2009 News Release

For more information, contact the Office of Public Affairs at 573-751-1647

DIRECTOR’S CREATIVITY SHOWCASE ON DISPLAY AT LINCOLN UNIVERSITY’S LIBRARY (10-7)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., OCT. 7, 2009 - The Director’s Creativity Showcase is currently on display at Page Library on the Lincoln University campus in Jefferson City, MO. The sampling of artwork is part of the traveling art showcase created by people receiving services from the Department of Mental Health. The pieces are on display until October 29, 2009.

The artwork was created as part of therapy or for recreation by people receiving services for developmental disabilities, mental illness, or substance abuse. The art represents a wide range of ages and abilities. Selections for the traveling exhibit were based on giving the public an idea of the talents represented by these artists.

The exhibit is scheduled next at the Kirksville Art Association gallery for the month of November. Guidelines and entry forms for the 2010 Director’s Creativity are available now at /news/DirectorsShowcase.htm.

The Missouri Mental Health Foundation was created to help the general public understand mental health conditions and their associated issues. It is dedicated to changing the attitudes of the general population about mental health conditions and helping those who experience them to build hope for a brighter future. The Department of Mental Health serves Missourians by working to prevent mental disorders, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse. The department treats, habilitates, and rehabilitates persons with these conditions and with the Foundation educates the public about mental health issues.

For more information contact Debra Walker in the Office of Public Affairs at (573) 751-1647 or at the Missouri Mental Health Foundation at (573) 635-9201. You can also contact Debra by e-mail at debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov or at mmhf@compassinfo.org.

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GOVERNOR NIXON PROCLAIMS ALCOHOL AND DRUG ADDICTION RECOVERY MONTH (9-23)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., SEPT. 23, 2009 - Gov. Jay Nixon signed a proclamation designating September as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. Missourians of all ages, races, ethnic backgrounds and in every part of the state are affected by substance abuse and its devastating impact. Substance abuse problems take a terrible toll on not just individuals but on their children, families, schools, employers, and communities.

“Missouri, like all states, suffers from this serious public health problem that costs $1.3 billion annually in state government resources. We appreciate the efforts of Governor Nixon to raise awareness to not only the impact, but also the fact that recovery is possible with treatment and support,” said Mark Stringer, Director of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Stringer said, thousands of individuals with severe substance use disorders seek help each year and achieve recovery and lead healthy, productive lives. “Overcoming addiction requires help and support from families and communities,” Stringer said. “With support and effective treatment, recovery is possible.”

MENTAL HEALTH AWARDED GRANTS TOTALING $346,000 (8-18)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 18, 2009 — Officials in the Missouri Department of Mental Health announced today the receipt of two grants from the Board for the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH). The grants, totaling $346,000, are designed to help curb tobacco use among the people the department serves and to help educate the public in Mental Health First Aid.

DMH will use a $300,000 grant during a two-year period to provide Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) programming in 17 counties in rural southeast and southwest Missouri by teaming up with local faith-based organizations and five community mental health centers (CMHCs). DMH will work with the CMHCs and Committed Caring Faith Communities (a statewide interfaith organization based in St. Louis) for implementation.

Mental Health First Aid is a 12-hour course originated in Australia that has proven effective in enhancing mental health literacy among the general public. During the grant period, thousands of Missourians will be trained to recognize signs and symptoms of emerging mental health disorders as well as mental health crises and to respond appropriately – providing on-the-spot reassurance, referral to professional help, suggestions for self-help, and other support strategies depending on the presenting circumstances. DMH will replicate the evaluation studies from the Australian MHFA program to ensure fidelity. Grant funds for this project will be available Sept. 1.

The second MFH grant will provide $46,682 to develop a comprehensive statewide plan designed to prevent the use of tobacco specifically among consumers of mental health and alcohol and drug abuse services. This plan will align with an existing plan to prevent tobacco use among Missourians in general. The new plan will use as its basis information collected in a 2008 MFH-funded study of consumers of mental health services statewide.

