2010 News Release

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

Support Can Help People Deal with Holiday Stress

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – The holiday season is a time of year that can add more pressure to the stress that some people already feel and it can affect their physical and mental health. The Department of Mental Health urges families, friends and co-workers to support each other during this time of year.

“While this time of year is full of activities focused on celebrations of friends and family, the reality is that the season does not make problems go away,” said Joe Parks, M.D., Medical Director for the Department of Mental Health. “This time of year can raise the level of stress that some people feel.”

Financial strain may be causing people additional stress during this holiday season. Financial constraints may not allow families to provide the type of holiday celebration they are accustomed to, which may contribute to depression and feelings of anxiety.

Dr. Parks said some people may fall into depression during the holiday season. The natural support systems of co-workers, family and friends should not hesitate to talk to someone who appears depressed or stressed out.
“Each of us has the potential to make a difference for people we know simply by reaching out and offering our support if we think that someone needs help,” Parks said.

Resources available for persons who may need help include:

Suicide Prevention Hotline 800-273-TALK (8255)

Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 800-392-3738

Mental Health Crisis: If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call the Access Crisis Intervention (ACI) hotline closest to your home. The numbers and the regions are available at www.dmh.mo.gov/crisis.htm.

Missouri Prevention Program recognized for success

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. -- A school-based substance abuse prevention program coordinated by the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (ADA) received national recognition for success in reducing drug and alcohol use and improving school performance among youth.

The School-based Prevention, Intervention, and Resources Initiative (S.P.I.R.I.T.) program received the Science and Service Award from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The award recognizes community-based organizations and coalitions that successfully implement one or more recognized evidence-based interventions.

The Division of ADA launched the S.P.I.R.I.T. program in five school districts in 2002. The program is designed to delay the onset and decrease the use of substances, improve overall school performance, and reduce incidents of violence among student. To achieve these goals, prevention agencies are paired with participating school districts to provide technical assistance in implementing evidence-based substance abuse prevention programming and referral and assessment services as needed.

The evaluation results over the eight years of SPIRIT implementation demonstrate that the program has had a positive impact on both attitudes and behaviors of students in the participating districts. SPIRIT youth have improved their decision-making skills, become more aware of the dangers of drugs, had a significant drop in bullying, reduced their use of substances, delayed the age of first use, and improved overall school performance.

“This program shows that helping to prevent substance abuse has many other positive impacts for young people. Providing the schools and the students with sound and proven techniques makes a difference,” said Mark Stringer, Director of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

The Division of ADA partnered with the Missouri Institute of Mental Health to provide data collection and evaluation of the SPIRIT program. Some of the outcomes include: 7 percent fewer youth reported using alcohol in the past 30 days; 7 percent fewer youth reported ever using marijuana; 10 percent fewer youth reported using aggressive behavior toward another student; and 9 percent fewer youth reported every having smoked a cigarette.

The five school districts and partnering prevention agencies participating in the SPIRIT initiative are Carthage R-IX and Community Partnership of the Ozarks; Hickman Mills C-1 and Swope Parkway Health Center; Knox Co. R-1 and Preferred Family Healthcare; New Madrid Co. R-1 and Family Counseling Center; and Ritenour Schools and the St. Louis Area National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

Gov. Nixon calls for expansion of state efforts in fight against methamphetamine, including requiring prescriptions for key meth ingredient (11-30)

Gov. Jay Nixon today called for a sweeping expansion of efforts to battle methamphetamine, including legislation that would make Missouri the third state in the nation to require a prescription for pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in meth. The Governor made the announcement at the Jasper County Sheriff's Department, where he was joined by Attorney General Chris Koster; Col. Ron Replogle, Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol; Jasper County Sheriff Archie Dunn; and other area law enforcement leaders and narcotics officers.

"The destructive effects of meth are well-documented - the ruined lives of addicts, the harm to children in homes where it is produced, the danger to neighbors and public safety personnel, and the burden on law enforcement and the mental health and corrections systems," Gov. Nixon said. "This deadly drug cannot be allowed to fester in Missouri. We have already enacted several measures to fight meth, but it's time to take this significant next step."

Gov. Nixon said his administration will work with legislators to introduce a bill in the upcoming General Assembly to require that pseudoephedrine be obtained only with a valid prescription. If passed, Missouri would join Oregon and Mississippi as the only states that currently have such a requirement. The number of meth incidents in those states dropped dramatically after prescription-only laws were enacted there, the Governor said. Oregon reported 424 meth incidents in 2004, two years before making pseudoephedrine a prescription-only drug. So far in 2010, the number of meth incidents reported in Oregon was five. Mississippi made pseudoephedrine available by prescription-only in July 2010, and has seen a 65 percent decrease in meth incidents since its law took effect.

 "Pseudoephedrine is the key ingredient in the manufacture of all methamphetamine, and requiring a prescription will help ensure that the people who truly need pseudoephedrine for health reasons are the only ones that have access to it," Gov. Nixon said.

 "The law enforcement community is broadly united in the position that requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine is the strongest step against methamphetamine production our state can take," Attorney General Koster said. "If we truly wish to attack this crisis, then the tool to do so is within our reach."

 "Missouri's drug task forces and all law enforcement officers are waging an aggressive fight against meth," said Col. Replogle. "They use tried and true investigative techniques and the best new technology available to hunt down meth cooks, meth labs and the 'smurfers' who attempt to get around existing restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine. Requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine will finally give law enforcement an edge in a battle in which too often the numbers have been stacked against law enforcement."

The Governor said that Deputy Director of Public Safety Andrea Spillars is leading the efforts on behalf of his administration to fight meth. Spillars was at today's news conference.

By law, pseudoephedrine must now be sold behind a pharmacy counter and buyers are limited to purchasing no more than 3.6 grams, or 120 standard tablets in a 24 hour period, and 9 grams, or 300 standard tablets, in a 30-day period. On Sept. 28, a new state rule took effect, giving authority to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to work with law enforcement and pharmacies on a new database that automatically blocks over the limit sales of pseudoephedrine and allows law enforcement agencies to track pseudoephedrine purchases in real time.

The Governor today said pharmacies and law enforcement agencies are making significant progress on the database and that it is already stopping illegal purchases of pseudoephedrine. Gov. Nixon said over half (590) of the retail pharmacies that sell pseudoephedrine over the counter in Missouri are connected to the database, with the expectation that all those pharmacies will be using the program by the beginning of 2011.

