Pathways a core provider of services
by Sarah Fay Campbell
(Editor’s note: This is the fifth installment in the Times-Herald’s occasional series on mental health services in Coweta County — “Mental Health: The Hidden Story.”)
In Coweta, as well as in many of the other counties where it operates, the major mental health care provider is Pathways.
Pathways Community Service Board has outpatient locations in Newnan, Carroll County, Troup County, Meriwether County, Heard County, Spalding County and Lamar County. There is also an adult crisis stabilization unit in Troup County, Second Seasons, and a crisis stabilization unit for youth, Hope’s Corner, in Meriwether County.
Community service boards are public agencies created by state law, and there are boards to cover every county in the state.
Pathways offers a variety of services at the Coweta outpatient center, located on Perry Street in a building located behind the Value Teachers offices on Jefferson.
“We are known as a core provider,” said Jade Benefield, Pathways CEO. “We provide a wide range of services.”
There are outpatient services — including intakes and assessments and individual and family counseling services — as well as group therapy, including peer groups “that work on problem solving, self assessment and other types of issues,” Benefield said. Pathways offers nursing services, community support services, substance abuse services, and services for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Pathways accepts Medicaid and PeachCare, as well as private insurance, and offers a sliding fee scale for uninsured clients.
Community service board services are meant to provide a “safety net,” but "we work hard to not just be the provider of last resort,” said Benefield, who joined Pathways in late 2008. “We work hard to be the premier provider of services in our area.”
“I do think if you look at the qualifications of” some of Pathways' counselors and service providers, there are several who “are among the highest quality of caregivers that there are,” Benefield said.
“We’ve really been able to attract a lot of high-quality folks to provide our services,” she said.
When someone first comes to Pathways for services, they go through an assessment to determine “what services they would be most in need of.”
Pathways staff then match those needs with what the organization offers, and makes a recommendation for services.
Sometimes, patients start off at the crisis center. When they are stabilized, there is transition planning and the patients are directed to an outpatient center for intake and assessment. In addition to the outpatient services, “we have case management type services where they would go into their homes, meet them in the community,” Benefield said.
Second Seasons provides crisis stabilization for both mental health and substance abuse issues, including medically-supervised detoxification.
Pathways also offers services for individuals with developmental disabilities, including group homes and day services.
The many group therapy sessions include substance abuse groups and anger management. Peer groups are led by trained peer counselors who have already experienced what the people in the group are experiencing.
The majority of Pathways clients are there for basic counseling and therapy services for minor mental health issues, but the majority of services are provided for people with chronic mental health issues because they need more intensive services.
Services could range from “a group that meets five days a week for several hours to once every three months for some medication management,” Benefield said.
Pathways offers the ability to make appointments over the phone or online. Walk-in patients are also welcome, though they may have a long wait depending on volume.
For more information, call the Newnan location at 678-423-4610 or visit www.pathwayscsb.org.
For individuals in crisis, there is the statewide Georgia Crisis and Access Line, which is operated 24/7, at 1-800-715-4225.