Findings showed that 64 percent of Missourians who receive psychiatric services and services for substance abuse disorders use tobacco products. This number is more than twice that of tobacco use in the general population (25 percent). DMH will partner with the Missouri Institute of Mental Health to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of the plan. Grant funds are available immediately.

Funding for these projects was provided by the Missouri Foundation for Health. The Missouri Foundation for Health is a philanthropic organization whose vision is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves.

Both projects are initiatives of Missouri’s Comprehensive Plan for Mental Health, developed through the efforts of the state’s Mental Health Transformation Working Group with funding support through a grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to transform Missouri’s mental health system. Formed of mental health consumer and family leaders and public leaders from the state’s executive and judicial branches of government, the Transformation Working Group is charged with leading the development and implementation of the comprehensive plan.

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GROUP SPONSORS FORUM ADDRESSING DEPRESSION AMONG SENIORS (8-7)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 7, 2009 — The Mental Health and Aging Workgroup, chartered by the Missouri Mental Health Transformation Working Group (TWG) is sponsoring a free informational forum on September 10 to help service agencies address the issue of depression among the state’s senior population.

The forum, which focuses on an evidence-based depression intervention called Healthy IDEAS, (Identifying Depression, Empowering Activities for Seniors) is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Stoney Creek Inn in Columbia, Mo. Two nationally known speakers: Alixe McNeill with the National Council on Aging and Nancy Wilson, Baylor College of Medicine, will present. Both have been leaders in the development and dissemination of Healthy IDEAS.

“Depression is one of the leading causes of disability world­wide. The World Health Organiza­tion (WHO) World Health Survey (WHS) ranked it as the fourth lead­ing cause of disease burden in 2000,” said Jim Cook, Project Coordinator for the Office of Mental Health Transformation. “Despite the burdens placed on many older adults by depression, surprisingly, depression often goes undiagnosed and unrecognized. The costs of this failure in human life and resources are measured in many ways, including increased mortality, increased disability, in­creased health care costs, decreased quality of life, and increased physi­cal disease and the severity of disease.”

Healthy IDEAS is a case-management enhancement initiative that prepares trained staff to identify depression in at-risk elders, and to facilitate ac­cess to treatment. It targets underserved, chronically ill older adults in the community and addresses commonly recognized barriers to mental health care. Healthy IDEAS empowers seniors to manage their depression through an approach that encourages involvement in meaningful, positive activities.

Representatives from older-adult service agencies and mental health agencies that might be interested in implementing Healthy IDEAS are invited to attend. The forum is free, but registration is required by August 28 to attend. Seating is limited. For more information or to register click here, or call the Department of Mental Health toll-free at 800-364-9687 and ask for Jim Cook.

The Mental Health Transformation Working Group, comprised of mental health consumer and family leaders and public leaders from state’s executive and judicial branches of government appointed by the Governor, is charged with leading the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan to transform Missouri’s mental health system. The activities recommended in Missouri’s Comprehensive Plan for Mental Health, approved by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in June 2008, are designed to move Missouri toward a public health approach to mental health service delivery, with an emphasis on prevention, early intervention, and disease management.

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Department of Mental Health Co-sponsors Fourth Annual Suicide Prevention Conference (7-28)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – On July 30-31, the Department of Mental Health (DMH) is co-sponsoring the fourth annual Missouri Suicide Prevention Conference to be held at Truman Hotel in Jefferson City. Pre-Conference Workshops will be held on Thursday, July 30, with breakout session presentations being held Friday, July 31.

“Suicide has a tragic impact on not only individuals and families, but entire communities,” said Scott Perkins, Project Director of the Youth Suicide Prevention Project for the DMH. “Taking a proactive approach to suicide prevention by learning risk factors and warning signs is one of the ways we can all work to reduce the number of suicide attempts and completions.”