"The database is one of the tools we've put in place to help law enforcement investigate and track down meth labs, meth cooks, and the 'smurfers' who supply them," Gov. Nixon said. "Winning the fight against meth means staying one step ahead of the criminals, however, and a prescription law is that next step."

National survey reveals 45.1 million adults in the U.S. experienced mental illness in the past year

Study shows that nearly 1 in 5 people suffering from mental illness also have a substance use disorder

According to new results from a national survey, 19.9 percent of American adults in the United States (45.1 million) have experienced mental illness over the past year. The survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that 11 million adults (4.8 percent) in the U.S. suffered serious mental illness in the past year -- a diagnosable mental disorder has substantially interfered with, or limited one or more major life activities.

SAMHSA’s 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reveals that 8.4 million adults in the U.S. had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, 2.2 million made suicide plans, and one million attempted suicide.

The survey also reveals that in many cases those experiencing mental illness, especially those with serious mental illness, also have a substance use disorder (abuse or dependence on alcohol or an illicit drug). Nearly 20 percent (8.9 million) of adults in the U.S. with mental illness in the past year also had a substance use disorder. Among those with serious mental illness in the past year, 25.7 percent had a substance use disorder in the past year -- approximately four times the level experienced by people not suffering from serious mental illness (6.5 percent).

"Too many Americans are not getting the help they need and opportunities to prevent and intervene early are being missed," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. "The consequences for individuals, families and communities can be devastating. If left untreated mental illnesses can result in disability, substance abuse, suicides, lost productivity, and family discord. Through health care reform and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act we can help far more people get needed treatment for behavioral health problems."

Administrator Hyde announced the survey’s findings during an address before the 6th World Conference on Promotion of Mental Health and Prevention and Mental and Behavioral Disorders in Washington, D.C. sponsored by the Education Development Center, Inc., The Clifford Beers Foundation, The Carter Center and the World Federation for Mental Health.

The survey provides other insights into the nature and scope of mental illness, including information on those segments of the population who may be at greater risk of experiencing mental illness. For example, the survey shows that mental illness is more likely among adults who were unemployed than among adults who were employed full time (27.7 percent versus 17.1 percent).

There is a marked difference in the percentages with mental illness between men and women as well, with 23.8 percent of women experiencing some form of mental illness, as opposed to 15.6 percent of men. In terms of age, young adults (ages 18 to 25) had the highest level of mental illness (30 percent), while those aged 50 and older had the lowest (13.7 percent).

Less than four in ten (37.9 percent) of adults in the U.S. with mental illness in the past year received mental health services. Service use was higher for adults with serious mental illness (60.2 percent); however, 4.4 million adults with serious mental illness in the past year did not receive mental health services.

Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings is based on the 2009 NSDUH -- the latest in a series of scientifically conducted annual surveys of approximately 67,500 people throughout the country. Because of its statistical power, it is a primary source of information on the levels of a wide range of behavioral health matters including mental health and substance abuse issues.

SAMHSA is a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

2k9MH Results Survey.

FDA Reports That Alcohol Energy Drinks Are Unsafe and Unapproved

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) simultaneously notified makers of popular caffeinated alcoholic beverages that such products are unsafe, unapproved, and misleadingly marketed, The Washington Post reported Nov. 17.

Large brewers like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors stopped selling similar caffeinated alcoholic beverages in 2008, after several states’ attorneys general argued that they were unsafe and were inappropriately marketed to young people.

Smaller companies stepped into the breach, marketing drinks such as Core High Gravity, Moonshot, Four Loko, Joose, and Max. The drinks have become popular with young people, especially on college campuses, where they have been dubbed “blackout in a can.”

In Nov. 2009, the FDA sent a letter to about 30 manufacturers of these drinks, stating that the addition of caffeine to alcoholic drinks had not been approved and that it would evaluate its safety. It asked the drink makers to submit information on the safety of caffeine as a food additive.

On Nov. 17, 2010, the FDA notified four companies -- Charge Beverages Corporation, New Century Brewing, Phusion Projects Inc., and United Brands Company, Inc. -- that the addition of caffeine to their alcohol drinks was unapproved and unsafe, effectively making the manufacture and distribution of caffeinated alcoholic beverages illegal.   

"There is evidence that the combinations of caffeine and alcohol in these products pose a public health concern," said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, deputy commissioner at the FDA.

The FDA's letters cited recent scientific studies showing that when combined, alcohol and caffeine posed an elevated risk to the health and safety of consumers, especially younger drinkers. In response to criticisms of that research made by United Brands and Phusion Projects, FDA officials wrote that, "[T]here are currently no studies or other information that refute the safety concerns or otherwise affirmatively establish the safety of caffeine directly added to alcoholic beverages."

Simultaneously, the Federal Trade Commission warned the four companies that their marketing practices for the drinks were potentially deceptive.

"Consumers might mistakenly assume that these beverages are safe because they are widely sold," said the FTC's Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, David Vladeck. "In fact, there is good reason to believe that these caffeinated alcohol drinks pose significant risks to consumer health and safety. Consumers -- particularly young, inexperienced drinkers -- may not realize how much alcohol they have consumed because caffeine can mask the sense of intoxication."

The FDA's letters made no mention of recent incidents in four states where young adults were hospitalized or died after consuming caffeinated alcoholic beverages. The FTC letter explicitly cited the incidents as a factor in its decision.  Manufacturers were given 15 days to act, or face seizure of their products or even a court order barring them from selling it.

  A day ahead of the FDA and FTC's announcements, on Nov. 16, Phusion Projects Inc. said that it would remove all additives, including caffeine, from its product Four Loko, according to The Boston Globe. The founders of Phusion Projects stated in a press release that they "still believe, as do many people throughout the country – that the combination of alcohol and caffeine is safe," citing commonly-consumed drinks like rum and cola, or Irish coffee. The press release did not mention the hospitalization incidents that have been linked to the consumption of caffeinated alcoholic beverages.

Phusion Projects' founders added, "[I]f our products were unsafe, we would not have expected the federal agency responsible for approving alcoholic beverage formulas – the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) – to have approved them."

The FDA acknowledged the TTB approvals in its Nov. 17 letters to all four companies, but stated that the matter was unrelated to the need to have food additives approved by the FDA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Concerns raised over mixing alcohol and caffeine

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., Mixing alcoholic beverages with energy drinks that contain caffeine, or consuming premixed Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages (CAB) pose a greater risk than do drinks containing only alcohol, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The Federal Drug Administration is studying whether caffeine and alcohols can safely be mixed and consumed as a single beverage.

