Free Counseling Services in Davidson County, Tennessee: Accessing Mental Health Care in the Volunteer State

Tennessee is home to a mental health crisis hotline that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This line connects individuals in crisis to trained counselors who can provide support and guidance. In addition, there are free short-term counseling services available for children aged 4 to 18 in Davidson County who have experienced trauma. These services offer individuals and families professional assistance, personalized plans, and solutions to help them lead better lives.

The Tennessee Early Intervention Services (TEIS) provides testing and services for children under 3 years of age living in the state. In the 1980s, the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations (TAMHO) took steps to protect the state's mental health system from changes in federal funding. Despite investing in its mental health system and reducing hospitalization and homelessness, Tennessee has made it difficult for many residents to access care by refusing to accept Medicaid expansion and maintaining strict income requirements for public mental health services. However, there are federally funded programs that offer medical and mental health services to people in underserved communities. People who are not in crisis but are looking for outpatient mental health services can call the program they are interested in for more information.

The article focused on the value of counseling, given the number of crises that have affected Middle Tennessee in the past 12 months. Currently, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) oversees four state psychiatric hospitals and a network of private programs that provide outpatient services in three designated state regions. Many people seeking counseling to treat anxiety or depression meet the clinical criteria for any of the disorders listed in Tennessee and may qualify for services if they also meet income and other eligibility requirements. The Department of Health's behavioral health services program provides mental health screenings to determine if more services are needed, and then makes a recommendation and referral for treatment. It is not designed to provide services to people in crisis or who need mental health or substance abuse services. Vanderbilt Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services is the only inpatient hospital for children with behavioral health problems in Central Tennessee.

This facility provides behavioral health services, breast and cervical cancer screening, special services for children, clinical services such as government exams, commodities, and more. In most cases, community mental health programs serve as alternative providers for people who lack the means to access private sector services. If you or someone you know is looking for free or low-cost counseling services in Davidson County, Tennessee, there are several options available.

Keith Sibilio
Keith Sibilio

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