May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems is continuing to improve access to mental health services through telehealth visits.
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness, but are unsure of resources that are available. In late 2021, Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems hired Richard Bare, MSW Supervisee in Social Work, who is solely focused on telehealth behavioral health for patients to access from anywhere with the assistance of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers or smart phones. These visits can be completed from the comfort of the patients own home without having to come to the office. SVCHS received a grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) to hire Bare in 2021. Any patient of SVCHS has the opportunity to see Bare for counseling through telehealth.
Bare is an experienced therapist with over nine years in the field and comes to SVCHS from Daymark Recovery Services, Inc. He attended Fruitland Baptist Bible College and graduated in 2011 with an Associate of Religious/Church Ministries. In 2012, he received his Transfer Core Diploma – Associate in Arts from Wilkes Community College. Following these achievements, Bare received his Bachelor of Social Work in 2015, where he graduated Magne Cum Laude, and his Master of Social Work in 2016 from Appalachian State University. He is also currently awaiting his Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist in North Carolina.
Bare said, “After experiencing the stigma of addiction, incarceration, and mental health problems personally, God prepared a path for me to use my experience in helping people who also struggle with the same problems.”
He is married to the love his life, Heather Spencer Bare, and they share five daughters and their significant others, a grandson, a granddaughter, their parents, and German Sheppard, who Bare calls “such an unusual dog”. Bare enjoys working on anything mechanical, construction projects, and loves studying God’s Word. He is currently restoring a 1984 944 Porsche.
“I was attracted to SVCHS because of my interest in providing integrated care for patients, collaboration with medical providers ensures a better quality of life,” Bare said.
Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems has locations in Saltville, Meadowview, Tazewell, and Bristol. To schedule an appointment with Richard Bare or any of SVCHS’ providers, please contact 276-496-4492.