In 2007, there were 810 suicides in Missouri, or an average of one suicide every 10 hours and 49 minutes. Suicide ranks among the top four leading causes of death for Missourians between the ages of 10 and 54. Suicide kills more people each year in Missouri than drunk driving, HIV, or murder

The conference is also being sponsored by Lincoln University and the University of Missouri. This year’s conference features several different presentations, including Brain Chemistry, Antidepressants and Suicide Interventions: How to Help, Beyond Surviving: Recovering from Trauma and Suicide, Suicide and Self Injury, among several other topics. For a complete listing of workshops, please click here.

This year’s featured presenters are Thomas Joiner, Ph.D., Catherine Barber, MPA and Jan Kemp, RN, Ph.D. For complete biographical information, please visit here.

For more information about the conference, please contact Scott Perkins at Scott.Perkins@dmh.mo.gov or (573) 751-8155.

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Department of Mental Health Gets Continuation on Youth Suicide Prevention Grant (7-21)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., - The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration announced recently that Missouri will continue to receive federal funding for its Missouri Youth Suicide Prevention (MYSP) project. The grant will continue funding for the program that focuses on reducing suicides among young people.

“This is an extremely important program, as suicide affects not only individuals and families but also entire communities. It is critical that we continue efforts to prevent the tragedy of suicide,” said Governor Jay Nixon.

The MYSP Project trains individuals who have direct contact with community members who may be at risk of suicide. Teachers, juvenile justice service employees, foster care parents, law enforcement agents and healthcare employees are some of the roles that receive this training and support. One of the major functions of the MYSP Project has been to provide training on the warning signs of suicide so community workers are equipped with the knowledge and resources to ask the correct questions and direct youth to the appropriate intervention services.

“Most of us are aware of someone who has attempted or completed suicide. We know that many suicides can be prevented,” said Scott Perkins, Project Director of the grant. “This grant has allowed us to build upon the work that already has been done across the state.”

The MYSP Project focuses on reducing suicide and suicidal behaviors, specifically among youth ages 10 to 24-years-old. In 2006, Missouri had a higher rate of suicide at 13.7 per 100,000 citizens than the national rate of 11.1. Missourians ranging in age from 15 to 19 have the highest rate of hospitalized attempts of any age group. It is estimated that at least 6 people are intimately affected by a suicide. Increasing the number of trainers will enable those individuals in the community to accurately identify youth who are exhibiting signs of suicidal behavior, and provide more people, with direct contact to youth, the necessary resources and training to aid in the suicide prevention effort.

The Department of Mental Health works with nine agencies, covering 13 different regions of the state, to implement the MYSP Project. In addition to offering free gatekeeper training, many of these sites also offer other services such as educational presentations, depression screenings or support groups for survivors. Information on these Regional Resource Centers can be found here.

For more information, please contact Scott Perkins, Project Director of the Youth Suicide Prevention Grant, at (573) 751-8155 or by e-mail at Scott.Perkins@dmh.mo.gov, or Bob Bax, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs, at (573) 751-8033 or by e-mail at Bob.Bax@dmh.mo.gov

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Agreement announced on Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center (6-30)

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Health Care and Missouri Department of Mental Health officials today (Tuesday, June 30, 2009) announced that they have reached an agreement designed to assure the continued availability of acute psychiatric inpatient services in central Missouri.

The agreement provides that the state will convey to the University the real property and other assets used in the operation of Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center, and that MU Health Care will expand its health care services to include acute inpatient psychiatric services.

Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center will close June 30, 2009. On July 1, 2009, MU Health Care will open a new program with a new name – the Missouri Psychiatric Center – with the same number of beds, 55,and in the same location as the current Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center.The agreement also provides that the 40-year-old Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center Building will undergo substantial renovation to improve the patient care environment.

“The transition will be virtually seamless for both patients and employees,” said Jim Ross, chief executive officer of MU Health Care. “This change should be a positive one for the citizens of central Missouri. We recognize that mental health care is an important and necessary service to provide our citizens. Because the new Missouri Psychiatric Center will be part of MU Health Care, we will be able to offer both acute medical and behavioral services, allowing for the provision of optimal care for mental health patients.”

