Mental health advocates work to ‘stop the stigma of mental illness’ and raise awareness

Insider Louisville LogoAccording to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), about 1 in 5 U.S. adults experiences a mental illness in a given year. To raise awareness during May, which has been known as Mental Health Month since 1949, those in the business of treating and helping those individuals are using the hashtag #mentalillnessfeelslike throughout social media.

Jean Henry, who was recently named Executive Director of NAMI-Louisville, said one goal of the campaign is awareness.

“We want to stop the stigma of mental illness,” she said in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “People with mental illness suffer because of people’s attitudes and ignorance of the issue.”

For more information, please click here.

Supportive housing saves money and improves health outcomes for those with mental illness, according to Passport-funded study

iHOP_logoEstablished in 1982, Wellspring has long believed that supportive housing is the key for many people with severe and persistent mental illness to begin re-building their lives. Currently, the agency provides permanent supportive housing to about 200 adults with severe and persistent mental illness annually and is on pace to serve nearly 500 people in our psychiatric crisis units this year.

Thanks to a special Improved Health Outcomes Program (iHOP) grant funded by Passport, Wellspring was able to assess the impacts of supportive housing for adults with severe and/or persistent mental illness. The study took close to two years to complete, largely because of the challenges associated with collecting data across service systems. But the results were very promising.

According to an article in Medical News, Wellspring found that in the one-year span prior to entering permanent supportive housing, the aggregate cost of inpatient care for clients at Kentucky One was more than $2.5 million, but in the following year, that dropped more than 52 percent to $1.2 million. Emergency room costs also decreased ($1.6 million to $780,000) and outpatient care went up (38 percent). For more information, please click here.

Wellspring promotes mental health recovery for adults with severe and persistent mental illness by providing quality housing and rehabilitative services for nearly 700 clients annually. As a private, non-profit agency, Wellspring operates two Crisis Stabilization services and several Supported Housing programs in addition to affordable housing options around Greater Louisville. For more information, please click here.

Passport’s Board of Directors sets aside funds each year for research and development of programs that “improve quality, access, efficiency and cost of healthcare” for Medicaid recipients. For more information about iHOP – including ways you can apply and frequently asked questions – please click here.


Bridgehaven Mental Health Services produces video to highlight members’ stories of recovery and hope

Bridgehaven LogoPassport Health Plan is a proud supporter of Bridgehaven Mental Health Services, a nonprofit organization based in Louisville that provides high-quality community-based psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery services, education, and support to those touched by mental illness.

Earlier this week, Passport was one of the sponsors of the organization’s 13th annual Bridge Builder Breakfast, where more than 500 people came out to learn more about Bridgehaven’s mission and hear some of its members’ amazing recovery stories. During that event, a short video was played, and it is available online by clicking here.

Founded in 1958, Bridgehaven was “the first community program in Jefferson County, and only the third of its type nationally to serve people with psychiatric problems outside a hospital setting,” according to its website. Bridgehaven’s staff of Licensed Professional Art Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Advanced Practice Nurses, Licensed Professional Counselors, Peer Specialists and administrative staff now offers program up to six days a week for over 500 members annually. For more information, go online to, send an email to, or call 502-585-9444.