“The public needs to be aware to the risks of mixing alcohol with energy drinks and with consuming caffeinated alcoholic beverages. There is increased awareness and concern about this practice, especially when it involves youth,” said Mark Stringer, Director of the Department of Mental Health’s Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. “It is important to alert consumers to this risk.”

The use of a CAB, which are popular with underage drinkers, recently was linked to the hospitalization of nine college students in Washington in October.

When alcohol and caffeine are combined the caffeine counteracts the depressive effects of alcohol, which can lead the individual to seek additional alcohol to obtain the same sensations as those found in previous encounters.  When the caffeine wears off the person feels the full effects of the alcohol. 

The CDC reports that drinkers who consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks are 3 times more likely to binge drink than drinkers who do not report mixing alcohol with energy drinks. Drinkers who consume alcohol with energy drinks are about twice as likely as drinkers who do not report mixing alcohol with energy drinks to report being taken advantage of sexually, to report taking advantage of someone else sexually, and to report riding with a driver who was under the influence of alcohol.

More information on this issue can be found at CDC’s recent fact sheet on Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages

Gov. Nixon, local families discuss benefits of Partnership for Hope for individuals with developmental disabilities (11-4)

Partnership for Hope to provide services for 470 individuals with developmental disabilities across Missouri, including 80 in Boone County

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon sat down with two mid-Missouri families this morning to discuss the Partnership for Hope, a new state program that is having a positive impact on the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Gov. Nixon joined parents Sandy and David Sims, of Sturgeon; and grandmother Fern Anderson, of Columbia, to discuss the home- and community-based services the Partnership for Hope is providing to 470 Missourians with developmental disabilities. Because families will receive these services sooner than previously possible, the need for residential or institutional programs will be delayed or avoided in many cases.  The partnership, which took effect Oct. 1, was made possible by a partnership between the state of Missouri; 37 participating county developmental disability boards; and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

“The Partnership for Hope will offer help and support to hundreds of Missouri families caring for loved ones with developmental disabilities,” Gov. Nixon said.  “For too long, families were forced to wait for a crisis before help was available.  This partnership shows that families and communities can work together successfully to care for individuals with developmental disabilities at home and in the community.”

Keith Schaefer, director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, and Les Wagner, executive director of Boone County Family Resources, also participated in the roundtable.

Prior to implementation of the Partnership for Hope, demand for home- and community-based services had resulted in a large backlog of Missouri families waiting for help.  Because of the backlog, many families waited years before receiving the services they need.  Priority had been given to individuals in crisis, such as individuals who were homeless or whose primary caregiver had passed away; in many of those cases, residential or institutional treatment became the only option. 

Through the Partnership for Hope, 470 individuals will receive up to $12,000 in services per year.  Funding for the program comes from the Missouri Department of Mental Health, county developmental disability boards and CMS.  The county boards are contributing $1.5 million annually for the program, which will be matched by $1.5 million in state funds to draw down $5.2 million from the federal government. 

The funds will be used to provide services from local providers in the 37 participating counties.  Funding will be available on a continuing basis for future years.  The number of individuals served in each county will depend on the financial commitment given by the county’s board.  County boards will determine which individuals within their county will receive services.

In Boone County, 80 individuals will receive services through the Partnership for Hope, including Nathan and Mitchell Sims, sons of Sandy and David Sims; and Norma Anderson, the granddaughter of Fern Anderson.  Since Oct. 1, more than 30 individuals already have started receiving services in Boone County.

Nathan and Mitchell Sims, who have autism, graduated from high school in May and live with their parents and sister in Sturgeon, about 20 miles from Columbia.  Although the family lives in Sturgeon, Sandy and David both work full time in Columbia. 

While in high school, Nathan and Mitchell benefitted from meaningful and productive daily activity, their mother said.  After graduating, Nathan and Mitchell lost that daily structure, and their parents worried they might lose some of the progress they made in school.

Through the partnership, both Nathan and Mitchell will receive numerous services, including vocational skills; job-placement and support; and personal assistance.  Most importantly, a case manager will arrange transportation to work and other locations for the brothers, which will allow both parents to continue to work.  Prior to the partnership, the Sims family was ineligible for services because they were not in crisis.

 “Like any parent, I want my sons to be independent, productive and happy,” Sandy Sims said.  “Nathan and Mitchell are very intelligent, but they need personal assistance and guidance to learn how to work.  This program will help make that possible.  Rather than sitting home all day, Nathan and Mitchell now have support to find employment and volunteer opportunities, and transportation to get them to work and home.  This is a Godsend for our family, and we’re very grateful to all those who helped make it possible.”

Norma Anderson has lived with her grandmother, Fern, since she was four years old.  Now 20, Norma has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a form of autism.  Norma aspires to live independently, find work and care for herself.

After Norma graduated from high school, she lost access to school-based services, and she was not eligible for support under other programs because she was not in crisis.  Through the Partnership for HOpe, Norma has been assigned a community specialist, who will asses her abilities, target her needs and develop a plan for independent living.  She also will receive training for adult life and work. 

“Norma is very capable of living independently, working and contributing to the community, provided she has adequate preparation and support,” Fern Anderson said.  “We are very thankful for the support we are now receiving, and the results have been promising.  It’s wonderful to know that more families will have access to these services earlier, when they really can make a lasting difference.”

 

Funding targeted for substance abuse treatment (10-15)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Missouri Department of Mental Health has been awarded its third Access to Recovery (ATR) grant, making treatment available to thousands of Missourians with substance abuse problems. The current grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is $13 million over a four year period, with $3.3 million available in the first year.

The new grant will target priority groups for clinical treatment as well as supports such as housing, employment and transportation. The priority groups are:

“Access to Recovery provides help for people trying to overcome addiction. It gives them professional treatment as well as other supports necessary for long term recovery,” said Mark Stringer, Director of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

The latest round of funding will be directed to treatment and support providers in the Southwest, Southeast, Kansas City and West Central areas of the state. With access to both treatment and recovery supports, the chance of recovery are greatly increased. The outcomes targeted under the ATR program include abstinence, stable housing, employment, improved social connectedness, and elimination of criminal activity. 

Under the first two ATR grants, Missouri improved the access to alcohol and drug addiction services. During that six year period, more than 100,000 individuals and their families benefited from ATR-funded services. Missouri recruited, credentialed, and trained the more than 120 recovery support providers in the ATR network during that time.

For more information on the Access to Recovery grant award or the services of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the Department of Mental Health, contact mark.shields@dmh.mo.gov.