Joe Parks, M.D., director of the DMH Division of Comprehensive Psychiatric Services, said, “This is a win-win situation. This agreement both ensures continuity of care for patients, and represents a sound fiscal step for the state of Missouri, as federal funds will cover a greater portion of the cost of this care as we go forward.”

Parks, who has conducted and published research related to the benefits of integrating mental health care with general medical care, said the new arrangement with MU Health Care will result in a better environment for mental health patients and improved access to medical care. In addition, the MU School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry will be strengthened by the addition of an inpatient mental health facility under the direction of John Lauriello, M.D., the new chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the MU School of Medicine, Ross said.                             

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Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health Expands Inpatient Mental Health Services (6-16)

KANSAS CITY, MO – On June 16, 2009, Truman Medical Center (TMC) Behavioral Health expanded inpatient mental health services with the addition of 25 acute care beds and a separate psychiatric emergency department at 1000 E. 24 in Kansas City. TMC Behavioral Health Acute Care will include 50 inpatient mental health beds and the TMC Behavioral Health Emergency Department will have 12 beds. These are in addition to the 28 beds located at the Truman Medical Center Lakewood hospital campus at 7900 Lee’s Summit Road. The Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) previously provided these services and recently entered into a service management contact with TMC to assume responsibility for these services at the downtown Kansas City facility.

“This agreement is a continuation of a very successful public-private partnership that began in 1997 when TMC first began providing community based mental health services in Kansas City, “said TMC Behavioral Health Chief Operating Officer Marsha Morgan.  “The goal for TMC Behavioral Health is to improve access to emergency mental health services and inpatient acute care as well as provide a total healthcare system for our patients.”

TMC Behavioral Health has provided state-of-the-art, top quality mental healthcare in Kansas City for more than a decade. In 1997, the State Community Mental Health Center and the Central Kansas City Mental Health Services merged and became Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health.Since that time, TMC Behavioral Health has nearly doubled the mental health services provided to the people of Kansas City and quadrupled the number of patients treated each year.  Five years ago, TMC Behavioral Health treated approximately 7,000 patients in more than 127,000 outpatient visits and 1,500 inpatient stays. In 2008, those numbers have increased to more than 18,000 patients annually, in nearly 200,000 outpatient visits and 2,500 inpatient stays. With many of these patients receiving their primary healthcare at TMC Hospital Hill, this expansion of mental health services will give patients a truly team based healthcare system that focuses on both their physical and mental health in one central location in Kansas City.

“We expect to build on the programs and services that have been previously provided by DMH and look forward to continuing to provide top quality mental healthcare to the people of Western Missouri.” Morgan added. “Many of the patients seeking treatment at TMC Behavioral Health Acute Care receive their primary healthcare at TMC. This expansion of mental health services will help to provide better continuity and coordination of the total healthcare needs of our patients.”

In addition to providing the best healthcare available, TMC Behavioral Health focuses on being the mental healthcare employer of choice in Kansas City. TMC offers mental healthcare professionals a patient centered, team based work environment that is focused on providing the best care regardless of a patient’s financial or personal situation. During this transition many of the state employees have applied for and been offered positions with TMC Behavioral Health Acute Care. More than 85 percent of the employees who worked in these areas under DMH have been retained or hired by TMC. TMC expects to add approximately 80 additional mental health care professionals, administrators and staff in the new facility. 

“TMC has proven it’s ability to provide excellent acute psychiatric inpatient care. We applaud their expanding their capacity to serve as a regional public mental health facility,” said Joe Parks, M.D., Director of the Division of Comprehensive Psychiatric Services for the Missouri Department of Mental Health. “DMH will continue to operate 50 intermediate stay inpatient psychiatric beds and 68 group home beds to meet the needs of patients throughout the region who need inpatient psychiatric care beyond the usual brief, acute stay. Wewill be working closely with TMC, all other local inpatient psychiatric units, and Community Mental Health Centers to provide a full range of Mental Health services for the Region.”

A similar partnership between TMC Behavioral Health and DMH took place nearly three years ago (2006) due to a critical shortage of psychiatric beds in the community. Due to state budget cuts, TMC was given the opportunity to lease 25 beds at the 1000 E. 24th facility that were unused by DMH. This partnership has been successful in providing top quality mental healthcare services to those who need it most.

