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Mental Health in Rural America: A Discussion with Paula Gonzalez at NCWC of the Greater Pocono Section Meeting

On Saturday, December 9th, 2023, Paula Gonzalez, MSW, LSW, the Executive Clinical Coordinator of the Preventive Measures Foundation (PM Foundation), had the honor of meeting with the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) of the Greater Pocono Section. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the work that the PM Foundation aims to undertake in the Greater Pocono region.


Currently, Preventive Measures Mental Health operates an outpatient mental health wellness center East Stroudsburg, but this alone cannot fully address the mental health needs of the surrounding rural areas in the Poconos. There is a noticeable shortage of mental health services in Pike and Carbon counties, which has led to a lack of access to vital mental health care for local residents.


The PM Foundation recognizes this critical gap in mental health services and is actively seeking to expand its reach to address this issue. While traditional forms of mental health service delivery have been effective, the Foundation is exploring innovative approaches that can extend access to a larger number of patients in these underserved areas.


During the meeting, Ms. Gonzalez presented the PM Foundation's vision for expanding mental health services in Pike and Carbon counties, highlighting the commitment to providing high-quality care to those in need. She emphasized that this expansion might involve non-traditional methods of service delivery, designed to reach as many patients as possible while ensuring the best outcomes.

DeMecia Wooten-Irrizarry, National Council of Negro Women, Greater Pocono Station and Paula Gonzalez, The PM Foundation

The members of the National Council of Negro Women, Greater Pocono Section, were genuinely pleased to learn about the important work that the PM Foundation is engaged in. They expressed their strong interest in supporting the Foundation's efforts to enhance mental health services in the region. The NCNW members recognized the urgency of addressing the mental health disparities in their communities and pledged their support to collaborate with the PM Foundation on this crucial mission.


In conclusion, the meeting between Paula Gonzalez, the Executive Clinical Director of the Preventive Measures Foundation, and the National Council of Negro Women, Greater Pocono Section, was marked by a shared commitment to improving mental health services in the underserved areas of Pike and Carbon counties. The NCNW's willingness to support the PM Foundation's initiatives is a promising step towards addressing the mental health needs of the local communities in the Poconos.

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