PCC on Channel 8 - Making Mental Health Care Accessible

Sonia Azad, WFAA 6:06 PM. CDT May 23, 2016

“Living in this area, I've seen three people die so far," he said. "Like, in front of me."

Over time, Hernandez found himself emotionless, slipping into depression and riddled with social anxiety. After hearing about Brother Bill’s, which is blocks from his house, he decided to seek counseling. He doesn’t have a job or health insurance.

“The only thing I've really had to pay for [here] is when I get blood work done," Hernandez said. "And that was only $5."


Brother Bill’s is one of 15 sites across North Texas financially supported by the Pastoral Counseling Center.

“We provide assessments and counseling for children all the way thru adulthood,” said Dr. Brad Schwall, executive director at PCC. 

Their goal is to make mental healthcare is accessible to everyone, especially if you're uninsured or can’t afford therapy and medicine.

“So, there's this gap, people make too much to qualify for Medicaid but then they don't make enough for quality healthcare and good coverage that covers mental health,” said Dr. Schwall, who says PCC provides 10,000 hours of counseling per year. Forty percent of that is at an adjusted fee scale.

“There are many different barriers to receiving mental health care,” explained Dr. Schwall. “There's language; there's geography, as well as finances.”

It’s one of the reasons why the PCC partners with a number of agencies like Brother Bill’s to take mental health services out to people like Hernandez, who might otherwise be forgotten.

“I’m actually honestly really feeling better about myself,” Hernandez said. “In the long run, I'm just hoping to get to the point where I can start working again and... enjoying my life.”  

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