Artwork on display at Lincoln University (10-8)

Jefferson City, MO -   The Director’s Creativity Traveling Showcase is currently on display at Page Library on the Lincoln University campus in Jefferson City, MO.   The artwork is part of a larger showcase created by people receiving services from the Department of Mental Health.  The pieces are on display on the main floor of Page Library until Thursday, October 28, 2010.  The artwork is often created as a part of therapy or for recreation by people with developmental disabilities, mental illness, or substance abuse issues.  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 abilities and talents of these artists.  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 about the Director’s Creativity Showcase or the Missouri Mental Health Foundation contact Debra Walker at 573-291-8508 or e-mail mmhf@MissouriMHF.org.

Gov. Nixon announces partnership to help families affected by developmental disabilities (9-30)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Hundreds of families of Missourians with development disabilities will be able to get support services sooner, avoiding or delaying the need to put their loved ones in residential care programs or institutions, as a result of an innovative partnership announced today by Gov. Jay Nixon. A combination of federal, state and local funds will be pooled to provide timely community-based support services to nearly 500 people with developmental disabilities, so that they don't require costly institutional or residential care placements.

Because the demand for community-based services is so great, there is a large backlog of Missouri families waiting for help. Priority had been give to providing services to developmentally disabled people in crisis, such as being homeless or without family members who can care for them. Because of that backlog, many families must wait years before receiving the services they need.

"This is an innovative partnership between county boards and the state to allow families to keep their loved one with a disability at home, while still providing them the support they need to thrive in their communities," Gov. Nixon said today at a news conference at the Missouri Foundation for Health offices in St. Louis.

Using a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health, the Missouri Association of County Developmental Disability Services conducted a study to determine the best ways to serve people with developmental disabilities. The association presented its recommendations to the Missouri Department of Mental Health, which then applied for approval for the program from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS).

The program, which will provide 470 individuals up to $12,000 in services per year, is a joint effort of the Department of Mental Health, CMS and the 37 participating local county boards. The county boards are providing $1.5 million annually for the program, which will be matched with $1.5 million in state funds to draw down an additional $5.2 million in federal funding for services from local providers in the participating counties. Those funds will be available on a continuing basis for future years beyond the first year. The amount available for services in each county will depend on the financial commitment given by the county's board.

"This program shows how federal, state and local governments can work smarter, more creatively and more efficiently to improve the lives of Missourians with developmental disabilities and their families, and make the best use of taxpayer dollars," the Governor said.

With the new program, eligible individuals and families could receive services in their home communities such as personal assistance; employment and career preparation; accessibility adaptations; behavioral, speech or physical therapy; dental care; and emergency response services. Providing these services to people in their communities prevents the need for higher-cost services in more restrictive settings such as in an institution or in residential care.

"The ability of local communities to support their members with developmental disabilities is greatly expanded through this program," said Keith Schafer, Director of the Department of Mental Health. "The federal government recognizes the importance of this unique partnership."

The new program will begin enrolling individuals on Oct. 1. County Developmental Disability Service organizations - often referred to as Senate Bill 40 boards, after the legislation that created them - will review the lists of those waiting for services.

Counties participating in the program include Adair, Audrain, Boone, Buchanan, Callaway, Camden, Clay, Clinton, Cole, Cooper, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Lincoln, Livingston, Macon, Maries, Marion, Miller, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, Osage, Pettis, Pike, Platte, Ralls, Ray, Saline, St. Charles, Shelby, Taney and Washington, plus the City of St. Louis.

 

MIMH becomes new research, social services unit of UMSL (9-9)

ST. LOUIS, MO. – A new partnership between the University of Missouri–St. Louis and the Missouri Institute of Mental Health will provide greater benefits for the region as MIMH becomes an important new research, mental health and social services arm of the university, officials announced today.  Linking the two institutions will capitalize on their proximity, compatible missions and strengths to enhance mental health and social services for Missourians. UMSL’s administrative responsibility for MIMH took effect on Sept. 1.

“The possibilities of this venture are endless,” UMSL Chancellor Tom George said. “The University of Missouri–St. Louis can deploy its developmental skill and its many collaborative networks with other universities and institutions to expand opportunities for MIMH. Capitalizing on our mutual strengths will further the vital mission of MIMH and provide a great service to the St. Louis region, Missouri and the greater Midwest. Joining MIMH and UMSL is the definition of synergy and practicality.”

Under the new arrangement, UMSL and MIMH will expand formal collaboration on research and outreach projects on a variety of subjects, including substance abuse prevention and treatment, mental health promotion and treatment, mental health and substance abuse recovery, suicide prevention, violence prevention, behavioral health, epidemiology and health literacy.

Keith Schafer, director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, believes the partnership will be greatly productive.

 “We are pleased and excited to have UMSL as our new partner in furthering the MIMH mission to promote and improve mental health research and services for Missourians,” Schafer said.

Joseph Parks, distinguished professor of science and director of MIMH, agrees the merger will be a fruitful one. “St. Louis is a hub of collaboration in scientific research,” Parks said. “Our new affiliation with UMSL – given its great faculty and education partnerships – will enhance our ability to become more fully integrated and earn a growing position at the center of that vital research and service dynamic.”

Nasser Arshadi, vice provost for research at UMSL, said the genesis of this affiliation started with long-standing relationships between faculty at UMSL and the researchers at MIMH.

“It was really this longtime relationship that allowed us to explore a more formal relationship that will serve the St. Louis region and state over the long term,” Arshadi said.

Because of these established relationships, UMSL and MIMH researchers already have many additional projects in the pipeline.

“MIMH has consistently been one of the leading behavioral science research institutions in the state of Missouri,” said Marvin Berkowitz, the Sanford N. McDonnell Professor of Character Education and co-director of the Center for Character and Citizenship at UMSL. “Our Center for Character and Citizenship has worked with them in a variety of ways, serving as consultants for each other, providing information about grant opportunities to each other, providing personnel for various projects, etc.We are thrilled that this high qualityresearch institution and its impressive faculty, staff and other resources are joining the UMSL family.”

Robert Harris, professor of psychology and director of community psychological service at UMSL, said MIMH has provided numerous training opportunities for UMSL doctoral students.

“These research-intensive positions have helped to launch the careers of some very capable research psychologists,” Harris said. “Other collaborations have included co-sponsoring low-cost continuing education seminars for community professionals.”

