Orchard Village Launches Behavioral Health Clinic

Last August, Orchard Village started creating a behavioral health clinic and began offering services in September for underserved individuals with a dual diagnosis of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and mental illness.

The clinic’s founding director, Dr. Christina Geiselhart, feels she is a good fit for this program as she has extensive experience building programs in both medical and community mental health settings. She also brings over a decade of experience in treating complex trauma and working with all age groups as well as underserved populations. To further increase treatment access, clinic clients can also have appointments online, by phone, or in person.

Within Orchard Village’s residential program, over 60% of the people served are dually diagnosed with IDD and mental illness. Dr. Geiselhart understands, “Our design challenge is to create access to quality behavioral health services for individuals with developmental disabilities.”

People with IDD are often ostracized and do not receive the support they need. As a result, they are less likely to have developed coping skills due to their adaptive and cognitive disabilities.

Dr. Geiselhart notes, “When it comes to our population, health centers don’t have the training or capacity, and they want to say our clients’ mental health issues are secondary to their IDD. These issues should be treated for what they are and not dismissed.”

While our behavioral health services are initially given only to Orchard Village clients, our long term goal is to provide much needed therapy to other underserved residents with disabilities in our surrounding communities.

“[O]ur big goal is to open this up to the community and work with other organizations that interact with our population, but we want to also open it up to their family members. And it is great to see that that is the vision of our staff and directors,” says Dr. Geiselhart.  “For me, in this career, it has always been about being able to help. And the best way to help is to build sustainable programs and meet the needs of our clients. That has to be at the core of everything we do.”