and other requirements may be able to receive food benefits.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) – a short-term intervention program designed to influence lifetime nutrition and health behavior in high-risk populations. WIC provides nutrition education and services, breastfeeding promotion and education and access to maternal, prenatal and pediatric health-care services. For more information contact your local Health Department. Be sure to be aware of the WIC Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program and the WIC Fit Program!
Abbott Nutrition Pathway Support System assists families with reimbursement issues/questions for their products. Pathway provides reimbursement information and assists in determining coverage for individuals who have Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance. This is helpful when encountering situations where families need assistance paying for Abbott Nutrition Products such as Pediasure, Elecare, Ensure, Jevity, Glucerna, or Vital. The Pathways HelpLine number is (800) 558-7677 or visit their website.
Other Nutrition Resources
Health Insurance Resources
Several types of private and public healthcare coverage is available. The resources below may be of help in obtaining coverage.
This website helps consumers and advocates explore coverage options and find out which private insurance plans, public programs and community services are available.
Kentucky Physicians Care
While this program does not provide health insurance, it may be a resource to those who are uninsured, ages 18-64. For more information about this program, call 1-800-633-8100 or visit its website.
Patient Services Incorporated
Patient Services Incorporated: PSI provides insurance case management and premium assistance for individuals with some severe chronic conditions. Applications can be made at its website or call 1-800-366-7741 for more information.
Government-Sponsored Programs: Medicaid and SSI
Medicaid Programs: Apply with local DCBS Family Support office.
- KTAP - this includes time-limited monetary assistance as well as Medicaid
- Medical-Only (Family Medicaid) - as above, but no monetary assistance available
- KCHIP - coverage for children whose families do not meet the income threshold for traditional Medicaid programs
- Spend-Down - for those with high medical expenses that, when subtracted from income would make them eligible for Medicaid
- Home and Community Based Waiver
- Presumptive Eligibility - prenatal care for pregnant women while Medicaid eligibility is being determined
Supplemental Security Income provides benefits for disabled children within certain income guidelines. Apply through Social Security or at one of 27 Social Security offices throughout the state.
Shelter is a basic human need. An array of federal, state and local initiatives is available to assist those who need to find affordable housing.
Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) and Other Assistance
Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC, 87 counties) and local public housing authorities(33 counties) can help clients apply for housing assistance that meets their needs. Subsidized rent in some apartment complexes is available (Project-Based Rental Assistance) as is Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities.
KHC sponsors the KY Rents website which matches potential tenants with available rentals and also maintains the Assisted Rental Housing Directory which attempts to list all apartments and homes statewide.
While homeownership may not be an option for everyone, voluntary programs are out there to help self-sufficient families toward this goal. HUD provides overview information about vouchers and other assistance that may be available and links to Kentucky agencies that can help.
Tenant Assistance Organizations
The Legal Aid Network of Kentucky maintains a summary of legal protections for Kentucky renters. Larger communities may have dedicated agencies that specifically mediate disputes or provide general information for tenants. Housing discrimination complaints may be filed online, by phone, by mail or in person.
Kentucky Housing Corporation provides the Homeless Resource Guide that offers listings for homeless service providers, emergency shelters, transitional and permanent housing programs, mental health services and other agencies that serve the homeless.
Domestic Violence Programs/Shelters
In addition to providing safe shelters, domestic violence programs in Kentucky provide a variety of support services to both residents and non-residents of shelters. To contact any of the programs, visit the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence website or call the National DV hotline at (800) 799-SAFE; TDD (800) 787-3224; the local DCBS office or law enforcement agency.
Listed below are possible solutions for families who may have difficulty affording medications.
Kentucky Prescription Assistance Program (KPAP)
The CHFS Department of Public Health has launched the KPAP initiative, a network of community resources to help Kentuckians locate free or reduced-cost prescription medications. Sites are located in counties statewide where citizens have access to volunteers and computer technology allowing them to locate assistance programs. To find a KPAP site, contact 1-800-633-8100.
Patient Assistance Programs
Most major drug companies offer programs that provide free medications to people who can't afford them. Program requirements vary by manufacturer. The following Web sites can help families access some of these manufacturer programs.
- Partnership for Prescription Assistance Pharmaceutical industry-sponsored web site with phone help line staffed by trained specialists (888-477-2669)
- Needy Meds Web site run by non-profit, includes information about disease-based programs
- Rx Assist Web site run by government-supported national resource center
If you can't find a specific medication on these sites, contact the manufacturer to ask if it has a patient assistance program, reimbursement program, indigent patient program, compassionate care program or medical needs program that will cover the medication you need.
Pharmacy Chain Discount Prescriptions
Many chain pharmacies have special pricing on generic prescriptions ranging from free to $4 per month. This list is not intended to be complete and there may be other resources in your area. Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by CCSHCN.
Mail Order and 90-Day Prescriptions
For those who do carry insurance with prescription coverage, mail-order benefits may be available under your policy or through mail-order pharmacies; for example, Rx Outreach. In addition to saving money, families may be spared unnecessary trips to the pharmacy.
Prescription Drug Discount Cards
Many drug discount cards are available that families may benefit from. The Needy Meds site mentioned above offers such a card, or a simple internet search will yield multiple other products which offer significant savings.
Kentucky Physicians Care (KPC) providers donate time and materials to provide free, one-time routine care to low-income, uninsured Kentuckians. KPC also provides selected free prescription assistance through a partnership with several pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Medicaid arranges transportation to and from medically necessary services for Medicaid recipients. Non-emergency transportation is administered statewide through a regionally contract system called the Human Service Transportation Delivery Program (HSTD).
Wheelchair-accessible bus transportation and/or door-to-door para-transit service for people certified as ADA-eligible is available in metropolitan areas. More information, including routes, schedules, trip planner and fare/pass details are available at the Web sites below:
Community Action Agencies and others may have taken advantage of a variety of federal incentives to set up a transportation system for rural/non-urbanized areas for persons with disabilities. For a directory of transit agencies in Kentucky listed by county, refer to the Kentucky Transit Links maintained by the American Public Transportation Association.