Mental health treatment in rural West Texas

FAR WEST TEXAS – When you live in a rural community with limited access to medical providers, who do you turn to for help with mental health issues? Many people simply go to their primary care physician for a quick exam and a bottle of medication. However, you may not realize that while a physician can treat mild mental health problems, they are not trained to treat more severe and complex mental illnesses. Individuals with severe and persistent mental illness, especially those under the age of 18, should see a mental health expert for treatment.

PermiaCare, formerly known as Permian Basin Community Centers for MHMR, is one of the only mental health providers in rural West Texas. They have been helping people recover from mental illness for nearly 50 years and is one of the oldest and most experienced providers in the region. What makes PermiaCare unique and effective is the team approach. At PermiaCare, a doctor is only one member of the treatment team. The team also includes therapists to provide talk therapy and to teach coping skills, and case managers to educate and assist you in taking medication, improve social skills, find and keep a job, find and keep housing, and many more services that are not offered at a primary care office. The PermiaCare case managers also help kids deal with the pressures they face in school and will advocate for the child’s needs with school administrators.

PermiaCare serves residents of Brewster, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Pecos, and Presidio counties and has clinics in Fort Stockton, Alpine, Van Horn, and Presidio. They also offer services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as early childhood intervention for children age 0-3 years with a developmental delay, disability, or certain medical diagnoses.

Kim Hall serves as an example of how you can benefit from PermiaCare’s services. As a client for 4 years, Kim was recently interviewed and stated, “I’ve fought severe depression almost all of my life. I don’t know how I managed before coming here. I ignored it, I cried a lot, I figured I was tough enough to handle it on my own. I tried to commit suicide three times and PermiaCare’s crisis team saved my life.” Since coming into treatment, Kim has transformed her life and is now happier and much healthier mentally. She states, “I don’t think about suicide every day, I don’t dwell on it. Just knowing that I can call them anytime and knowing they will be there for me is such a help. I really love reading, but when I was sick I couldn’t concentrate enough to read or even watch a TV show. I still have anxiety when I’m around a lot of people, but I’m getting better every day because my case worker and I work on skills to overcome the anxiety. My case worker also helps me with my medications, which I must take because of a chemical imbalance. I‘m sure other people have chemical imbalances too, and it’s sad when someone needs help with their mental health and they don’t get it. The people at PermiaCare have helped me more than I can say. They are so caring and so kind. They don’t look at you like you’re sick; they treat you like a real person.”

Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance, and sliding scale self-pay are all accepted. The best way to access these services is to call 1-844-420-3964 or visit