MIMH. The Missouri Institute of Mental Health is dedicated to providing research, evaluation, policy and training expertise to the Missouri Department of Mental Health, other state agencies, service provider agencies, and other organizations and individuals seeking information related to mental health and other related policy areas.  Located in St. Louis, MIMH consists of 100 researchers and staff generating $6.5 million in research grants.

UMSL. The University of Missouri–St. Louis is a public metropolitan research university located in Missouri’s most populous and economically important region. UMSL provides exceptional learning experiences and leadership opportunities to a diverse student body through the university’s outstanding faculty, ranked programs, innovative research and community partnerships.  The university includes over 16,500 students served by 2,500 faculty and staff.

 

The Arc of the Ozarks Hosts Artshow Opening (9-3)

[JEFFERSON CITY, MO] – The Missouri Mental Health Foundation is proud to present the 2010 Director’s Creativity Traveling Showcase in Springfield beginning on September 12, 2010, at The Arc of the Ozarks, 1501 E. Pythian, in Springfield, MO. The artshow is part of the dedication celebration for The Arc of the Ozarks’ building expansion. The art will be displayed through the week of September 20, 2010.

“Making the art available for public viewing is just one of the ways we can help reduce stigma associated with having a mental illness, developmental disability or substance abuse issue,” says 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 is created not only for the showcase, but also as a means of therapy and recreation by people with developmental disabilities, mental illness, or substance abuse.

The Missouri Mental Health Foundation’s mission is to provide public education about mental health issues and reduce stigma for individuals and families living with mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse or addictions. “Sharing some of the artwork we receive is one small way we can celebrate the abilities of those with mental health conditions,” says Walker.

For more information about the 2010 Director’s Creativity Showcase contact the Missouri Mental Health Foundation at (573) 291-8508 or e-mail mmhf@compassinfo.org.

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Department of Mental Health announces appointments (8-17)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., -- Department of Mental Health (DMH) Director Keith Schafer announced today the appointment of Jan Heckemeyer as the Deputy Director for the Department, effective September 1, 2010 replacing Lynn Carter, the current DMH Deputy. Carter is retiring from the agency, effective August 31, 2010, after 31 years in service to the state.

Schafer also announced that Brent McGinty, fiscal officer for the Division of Psychiatric Services, will assume the position of Deputy Director of Administration for the Department, which is Ms. Heckemeyer’s current position.

“I am excited that Jan and Brent have accepted these appointments. They bring a wealth of experience and background with them and years of dedicated service to the Department and citizens of the state,” Schafer said. “Lynn’s retirement presented a challenge for us to replace her knowledge and experience. She has been the consummate professional throughout her tenure with the department and the state. We will miss her, and wish her well. We are lucky to have people as talented as Jan and Brent to promote to their new positions. They will not miss a beat in our services to Missourians with alcohol and drug problems, developmental disabilities and mental health conditions.”

Heckemeyer is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Government Financial Manager. She has over 24 years of state service with the Office of Administration and the Department of Mental Health, including the past four years as the Deputy Director for Administration. McGinty has over 12 years of state government service, including nine years as budget analyst with Senate Appropriations staff and three years as budget director for the Department of Mental Health.

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Conference focuses on suicide prevention (7-22)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – The 2010 “Show Me You Care About Suicide Prevention” Conference will take place July 29-30 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. Featured speakers’ presentations and workshops will take place all day Thursday, July 29, followed by a half-day of workshops on Friday, July 30.

“Suicide has a tragic impact on not only individuals and families, but entire communities,” says Scott Perkins, Project Director of the Youth Suicide Prevention Project for the Department of Mental Health (DMH). “Taking a pro-active 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 2008, there were 775 suicides in Missouri, an average of one suicide every 11 hours and 20 minutes. Suicide ranks among the top four leading causes of death for Missourians between the ages of 10 and 54. Youth ages 15-19 have the highest hospitalized attempt rate of any age group in Missouri.

This fifth annual conference is co-sponsored by the DMH, Lincoln University and the University of Missouri. This year’s conference features several different presentations with information on youth suicide prevention, evaluating suicide threats, veterans’ issues; training for caregivers of African American adolescents, forming survivor groups, breaking through stigma, and a media panel discussion on suicide reporting, as well as many other topics. There will also be three special awards presented to a survivor, a youth and a representative of the media. For a complete listing of workshops, please visit here.

This year’s featured presenters are Major General Mark Graham and Carol Graham, Eric Hipple (retired Detroit Lions quarterback), Dr. David A. Jobes, Dr. DeQuincy Lezine, Dr. Paul Quinnett, and Dave Reynolds. For complete biographical information, please visit:

For a complete biographical information, please visit here.

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

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DD names new director of Autism Services (7-20)

The Division of Developmental Disabilities announced that Julia LePage accepted the position as Director of the Office of Autism. She will start her duties effective August 2, 2010.

Julia brings a wealth of experience at the program, policy and leadership levels. Most recently she was the director of the Effective Practices section in the Office of Special Education at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Julia is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and received her Master’s Degree from the University of North Texas in Behavior Analysis.

St. Louis Gallery Hosts Art Opening to Raise Awareness of Mental Health Issues (7-15)

[JEFFERSON CITY, MO] – The Missouri Mental Health Foundation in collaboration with Queen of Peace Center, is proud to present the opening of the 2010 Director’s Creativity Traveling Showcase entitled “Faces And Voices of Recovery” on July 21, 2010, at the Northern Arts Council Gallery, 27 South Florissant in Ferguson, Missouri. A reception for the public and local artists will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21, at the Gallery.

This event also celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Queen of Peace Center. Images and works of art will focus on the recovery aspect of addiction and co-occurring mental health issues.

“Making the art available for public viewing is just one of the ways we can help reduce stigma associated with having a mental illness, developmental disability or substance abuse issue,” says 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 is created not only for the showcase, but also as a means of therapy and recreation by people with 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 show will end the week of August 2, 2010.

The Missouri Mental Health Foundation’s mission is to provide public education about mental health issues and reduce stigma for individuals and families living with mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse or addictions. “Sharing some of the artwork we receive is one small way we can celebrate the abilities of those with mental health conditions,” says Walker.

For more information about the 2010 Director’s Creativity Showcase contact the Missouri Mental Health Foundation at (573) 291-8508 or e-mail mmhf@compassinfo.org.

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Mental Health First Aid project (5-18)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, MAY 18, 2010 – Employees and partners of the Moberly School District and Boone County residents have a unique opportunity to increase their ability to handle mental health issues by participating in Mental Health First Aid Immersion projects.