About TMC

Truman Medical Centers is a not-for-profit two acute-care hospital health system in Kansas City. The TMC Health System includes TMC Hospital Hill, TMC Lakewood, TMC Behavioral Health, the Jackson County Health Department and a number of primary care practices throughout Eastern Jackson County. Recently named one of the nation’s top academic medical centers, TMC is the primary teaching hospital for the University of Missouri-Kansas City Schools of Health Sciences and specializes in asthma, bariatrics, diabetes, women’s health, and trauma services.  For more information, please call (816) 404-3785 or visit www.trumed.org

-TMC-

Mental Health Commission recognizes McClendon for service (5-22)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., - Phillip W. McClendon of Joplin was honored recently for his service to the state as a member of the Missouri Mental Health Commission. McClendon’s term on the seven-member commission recently expired. He had served since 2005 and was Commission Chairman in 2008.

“Phillip’s tenure as a commissioner is an example of commitment and compassion for the responsibility we have as a state to help the individuals and families struggling because of mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse,” said Beth Viviano, the Chair of the Commission. “His legacy is one of leadership on the critical issues, such as access to services and prevention and early intervention. He is a true public servant.”

The Rev. McClendon is the senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Joplin. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Cumberland College, a master of divinity degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctorate of ministry degree from Luther Rice Seminary. He has served as president of the Pastor’s Conference of the Missouri Baptist Convention. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of Director of the Ozark Center, the Ozarks Advisory Committee of the Community Blood Center, and the Advisory Board of Christians for World Peace.

The Mental Health Commission serves as the principal policy advisor to the Director of the Department of Mental Health. Members are appointed by the Governor with confirmation by the State Senate. In addition to Ms. Viviano of St. Louis, other members of the Commission are Dr. Patricia Bolster of Creve Coeur, Dr. David Vlach of Kansas City, Kathy Carter of Four Seasons, Joann Leykam of St. Charles, and Dennis H. Tesreau of Herculaneum. There is one vacancy on the commission.

The Department of Mental Health serves approximately 170,000 Missourians each year, providing help for persons with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse problems.

St. Louis Gallery Hosts Art Opening to Raise Awareness of Mental Health Issues (5-14)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, – The Missouri Mental Health Foundation in collaboration with Queen of Peace Center, is proud to present the opening of the 2009 Director’s Creativity Traveling Showcase and “The Many Faces of Motherhood,” on May 20, 2009, at the Northern Arts Council Gallery, 27 South Florissant in Ferguson, Missouri.

“Making the art available for public viewing is just one of the ways we can help to reduce stigma associated with having a mental illness, developmental disability or substance abuse issue,” said Debra Walker, Executive Director of the Missouri Mental Health Foundation. “The artwork is inspiring and shows the amazing talents of many individuals faced with mental health issues.”

The artwork was created as part of therapy or for recreation by people receiving services for developmental disabilities, mental illness, or substance abuse. Most of the artwork for the opening at the Northern Arts Council Gallery will be from St. Louis artists.

The Missouri Mental Health Foundation’s mission is to reduce stigma for individuals and families living with mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse or addictions. “Sharing some of the artwork we received is one small way we can celebrate the abilities of those with disabilities,” said Debra Walker.

Children’s Mental Health Week is May 3-9

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - You may not realize it, but there are children and adolescents with serious mental health needs. In fact, childhood onset mental health problems affect one in five young people in some way, according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report.

During the first full week of May, Americans across the country join the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Federation of Families and other mental health organizations to observe Children’s Mental Health Week, (May 3-9). Here in Missouri, it is a time for parent groups, youth groups and mental health providers to call attention to children’s mental health needs and advocate for support.

In keeping with a tradition started by Missouri’s First Ladies more than 20 years ago, First Lady Georganne Nixon will serve as Honorary Chair for the 2009 Children’s Mental Health Week in Missouri.

