Tri-County Mental Health Services offering behavioral health services for the Kansas City Northland community. Prevention, assessment and treatment services for individuals and families throughout Clay, Platte and Ray counties of Missouri.

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Finding Help for Those Who Need It

Daniel Madinger: workinghard to improve services to clients while reducing costs to the community.

Daniel Madinger delivers a human services effort that’s hard not to like.

Community support worker for Tri-County Mental Health Services, Madinger helps deliver critical help in a way that also reduces public costs. One of his primary efforts is looking for people who frequently visit emergency rooms rather than a primary physician, often accumulating large, unpaid bills and high Medicaid payments.

“I try to engage them in the services that are available to help them and avoid those expensive emergency room visits,” he explained. “It’s better for them; it’s better for everyone.”

It’s not always easy. Many of those with mental health issues also face physical illness, complicating their diagnosis and treatment. The mental health can also make it difficult for individuals to seek or receive help.

“It can be hard to get them to treatment,” Madinger explained. “There’s stigma about seeking help for mental illness. For some it can be a real obstacle to getting out and finding help.”

Madinger offers a kind of “one stop shop” to connect them with services that can help, whether the programs are at Tri-County, another agency or in private services. “Our job is to help them be as productive and as healthy as possible,” he said. “If they don’t have a regular physician, we help them find one. If they need other services, we can look with them. The idea is to connect them with what they need, maybe help find a job, get them on their feet.”

Madinger has been involved in this work for two years, including nearly a year at Tri-County. His experience goes back further, however. Both his parents were involved in mental health services and he also brings experience with the Department of Corrections and the U.S. Army.

Madinger and his wife, Kellee, reside in Kansas City North. She’s an paralegal for a Kansas City law firm. In his spare time, Madinger occasionally rides his motorcycle in charity “runs,” although he doesn’t lack for travel at work. Many of his meetings are with people who have become isolated by their illnesses. Since Tri-County serves Clay, Platte and Ray counties, that can mean traveling from Weston to Richmond and everywhere in between.

“Today was rare,” he laughed. “I average 50 to 100 miles a day.” The average of 4-5 cases he serves daily are equally diverse, ranging from 15-year-olds to people in their middle 80s, with diagnosis that are equally diverse. All should be able to get help, he stresses.

“If someone has a physical illness, you can tell what it is,” he said. “If someone has a mental illness, they can be walking down the street and you have no idea anything’s wrong with them, but they’re life may be in turmoil. There is help, we just have to help them find it.”

Photo  Attached: Daniel Madinger

24-Hour Emergency Crisis Line 1-888-279-8188 (TTY or Voice: 1-800-380-3323)

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