Whole Person Care Resources in North Central Washington
Did you know that there are over 2500 social service resources serving North Central Washington?
- Okanogan, Twisp, Pateros, Brewster, Oroville, Chelan and other surrounding communities have mental health resources and access to health care through innovative local and regional programs, mobile clinics, and passionate community involvement.
- Although Wenatchee has the majority of the primary care doctors, major hospital services, and more behavioral health services, Chelan and Okanogan have added new clinics and services over the past five years.
Click here for more free information on COVID 19 Molina Resources "Medical Provider Shortages - Insufficient access to competent providers is a challenge throughout the region. There is a shortage of providers, especially specialty providers in the north central region. The problem increases as the distance from Wenatchee increases". This was outlined in studies sited on the North Central Accountable Community of Health (NCACH.org) website. Many studies of rural health care and rural behavioral healthcare site professional burn-out and isolation as a contributing factor in isolated communities such as Bridgeport, Pateros, and Chelan. The often-tight nit and isolated communities found in rural areas supplant care through community action, individual community members and businesses who provide assistance for health care access. Finding ways to maximize these connections and capitalize on the resilient resources already available in rural communities is a focus of groups like the NCACH.
CODIV19 crisis increases mental health issues while resources are more restricted. Most behavioral health and substance abuse services in Okanogan County and other counties in North Central Washington are getting creative with using texting, phone and video services to continue working and providing services. Contact providers for more information on their specific process. For active-duty military, reserves and guard service members and families, www.MilitaryOneSource.mil offers free counseling. Veterans are eligible for virtual sessions through Triwest and Tricare. Most insurance companies are reimbursing for virtual sessions during the crisis.
Education, Training, Jobs
Access to education and jobs has a direct and measurable impact on the social determinants of health. Since North Central Washington struggles with unemployment, poverty and a very high rate of workers with no high school diplomas, this is a crucial area of focus when it comes to the health of the region. Again, the community resiliency and alternative ways of looking at these problems have helped create effective ways to help people stay employed, gain skills and find employment. For example, check out, Okanogan Work Source is a "one-stop-shop" for unemployment and job resources. As of March 2020, independent contractors and employees are eligible for unpredicted unemployment assistance. Contact the Employment Security Department https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment Also, small businesses are being helped to continue to with payroll through SBA. Check out the Paycheck Protection Program. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options
Children, Families, Seniors
Aging at home in rural communities throughout North Central Washington is a huge concern for many families. Aging and Adult Care of Central Washington in Omak is a resource many in surrounding communities like Tonasket, Brewster, and Malott rely on for information on how to care for aging parents, partners and community members. Click on this link to see some of the resources they have shared for January 2020.
Financial, Legal, Housing, Disaster
Rural North Central Washington has grassroots organizations and volunteers who help fill the gaps in the limited services in this region. The Okanogan County Community Action Council (OCCAC) is a group offering help for homelessness and others struggling with winter challenges. Follow this link to see the events the OCCAC has in January 2020 in Nespelem, Pateros, Tonasket, Omak, and Okanogan.
Many sources quote Pentagon figures that 44% of active duty service members are from rural communities. If you include the number of the reserve, guard, and veterans, rural communities are often hit hard trying to care for our service members and their families. With fewer resources, this is not an easy mission. The Department and of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs acknowledges this problem and has created some interesting programs to help. According to the Office of Rural Health Winter 2020 newsletter, "In addition, clinicians who serve rural communities may feel professionally isolated and have fewer career development opportunities, leading them to leave rural practice. For rural communities, it is critical to recruit talented clinicians and to find educational growth opportunities to help retain current health care providers. This allows providers to enhance their skills and combat career fatigue." Because PRN365 is dedicated to serving those who serve our nation, we have spent extra time finding resources, and we are always on the lookout for new resources that our services members and their families have earned. This access to relevant and useful information helps rural providers combat career and compassion fatigue.
Community Support and Activities
Whole person health and social determinant of health are crucial when determining community resilience. Crucial to healthy living and illness prevention are social connections, community involvement, and access to fun activities. This is why PRN365 lists some low fee and fun things for people to enjoy in their area. In addition, among community activities, we list community centers, senior centers and places to volunteer. If you would like to contribute to the dialogue and let your community know about activities, fill out our contact form to send us ideas.
Have you wondered how to evaluate if a resource is licensed, what different licenses actually mean, how highly rated they are in the field and what other people are saying about the services they offer? It is hard enough to find a resource, and it is even harder to figure out if they are appropriate to use. PRN365 lists licensing agencies for professions and have come up with some interesting professional evaluating resources so you don't need to guess. Getting help is hard, receiving inadequate or unlicensed help can be damaging.
"PRN 365 helped me connect my clients with their local community for support and reliable resources."
Lynn - Social Worker
Every community needs this resource! Finding up-to-date and summarized resources in one place saves so much time and frustration.