“Raising awareness to children’s mental health needs and promoting positive lifestyles for families and children is an important message to send to Missourians,” said Mrs. Nixon. “This special week helps to focus attention on children’s mental health and the information that can be helpful to parents.”

Based on national prevalence estimates, more than 103,000 Missouri children and adolescents will suffer a serious mental disorder, yet very few receive the treatment they need. While the number of Missouri parents seeking screening and treatment for a child is steadily increasing, just 16,458 received services from the Missouri Department of Mental Health in 2008.

Current research shows childhood onset mental disorders are real. The causes are varied, but imbalances in the brain’s chemistry are often implicated. Some disorders such as bipolar disorder, ADHD and depression tend to run in families. All can be negatively affected by trauma.

The good news is that treatment works. Treatments for many psychiatric disorders are more effective than current treatments for heart disease or diabetes.

Early detection and treatment relieves suffering and promotes healthy intellectual and social development. Moreover, good treatment provided early can prevent future disability.

Parents of children and adolescents with mental health needs do not have to face the problem alone. Organizations like NAMI provide support groups, educational programs and HELPlines. A new parent network -- Families as Advocates, Coming Together for Kids -- plans to work toward making service systems better. For more information or help, Contact NAMI Missouri at 1 800 374-2138.

NAMI–KC increases suicide prevention efforts (4-24)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – The Department of Mental Health has expanded its suicide prevention efforts by awarding a contract to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Kansas City (NAMI-KC), to serve as a Regional Resource Center to provide suicide prevention services.

“Our state recognizes the seriousness of the suicide problem and we are making progress in expanding prevention efforts,” said Dr. Keith Schafer, Director of the Department of Mental Health. “Giving communities access to resources to help address the problem is essential.”

Guyla Stidmon, Executive Director of NAMI-KC, said the suicide prevention program is greatly needed. “We are excited to receive this grant as it will allow us to expand our suicide prevention program. This is important because two of the seven counties involved in this grant have a higher suicide rate than the national average. The other five counties fall closely below the national average.”

As a Regional Resource Center, NAMI-KC will serve Platte, Clay, Ray, Jackson, Lafayette, Johnson, and Cass counties. Missouri’s 12 Resource Centers engage community partners to develop and implement local strategies, provide public education and training, offer support for survivors, and promote proven practices to help with preventing suicide within their designated service areas.

“Suicide is a major health problem because of the large number of people impacted and the health care costs associated with it,” said Scott Perkins, Director of the Youth Suicide Prevention Project. “Suicide prevention efforts involve identifying and decreasing the risk factors associated with suicidal behavior while enhancing protective factors. The resource centers will help communities with these tasks.”

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-KC) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation incorporated in the state of Missouri, which received a contract. NAMI-KC is nationally recognized for delivering advocacy, education and support services to persons with mental illness, their family members and the public. Suicide prevention and survivor support is an important NAMI-KC program. NAMI has been serving the public since 1980.

“We hope that communities will take full advantage of these centers while they are available so they will be equipped with essential tools to prevent suicide among their young people,” said Perkins. “One suicide can devastate an entire community. With these resources, we hope to prevent that devastation.”

For more information, please contact Scott Perkins at Scott.Perkins@dmh.mo.gov or (573) 751-8155,

or Guyla Stidmon, kcami@aol.com or (816)-931-0030

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Pathways expands suicide prevention services (4-24)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. - The Department of Mental Health has expanded its suicide prevention efforts by awarding a contract to Pathways Community Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., to serve as a Regional Resource Center to provide suicide prevention services.

"Our state recognizes the seriousness of the suicide problem, and we are making progress in expanding prevention efforts," said Dr. Keith Schafer, Director of the Department of Mental Health. "Giving communities access to resources to help address the problem is essential."

As a Regional Resource Center, Pathways Community Behavioral Health will serve the counties of Bates, Henry, Benton, Vernon, St. Clair, Hickory, Cedar, Morgan, Moniteau, Cooper, Pettis, Howard, Boone Randolph, Chariton, Saline and Carroll.