The projects, the first in the nation, will integrate Mental Health First Aid into all facets of school and community life. Mental Health First Aid is a 12-hour course that teaches individuals how to recognize symptoms of mental health problems, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person towards appropriate treatments and other supportive help.

Both entities have agreed to incorporate Mental Health First Aid into their systems to teach the people who live and work within their organizations how to recognize and respond to issues of mental health that they experience and observe.

“We have to demystify mental illness and to spread the word that addressing these issues early on can change lives and communities,” said Dottie Mullikin, Director for Mental Health First Aidwithin the Department of Mental Health's Office of Transformation. “Education is an effective way to strike at the stigma attached to mental health issues. Just by knowing what to do when you experience or observe a mental health problem changes the way people look at these problems.”

The project involves training 25 individuals who work within the school district and 25 in the county as instructors of the 12-hour Mental Health First Aid course. The instructors then will make the course available to others in the respective systems. For the school district, that includes teachers, bus drivers, food service workers, and administrators, with the ultimate goal of training parents as well. The school district has offered five of its instructor slots to the Moberly Area Community College to extend the reach into higher education. "We have a long-standing relationship with the community college," said Tim Roling, Assistant Superintendent of the Moberly School District, so the invitation is a natural fit.

The Boone County Commission has adopted a resolution appointing the Boone County Board on Mental Health Trustees to coordinate the immersion project. Co-chairs Michele Kennett, JD, Health Law Attorney, and Sgt. Mike Krohn Jr. of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department will lead the effort.

Moberly first accepted the challenge to incorporate Mental Health First Aid in its system and, along with Boone County, will serve as a pilotfor the state and the nation in how this training program can work within these settings, according to Mullikin. "We're excited at this opportunity to partner with a school district and a county to see the difference that can be made in people's lives when stigma is reduced and folks can recognize signs and symptoms of mental health challenges and know how to take action early."

Adds Mullikin, “Our ultimate goal is to make getting help for a mental illness the same as getting help for a broken leg or a heart attack. Through Mental Health First Aid, you learn what to look for and what to do until professional help is available.”

The five-day instructor training for the partners is being planned for June, with course offerings soon afterward. For more information about Mental Health First Aid, visit the web site at www.motransformation.com or contact Mullikin, at 573-526-3701, toll-free at 800-364-9687, or by e-mail at dottie.mullikin@dmh.mo.gov.

Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based program developed in Australia by Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm to teach basic first aid interventions for common mental health problems such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, substance use disorder, or a crisis situation such as suicidal behavior, post trauma distress, drug overdose, panic attack, and the like.

The program initially came to Missouri using funds from Missouri’s Mental Health Transformation Initiative. The Transformation Initiative is funded by a five-year grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to address mental health issues in the state. Missouri is one of nine states to receive the funding, which ends September 30, 2011.

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Children’s Mental Health Awareness (4-30)

National Children’s Mental Health Month, Week and Day are celebrated each May across the nation. And it all started right here in Missouri. Green Ribbon Week was launched in Missouri in 1991 as a partnership between the Missouri Statewide Parent Advisory Network and the Department of Mental Health. The green ribbon symbolized the growth of families and the growth of support for children with severe emotional disturbance. This state-wide celebration became so successful that other states began to develop their own activities modeled after the Missouri Child Mental Health Week Poster and yearly theme. Eventually it became the national celebration it is today.

Governor Nixon has proclaimed May 2nd – 8th as Missouri’s Child Mental Health Week. A Proclamation signing and celebration is planned during this week.

Activities will be held across the state to raise awareness about the importance of child mental health and to increase understanding of the mental health needs of children and their families. These include:

(Many of the activities have been underwritten by NAMI of Missouri.)

The importance of child mental health comes to life with the following letter from a Missouri parent: “After numerous hospitalizations and time in out-of-home placement, our 15-year-old daughter Tiffany is now at home with us, making A’s in her homebound school work with a return to high school in the fall. Rave reviews have come from her community volunteering. She will be a hospital candy striper this summer. We credit Tiffany’s community mental health support worker and our parent support partner as making the difference.”

For more information about Children’s Mental Health Awareness activities contact Cindi Keele at namimockj@yahoo.com     573-634-7727

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Neva Thurston named to Mental Health Commission (4-15)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., - Governor Jay Nixon recently named Neva G. Thurston, of Jefferson City, to the Mental Health Commission. The commission appoints the director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health and assists the director in establishing, maintaining and reviewing plans, practices, rules and regulations, facilities, programs and services operated, funded or licensed by the Department.

Thurston is a retired registered nurse. She served on the Missouri Planning Council for Development Disabilities from 1995 to 2003, and chaired the council from 1999 to 2001. A charter member of the Missouri Alliance for Individuals with Disabilities, she currently serves on the Cole County Board for People with Developmental Disabilities. The Governor has appointed her for a term ending June 28, 2013.

Mental Health Foundation presents awards to champions (4-8)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – Three remarkable Missourians who have overcome mental health challenges to make life better for others and their communities were honored Wednesday as Missouri’s 2010 Mental Health Champions.

The Missouri Mental Health Foundation presented the awards to Gary Stevens of Rolla; Earl Cobbins Sr., of Lee’s Summit; and Jim Pace of St. Louis. The awards were part of the Third Annual Mental Health Champions Banquet held in Jefferson City. The Foundation also presented “Lasting Legacy” awards to Gerald J. Zafft of St. Louis and Carole Roper Park Vaughan of Kansas City for their lifetime contributions to mental health in Missouri.

“These are individuals who truly have made a difference in the lives of Missourians affected by mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse,” said Debra Walker, Executive Director of the Missouri Mental Health Foundation. “Their personal stories as well as their accomplishment are inspiring.”

Gary Stevens has been a strong advocate for all people with developmental disabilities for many years. He has been an integral part of numerous boards, commissions, work groups, and committees locally and statewide. During his time as a member of the Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities, Gary helped move forward initiatives that increase self determination; help people reduce or eliminate guardianship; find a home of their own; and live, work and play in the community of their choice.

Earl Cobbins, Sr. has come a long way in his journey of battling substance abuse as well as his mental illness to get where he is today. After receiving help for recovery at Swope Health Services, Earl was able to find a new home and became strong enough to regain the support and commitment of his family and friends. He realized that one of the most critical elements to his recovery was housing. He has since formed a not-for-profit organization called Sober 1 House of Hope. Sober 1 provides not only supported housing but job training, and employment opportunities at Earl’s car dealership and repair shop.

