WEST JEFFERSON– Ashe County now hosts a MindKare mental health screening kiosk, a touchscreen device that allows residents to learn about behavioral health conditions, participate in confidential assessments and find local treatment resources.
Vaya Health, a public managed healthcare organization, and community leaders unveiled the kiosk Friday afternoon at the Ashe County Public Library, located at 148 Library Road in West Jefferson.
One in four Americans has a diagnosable mental health condition, yet the vast majority does not seek treatment. A leading deterrent for seeking help is fear and stigma. MindKare kiosks are designed for use in public spaces and aim to reduce stigma by making learning about and screening for treatable conditions like depression or anxiety as commonplace as a blood pressure screening.
“Ashe County’s MindKare kiosk is an innovative part of our larger efforts to encourage people to seek help if they have concerns about their mental health or substance use,” said Vaya CEO Brian Ingraham. “This kiosk makes it easy for residents to connect with local treatment resources. It also reinforces the message that mental health is an important part of overall health, and that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Both our board and our organization are very pleased to be able to reinvest in our communities in this way, using cost-savings through effective Medicaid management.”
Western North Carolina residents can also take assessments online at www.vayamindful.org. Over the coming months, Vaya plans to fund the placement of MindKare kiosks in 23 counties throughout the mountains and foothills as part of the organization’s ongoing Community and Capital Reinvestment Plan.
About Vaya Health
Vaya Health manages public funds for mental health, substance use disorder and intellectual or developmental disability services in 23 North Carolina counties: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey. Access to services and crisis help are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-849-6127. Learn more at www.vayahealth.com.