Missouri's 12 Resource Centers engage community partners to develop and implement local strategies, provide public education and training, offer support for survivors, and promote proven practices to help with preventing suicide within their designated service areas.

"Suicide is a major health problem because of the large number of people impacted and the health care costs associated with it," said Scott Perkins, Director of the Youth Suicide Prevention Project. "Suicide prevention efforts involve identifying and decreasing the risk factors associated with suicidal behavior while enhancing protective factors. The Resource Centers will help communities with these tasks."

Pathways is a not-for-profit community mental health center providing a full continuum of care and access to services across Missouri through 32 office locations. Pathways provides comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention services to pre-adolescent children through older adult populations. These services are provided in a manner that is accessible to clients, focusing on the needs of each person and utilizing the most cost-effective and affordable methods of care. Services are based on individual need and may include in-home comprehensive psychiatric rehabilitation services, office-based outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services, and adult and adolescent residential substance abuse treatment services.

Pathways also promotes awareness of mental health and substance abuse issues, and introduces prevention topics/techniques in the workplace, school classrooms, and through a free quarterly newspaper insert, The Advisor.

"We hope that communities will take full advantage of these centers while they are available so they will be equipped with essential tools to prevent suicide among their young people," said Perkins. "One suicide can devastate an entire community. With these resources, we hope to prevent that devastation."

For more information, please contact Scott Perkins at Scott.Perkins@dmh.mo.gov or (573) 751-8155; Karen Farris at kfarris@pbhc.org or (573-418-8462.

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Community CounselingIncreases Suicide Prevention Effort (4-24)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – The Department of Mental Health has expanded its suicide prevention efforts by awarding a contract to the Community Counseling Center (CCC) of Cape Girardeau to serve as a Regional Resource Center to provide suicide prevention services.

“Our state recognizes the seriousness of the suicide problem and we are making progress in expanding prevention efforts,” said Dr. Keith Schafer, Director of the Department of Mental Health. “Giving communities access to resources to help address the problem is essential.”

The 12 Resource Centers engage community partners to develop and implement local strategies, provide public education and training, offer support for survivors, and promote proven practices to help with preventing suicide within their designated service areas. CCC will serve the counties of Bollinger, Madison, Cape Girardeau, Perry, St. Genevieve, Iron, Washington, and St. Francios.

CCC is a private, non-for-profit behavioral health organization founded in 1974.The mission of CCC is to provide comprehensive behavioral health care to anyone in need. The Center currently serves over 6,000 persons per year and provides nearly 150,000 hours of direct treatment intervention services. As an Administrative Agent for the Missouri Department of Mental Health, CCC bears the primary responsibility of providing mental health services to the counties of Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry and Ste. Genevieve.Under the provisions of the $25,000 Youth Suicide grant, CCC will be providing suicide related programs not only to their five counties but to Iron, St. Francois, and Washington counties as well.

“One of the primary goals of this endeavor is to identify youth who may be at risk for depression, suicide, or other mental health problems, and to make sure that at risk youth receive the services they need before it is too late,” said Sharon Braun, Ph.D., Program Development Specialist with CCC. “No one should have to lose their life to suicide. There is help for youth who are hurting so much.”

Scott Perkins, Director of the Youth Suicide Prevention Project for the Department of mental Health said suicide is a major health problem because of the large number of people impacted and the health care costs associated with it.

“We hope that communities will take full advantage of these centers while they are available so they will be equipped with essential tools to prevent suicide among their young people,” said Perkins. “One suicide can devastate an entire community. With these resources, we hope to prevent that devastation.”

For more information, please contact Scott Perkins at Scott.Perkins@dmh.mo.gov or (573) 751-8155

Or Sharon Braun, Ph.D., at sbraun@cccntr.com or (573)-339-6107.

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Mental Health Foundation Celebrates Champions and Lasting Legacies (4-2)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – Three remarkable Missourians who have overcome mental health challenges were honored April 1 as 2009 Mental Health Champions for their accomplishments and for making life better for others and their communities. The Champions are: Jamie Graham, Kirksville; Robert Qualls, Springfield; and Regina McKinney, Kansas City.