Jim Pace has demonstrated exemplary courage and commitment to overcoming the challenges of his mental illness and making life better for others in his community. Through his recovery and participation at the Independence Center, Jim now works in a permanent, full-time job, and has moved up to a supervisor position. He no longer lives on disability payments, but rather finds great pride in being able to live on his own and even contribute financially to his church and other charitable organizations. He volunteers to speak at various occupational therapy classes at Washington University and is a regular panelist in the Crisis Intervention Training course for local law enforcement officers. Jim has provided valuable insight into mental illness to thousands. He is an inspiration to many.

Gerald J. Zafft, parent of a child with a disability, is a tireless advocate for persons with disabilities. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Missouri Family Trust, now known as the Midwest Special Needs Trust, which helps parents plan and save for the care of their children with disabilities after the family is no longer able to do so. A former member of the Missouri Mental Health Commission, Zafft is a member of the Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP law firm in St. Louis.

Carole Roper Park Vaughan is a former state representative from Jackson County, serving in the Legislature from 1977 to 1995. She was the first chair of the House Appropriation Committee for Mental Health. In that role she helped to identify the critical needs of the mental health system and championed those needs through the legislative and appropriations process.

The MMHF is dedicated to helping Missourians understand the importance of mental health and building hope for persons who experience the impact of addiction disorders, developmental disabilities and mental illness.

For more information, contact Debra Walker at mmhf@compassinfo.org

Mental Health Department sponsors Mental Health First Aid courses (4-5)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – In an ongoing effort to educate Missourians regarding the importance of mental health in relation to their overall health, the state Department of Mental Health is offering three courses in Mental Health First Aid in April, May, and June in Jefferson City.

Mental Health First Aid is a 12-hour course that originated in Australia to teach people how to provide initial help to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis or who may be in the early stages of a mental health disorder. The course helps to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of the most common mental health disorders and offers information on how to assist.

“People, in general, have this fear about mental illness. One of our objectives in offering Mental Health First Aid is to demystify mental illness and emphasize the importance of mental health in our daily lives,” said Dottie Mullikin, DMH director for Mental Health First Aid in Missouri.

“Education is key to understanding people with mental health issues and to spreading the message that mental illnesses are treatable conditions. People who take this course are able recognize early signs and symptoms and take appropriate action to assist the person experiencing the problem. This is a stigma-buster that offers hope for Missouri communities,” Mullikin added.

Mental Health First Aid is open to the general public, and may be helpful for parents, teachers, clergy, and anyone not trained in mental health who would like a clearer understanding of mental health issues.

The course is offered over a two-day period. The dates scheduled for the three Jefferson City sessions are April 26-27, May 24-25, and June 21-22. All sessions will be held at the Department of Mental Health’s Central Office at 1706 E. Elm St. Class size is limited and pre-registration is required. In lieu of a fee for the course, participants are asked to bring five canned goods to be donated to the Samaritan Center food pantry.

For more information or to register, interested persons may call 573-526-3702 in Jefferson City, 800-364-9687 toll-free, or e-mail shirley.hall@dmh.mo.gov. The opportunity to earn Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) is available.

Mental Health First Aid is an initiative of Missouri’s Office of Mental Health Transformation, funded by a five-year grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to the office of Governor Jay Nixon. Missouri is one of nine states to receive the Transformation funding. Additional information on Mental Health First Aid and the Transformation initiative is available at www.motransformation.com.

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Newsletter/Newspaper announcement

The Missouri Department of Mental Health wants citizens to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses and is offering three 12-hour courses on Mental Health First Aid in Jefferson City.

Mental Health First Aid Training

Two-day training, three opportunities

  1. April 26-27
  2. May 24-25
  3. June 21-22

Time: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day; CEUs available

Location: Department of Mental Health, 1706 E. Elm St., Jefferson City.

Class size is limited. Pre-registration is required. Participants are asked to bring five canned goods to be donated to the Samaritan Center.

For more information or to register, call 573-526-3702 or e-mail shirley.hall@dmh.mo.gov

Julie Inman named to DMH position for Southeast Region

The Department of Mental Health has appointed Julie Inman as Regional Executive Officer for the Southeastern Region of the Division of Comprehensive Psychiatric Services. Inman replaces Karen Adams, who retired recently from the position.

As Regional Executive Officer, Inman will be responsible for oversight of the department’s inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services for the region. This includes coordination of community mental health centers in the region, and the oversight of state-operated inpatient facilities in the region. The inpatient facilities include Cottonwood Residential Treatment Services in Cape Girardeau, and Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center in Farmington, which includes the Adult Psychiatric Services and the Sexual Offender and Rehabilitation Treatment Service.

Inman earned her Master’s of Business of Administration from Lindenwood College. She has been with the Department of Mental Health since 1996. During that time, she has worked as Chief Accountant and Assistant Superintendent of Administration for Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center at Farmington. Since 2003, she has served as Chief Financial Officer for the Southeastern Region.

2010 Director's Creativity Showcae Opening (2-25)

[JEFFERSON CITY, MO] – The Missouri Mental Health Foundation is sponsoring the 2010 Director’s Creativity Art Showcase, which is on display from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday, February 26, 2010, at the Department of Mental Health (DMH), 1706 East Elm Street, Jefferson City. The event showcases the talents and abilities of people with mental health issues.

The showcase helps to acquaint the public with the talents of the people DMH serves. These are individuals with mental illnesses; developmental disabilities; or addictions to alcohol, other drugs, and gambling. The artwork is created not only for the Showcase, but is sometimes used as a means of therapy. This therapy provides an outlet for the artist to express his or her feelings­—feelings they may not be able to verbally communicate. The art show also has encouraged people to try something they may previously have never considered possible, only to find they have a true creative talent.

“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 addiction disorder,” 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 Director’s Creativity Showcase gives monetary prizes to the top five artwork pieces judged in each of the three divisions and to the “best of show” in the professional category.

For more information contact Debra Walker (573) 751-1647, or e-mail debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov.

Contracts Awarded for Communities of Hope Initiative (2-9)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Missouri Department of Mental Health has announced Communities of Hope contract awards to eight local agencies to help address mental health concerns in the state. The awards are funded through the Federal Mental Health Transformation Grant initiative.

The agencies will use the awards to assist 21 community coalitions in determining their local priority needs regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities and in developing plans to address the identified issues.

“Communities of Hope is about finding effective local ways to support parents and families, keep kids in school, and have healthy and productive employees and neighbors,” said Mental Health Director Keith Schafer. “It is often challenging to know how to deal with mental health issues, but we are confident that local communities can address these concerns head-on to make life better for everyone. In these tough times we have to work together to address the many needs of our citizens.”

