Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 12:47 pm | Overcast 63º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Advice

Seeing an Opportunity, PathPoint Opens Counseling Center Next to New Santa Barbara Office

When a tenant next to PathPoint’s new offices moved out earlier this year, the Santa Barbara nonprofit organization saw an opportunity.

PathPoint, which provides support and services to people with disabilities and mental illness, had just moved to its new location at 315 W. Haley St. when space next door became available.

As a condition of its rental agreement at its previous office at East Carrillo and Laguna streets, Pathpoint was not allowed to see patients on-site.

That “was a real problem,” said Jennifer Newbold, PathPoint’s vice president of behavioral health.

The new Haley Street building has no such restrictions, however, and plans were quickly drawn up to turn the vacant space into a counseling center. It opened in October.

The demand for mental health counseling and therapy has escalated since the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which vastly expanded the number of people eligible for Medi-Cal. But the influx of the newly insured was met with a dearth of therapists to see them, Newbold said.

PathPoint’s behavioral health division serves about 250 people. Newbold, however, said she noticed a gap of care between people who were severely mentally ill and could be seen by county programs and others who needed care in the community or who lacked insurance.

Now that many of those people are covered by Medi-Cal, she hopes the counseling center can take some of the pressure off local demand.

Within two weeks of opening, the counseling center had 14 referrals, an affirmation that the need was there.

People are referred to the center through the Holman Group, which works with CenCal Health, the Medi-Cal administrator for low-income residents of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

Newbold said the counseling center has four marriage and family therapists and is in the process of hiring two more.

There’s no psychiatrist on staff yet, but the organization hopes at some point to expand and hire for that.

“There seems to be so much need,” Newbold remarked.

PathPoint was able to convert the vacant space into a waiting room and a therapy room, with its corporate offices next door.

The center is open Monday through Friday by appointment only. The center currently only sees patients insured by Medi-Cal, but Newbold said a future goal includes accepting insurance from other partners.

PathPoint also offers on-site services at several area housing authority developments.

Click here for more information about PathPoint, or call 805.966.3310.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >