TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — For patients taking medication for mental health, accessibility is key. Jenny Walters of Topeka, is in a desperate state when she’s not able to get her medicine.
“I went a couple of days without my medication, because there was a mix up of where I was,” Jenny said. “I just had more seizures than normal, and that kind of thing. And I knew I was off my meds after a couple of days.”
Valeo’s Community Medication Outreach Program, or CMO, saves the day for Jenny and up to 60 other local patients every day.
Marc Bennett, the Valeo Crisis Diversion Services Team Leader, says, “It’s a mobile program that allows us to go out in the community, meet our clients where they are living. The least restrictive environment is a huge piece there.”
Along with many other patients in the program, Jenny doesn’t always have reliable transportation to get her medicine, when she needs it most.
“I usually get my meds around 6:00 or 7:00 in the evening and the buses are not running,” remarks Jenny.
KSNT News Morning Anchor Brittany Moore rode along with Taylor Coates, to see first-hand how the program works for Jenny.
“Today we are going to her apartment give her, her meds and make sure everything is going alright,” says Coates.
Bennett said they provide medication monitoring.
“So we watch them take their medication, but we also know that this is a rehabilitative program,” he said. “We want to teach them the skills that they are going to need to manage their own medications by themselves.”
Jenny has been in the program for several years, and her medical self-awareness has grown tremendously.
“I don’t want to be taking something I don’t know what it’s for. It’s like taking a bottle of medication off the shelf with no label on it and say well if this works it works! You just don’t do that! People who come in with my meds, they just have to give me the first letters of my meds and I can fill in the rest. Before I couldn’t do that,” Jenny explains.
Valeo has several eligibility requirements to be in the program, listed here:
You can visit Valeo’s website for more information on the program: http://www.valeotopeka.org/crisis-services