Dallas County residents can now receive on-site therapy and medication services from Eyerly Ball, a community mental health service dedicated toward helping over 6,000 clients in the Boone, Polk, Story and Warren counties.
Clinic Director Russ Vaagen, who has 39 years of experience in the field, said having a Dallas County location is important for the community.
"The agency has been in existence for many years, but having Eyerly Ball in close proximity to Dallas County just makes sense for the residents," Vaagen said. "Eyerly Ball is a very comprehensive mental health center with many services available which is a great advantage to Dallas County people."
Services currently offered include therapy as well as medication management and are currently working with Youth Homes of MidAmerica to assist the needs of children and adolescents.
"Right now in our office we do not have someone who specializes in working with children," Vaagen said. "So when a referral comes in we can ask for Youth Homes for their assistance. The service could take place here or in their office based out of Johnston."
The center also provides a mobile crisis service when a staff member accompanies a law enforcement officer to a mental health case.
"The same person assisting with the mobile crisis service has also been a part of the jail diversion program as we call it,"COO Cynthia Steidel Bishop said. "We get people hooked up with services beforehand, and the individual will follow them until the services are completed. They will also act as a liaison if a person has to go to the hospital and will explain in mental health terms what is going on.
"It’s our goal to get people access to services at a hospital rather than committing them."
Responding quickly to services is another element that Vaagen says sets Eyerly Ball apart.
"Right now we are seeing these people within hours of them contacting us by phone," he said. "Some people have to wait weeks so I think they are almost surprised that there isn’t a delay. You really aren’t going to see this quick of service anywhere."
Steidl Bishop also stressed the importance of affordability.
"We accept folks who don’t have insurance and those who have Medicaid," she said. "The ability to pay shouldn’t get in the way of services."
Vaagen added "a community mental health center has to be comprehensive so it should be able to meet the majority of mental health needs in the community."
As director, Vaagen is determined to provide the best quality of mental health services to those in need.
"We are fortunate that we have seasoned and capable people working for us," he said. "I have many years of experience so that’s what I can offer to residents. I think people generally know the value of having mental health treatment and to address the needs of our people."
For more information or to set up an appointment, call 515-993-2158 or visit their offices at 109 South 9th St. in Adel between 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.