Journey Health to close facility serving Hmong with PTSD

MADISON (WKOW) — A facility that serves Hmong living with PTSD and other trauma related issues will close following the loss of a federal contract.

Journey Mental Health Center announced Thursday that a funding change requires the closing the nationally known Kajsiab House program.

Kajsiab House was founded in 2000 by the Hmong Community, as a place where Hmong elders and their families can be safe, and receive help and treatment for mental health issues.

Of the 5,000 Hmong Americans living in Dane County, over 300 are war veterans or widows of veterans, according to the group’s website.

A high percentage of elders live with severe health problems, such as depression, post- traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain that were caused by their war and refugee experiences.

Many Dane County Hmong fought for the United States during the Vietnam War and many more were refugee camp survivors.  

MTM, the Medicaid transportation provider for the state of Wisconsin, terminated its contract with Journey in February of 2018.  The loss of this revenue has had a devastating impact on the program’s budget, according to a news release from Journey.

The Kajsiab House program will close September 28, 2018.

“This is a devastating event for Journey and the Dane County community," said Journey President and CEO Lynn Brady. "It will lead to the loss of jobs, as well as badly needed services for a very vulnerable population of people that supported our country during the war.”

Journey is working with Kajsiab House to find ways of providing services to the Hmong people attending Kajsiab House. 

“Journey’s Kajsiab House is a nationally recognized model that provides culturally sensitive services for the Hmong people. Reinventing those services, in a western based model of care, will fall far short of meeting the needs of these individuals," Brady said.

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