On April 18, 2019 Craig James was on a panel with Michelle Petruzzello, Mental Health Substance Abuse & Developmental Services, Dr. Tracy Jackson, Loudoun County Public Schools, and Carol Jameson, HealthWorks of Northern Virginia. The event held at Leesburg Junction was the result of Leadership Loudoun Think Tank Project regarding the current challenges with Health and Human Services in Loudoun County. As part of the discussion regarding the demographic and clientele served at Insight Into Action Therapy, Craig was asked to speak to several barriers areas highlighted by the project:
- Stigma associated with mental health – While both shame or embarrassment remain, the stigma surrounding mental health is not what it used to be. This can be attributed to increased awareness surrounding mental health in conjunction with so many sharing their struggles with anxiety and depression and how therapy and medication have helped.
- Access to quality care – Is not solely attributed to who has the means to pay out of pocket, but included available credentialed or licenses professionals who are competent in the specific area of need and have availability for new clients. The project concluded that within Loudoun County there was a shortage and therefore a significant need.
- Commercial insurance – While Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 was designed to create equity within benefits, there still remains the experience of so many that access to medical care/injury is faster than that of mental health and/or substance use. This could be because the consumer is not getting a return call from a provider, the provider site is not update, or there are not enough paneled providers (due in part to the administrative demands and the SIGNIFICANTLY low reimbursement rates)