Of the approximate 5.8 million people who live in Missouri, it is estimated that 10.5% have a serious mental illness, 11% are alcohol dependent, 3% are drug dependent and 1.5% experience mental retardation or another significant developmental disability (NARI, 2000). Consequently, the health of Missouri citizens and the economy can be improved by focusing efforts to reduce the burden of disease associated with mental health conditions. Many of the costs associated with treating these conditions can be avoided through prevention, early intervention, more-effective treatment, and supportive services.

The Communities of Hope Initiative is a cornerstone of the state’s efforts to transform its mental health system to make it more responsive to actual need by using a public health model of service delivery. A public health model provides a continuum of services that focuses on an entire population rather than individuals or their separate illnesses and disabilities. The

Communities of Hope Initiative takes transformation to scale by mobilizing communities to develop data-driven mental health and wellness plans, implement targeted interventions with community-specific outcomes, and sustain their efforts through the expansion of existing partnerships.

The following agencies received the contract awards, which range from $14,500 - $30,000:

The funded agencies will provide technical assistance, training, and support to community coalitions as they work to address local mental health needs.

For more information on the Communities of Hope Initiative, contact Valerie Howard at the Department of Mental Health, 573-751-8122.

Missouri’s Mental Health Transformation Initiative is based in the Missouri Department of Mental Health and funded through a grant from the federal Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration. Missouri is one of nine states selected to receiving Transformation funding. The five-year grant ends September 30, 2011.

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Mayme Young Miller to chair Mental Health Transformation (2-8)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - Mayme Young Miller has been named as the chair of the Mental Health Transformation Working Group within the Department of Mental Health. Miller previously served as Director of Constituent Services for Governor Jay Nixon and as the Governor Office Liaison to the Department of Mental Health. She has been a member of the Mental Health Transformation Working Group since July of 2009. She began work as the chair on February 1.

“It is important that we continue to set a new direction for mental health services in our state. Mayme brings outstanding leadership skills to this process,” said Department of Mental Health Director, Keith Schafer.

Missouri’s Mental Health Transformation initiative started with a federal grant in 2006. Missouri was one of only nine states awarded a competitive five year, $11 million grant by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to reform the state’s mental health system. A 2009 evaluation by SAMHSA rated Missouri high for building partnerships among state agencies and creating the foundation for transformation.

“This is an exciting opportunity to build on the work that has been done,” Miller said. “Missouri has the potential to be a national leader in the way we provide mental health services.”

Some of the Transformation priorities for 2010 include: expanding employment and housing opportunities for DMH clients; improving integration of persons with dual diagnosis; improving mortality rates and health outcomes for people with disabilities and behavioral disorders; increasing the voice of consumers in their treatment planning; and reducing stigma surrounding people with addiction problems, developmental disabilities and mental illness.

Miller has also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Financial Services and Consumer Protection divisions, including two years as Chief of the Consumer Complaint Unit, overseeing complaint investigators and the Consumer Fraud Hotline in the Attorney General’s Office. Prior to her tenure with the Attorney General Office, Miller was an attorney in private practice for three years, both in her hometown of Charleston, Mo., and in Austin, Tex. Miller earned her bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology from Southeast Missouri State University in 1996 and her juris doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia Law School in 2000.

Three selected as Mental Health Champions (1-25)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – Three remarkable Missourians who have overcome mental health challenges to make life better for others and their communities have been chosen as 2010 Mental Health Champions by the Missouri Mental Health Foundation. The Champions are Gary Stevens of Rolla; Earl Cobbins Sr., of Lees Summit; and Jim Pace of St. Louis.

These champions will be honored on April 7, 2010, at the Third Annual Mental Health Champions Banquet to be held in Jefferson City. The Mental Health Foundation will also present “Lasting Legacy” awards at the banquet to Gerald J. Zafft of St. Louis and Carole Roper Park Vaughan of Kansas City for their lifetime contributions to mental health in Missouri.

“These are individuals who truly have made a difference in the lives of Missourians affected by mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse,” said Debra Walker, Executive Director of the Missouri Mental Health Foundation. “Their personal stories as well as their accomplishment are inspiring.”

Gary Stevens has been a strong advocate for all people with developmental disabilities for many years. He has been an integral part of numerous boards, commissions, work groups, and committees locally and statewide. During his time as a member of the Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities, Gary helped move forward initiatives that increase self determination; help people reduce or eliminate guardianship; find a home of their own; and live, work and play in the community of their choice.

Earl Cobbins, Sr. has come a long way in his journey of battling substance abuse as well as his mental illness to get where he is today. After receiving help for recovery at Swope Health Services, Earl was able to find a new home and became strong enough to regain the support and commitment of his family and friends. He realized that one of the most critical elements to his recovery was housing. He has since formed a not-for-profit organization called Sober 1 House of Hope. Sober 1 provides not only supported housing but job training, and employment opportunities at Earl’s car dealership and repair shop.

Jim Pace has demonstrated exemplary courage and commitment to overcoming the challenges of his mental illness and making life better for others in his community. Through his recovery and participation at the Independence Center, Jim now works in a permanent, full-time job, and has moved up to a supervisor position. He no longer lives on disability payments, but rather finds great pride in being able to live on his own and even contribute financially to his church and other charitable organizations. He volunteers to speak at various occupational therapy classes at Washington University and is a regular panelist in the Crisis Intervention Training course for local law enforcement officers. Jim has provided valuable insight into mental illness to thousands. He is an inspiration to many.

Gerald J. Zafft, parent of a child with a disability, is a tireless advocate for persons with disabilities. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Missouri Family Trust, now known as the Midwest Special Needs Trust, which helps parents plan and save for the care of their children with disabilities after the family is no longer able to do so. A former member of the Missouri Mental Health Commission, Zafft is a member of the Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP law firm in St. Louis.

Carole Roper Park Vaughan is a former state representative from Jackson County, serving in the Legislature from 1977 to 1995. She was the first chair of the House Appropriation Committee for Mental Health. In that role she helped to identify the critical needs of the mental health system and championed those needs through the legislative and appropriations process.

More information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities for the Champions Banquet will be provided soon. The MMHF is dedicated to helping Missourians understand the importance of mental health and building hope for persons who experience the impact of addiction disorders, developmental disabilities and mental illness.

For more information, contact Debra Walker at mmhf@compassinfo.org