Mental Health “Lasting Legacy” awards also were bestowed on former Governor Warren Hearnes, First Lady Betty Cooper Hearnes, and the late Dr. Elmer C. Jackson, the first African-American psychiatrist for the Department of Mental Health.

“The stories of our champions are truly inspiring. It is a testament to the ability of people to overcome mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse and have a positive impact on others,” said Debra Walker, Executive Director of the Missouri Mental Health Foundation, sponsor of the Champions recognition.

More than 350 people attended the banquet at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. Champions were selected from statewide nominations of individuals who have overcome their personal challenges to make a difference in the lives of others and in their communities.

Jamie Graham has dedicated a large part of his life to advocating for people with disabilities. He has served as a Self-Advocate for the Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities and has been a member of the local and state People First Chapter for 12 years. He was inducted into the Special Olympics Hall of Fame for Courage and Service to People with Disabilities. Jamie is also a published author and rec­ognized artist. His publications include two children’s books: “Jamie’s Bright and Happy Walk”and “Uncle Jamie’s Super Helmet Show.”

Robert Qualls has chaired the State Advisory Council for Comprehensive Psychiatric Services and was appointed to the Transformation Leadership Work Group. Robert demonstrated courage in taping his personal story to educate the public about mental illness for a statewide Public Service Announcement. He has participated in NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) and continues to be a strong advocate for individuals with mental illness.

Regina McKinney is a Life Skills Coordinator and Case Manager at Friendship House in Kansas City. She has overcome adversity to help over 200 women find their way through the maze of recovery from substance addiction. She has pro­vided services to over 500 children whose mothers were working on addiction issues. Regina is working on her degree in addiction counseling at Graceland College.

Governor and Mrs. Hearnes and Dr. Jackson received lasting Legacy Awards for their lifetime contributions to mental health in Missouri.

“These are true pioneers in mental health,” said Ms. Walker. “They helped to shape the system that today touches more than 170,000 people every year in Missouri with services for mental illness, substance abuse and developmental disabilities.”

Warren Hearnes served as the state’s 46th Governor. During his administration, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services were created; the state’s Regional Office system serving persons with developmental disabilities was established; and community mental health services were initiated.

Betty Hearnes partnered with her husband during his two terms as Governor to advance the state’s mental health system. She later served as a State Representative and candidate for Governor and a member of the State Mental Health Commission. She continues to be a strong advocate for mental health.

Elmer Jackson, M.D., was a pioneer in the clinical as well as cultural development of Missouri’s public mental health system. As the first African-American psychiatrist in the Department of Mental Health, Dr. Jackson overcame the institutional discrimination of the 1950s and 60s to leave a lasting legacy on the Department of Mental Health.

For more information about the banquet, please contact Debra Walker at Debra.Walker@dmh.mo.gov

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Department of Mental Health puts Consumers’ Artwork on Display (2-16)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., - Over 130 pieces of original artwork from persons served by the Department of Mental Health will be on display Monday, February 23, as part of the 2009 Director’s Creativity Showcase.

The annual Showcase recognizes the talents of persons affected by mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse. The Showcase will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Department’s Central Office, 1706 E. Elm Street, Jefferson City.

“The talents of many of our consumers are amazing,” said Dr. Keith Schafer, Director of the Department of Mental Health. “Our goal is to showcase the arts and crafts of these individuals and give Missourians the chance to see the artwork on display.”

Many of the pieces of art are for sale by the artists. All the artwork will be displayed again on April 1 at the Annual Mental Health Champions Banquet at the Capitol Plaza Hotel.

The 2009 Director’s Creativity Showcase is supported by an educational grant from Janssen Pharmaceutical. A traveling exhibit will be shown at locations around the state, following the Champions Banquet.

For more information on the Director’s Creativity Art Showcase, please contact Kalei Shaw in the Office of Public Affairs at (573) 751-8135 or Kalei.Shaw@dmh.mo.gov.