News Releases for 2016

Contact: Debra Walker, Director of Public Affairs, 573-751-1647 or [email protected]

 

Mental Health Commission affirms naming of new Fulton State Hospital facility for Governor Nixon

Governor praised for his support of mental health in Missouri

[December 19, 2016, JEFFERSON CITY, MO] – In a specially called meeting today of the Missouri Mental Health Commission, members confirmed their support for the decision of the Board of Public Buildings to name the new psychiatric facility on the Fulton State Hospital campus the Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon Forensic Center.  The Commission passed a formal resolution in favor of the naming.

“The Commission is grateful for Governor Nixon’s dedication and commitment to Missouri’s mental health,” said Mary Seigfreid, Commission Chair. “He was the driving force that made the dream of a new psychiatric facility a reality.”

The official Resolution of the Mental Health Commission follows:

RESOLUTION OF

THE MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION

WHEREAS, the Mental Health Commission recognizes Governor Nixon’s leadership and unwavering support for the Department of Mental Health and citizens of Missouri with mental illness, substance use disorders and developmental disabilities, and

WHEREAS, the Mental Health Commission acknowledges Governor Nixon’s profound commitment to strengthening mental health services in Missouri, and

WHEREAS, Governor Nixon’s dedication to mental health and public safety has improved the lives of individuals and families throughout the state, and

WHEREAS, the Department of Mental Health currently operates a maximum security inpatient psychiatric facility in Fulton, Missouri, which is part of Fulton State Hospital, and

WHEREAS, the Mental Health Commission is grateful for Governor Nixon’s advocacy for the construction of a new high security psychiatric facility on the Fulton State Hospital campus to provide state-of-the-art mental health care to Missouri citizens;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mental Health Commission hereby formally supports the new building on the Fulton State Hospital campus as being named the “Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon Forensic Center.”

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Monroe County SB40 Board /County Connections Receives Blue Ribbon Award

Connecting individuals with disabilities to employment services

[December 12, 2016, JEFFERSON CITY, MO] – Monroe County SB40 Board/County Connections and its team of service coordinators received the Blue Ribbon Award from the Missouri Department of Mental Health recently. The award recognizes the organization’s efforts to connect more than 25 percent of the individuals it serves to employment services.

The Blue Ribbon Award for Empowering Individuals through Employment is given by the Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities. The employment services, which include job development and job coaching, enable Missourians with developmental disabilities to find and keep jobs within their communities.

“Individuals with disabilities want jobs where their skills and strengths are recognized and valued,” said Division Director, Valerie Huhn. “In Monroe County, agencies like Learning Opportunities Quality Works help individuals gain the skills they need to work, earn money and connect with others to build a better life.” 

Gaining access to employment services is often the first step. Many times services are only needed for a period of months as the individual learns the duties of a job. Then, they can maintain their job without paid supports. In the Marion/Monroe County area employers like Grandview Cemetery, Hannibal Courthouse, Hannibal Federal Building, Hannibal Public Schools, City of Monroe, Hardees and C&R Markets and many other businesses are engaged in the practice of hiring individuals with disabilities, making competitive employment an achievable goal.

Monroe County SB 40 Board/County Connections is the strongest in the Hannibal area for assisting its clients with access to employment services opportunities. This region includes the following counties:Audrain, Lincoln, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls, and Warren. The Blue Ribbon Award winning Monroe County SB40 Board/County Connections specifically serves individuals living in Monroe and Ralls counties.

Missouri is an Employment First state, meaning employment is considered the option of choice for citizens with disabilities.

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Macon County Commission for Developmentally Disabled Citizens County Connections Receives Blue Ribbon Award

Connecting individuals with disabilities to employment services

[December 12, 2016, JEFFERSON CITY, MO] – Macon County Commission for Developmentally Disabled Citizens County Connections and its team of service coordinators received the Blue Ribbon Award from the Missouri Department of Mental Health recently. The award recognizes the organization’s efforts to connect more than 25 percent of the individuals it serves to employment services.

The Blue Ribbon Award for Empowering Individuals through Employment is given by the Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities. The employment services, which include job development and job coaching, enable Missourians with developmental disabilities to find and keep jobs within their communities.

“Individuals with disabilities want jobs where their skills and strengths are recognized and valued,” said Division Director, Valerie Huhn. “In Macon County, agencies like Learning Opportunities Quality Works help individuals gain the skills they need to work, earn money and connect with others to build a better life.” 

Gaining access to employment services is often the first step. Many times services are only needed for a period of months as the individual learns the duties of a job. Then, they can maintain their job without paid supports. In Macon County employers like Loch Haven Nursing Home & Apartments, the Coca Cola Company and C&R Markets and in Shelby County employers like Shelbina Villa and Community State Bank and many other businesses are engaged in the practice of hiring individuals with disabilities, making competitive employment an achievable goal.

The Central Missouri Region area is the strongest in the state for assisting its clients with access to employment services opportunities. This region includes the following counties: Adair, Clark, Grundy, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Mercer, Putnam, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby and Sullivan counties. The Blue Ribbon Award winning Macon County Commission for Developmentally Disabled Citizens County Connections specifically serves individuals living in Clark, Knox, Lewis, Macon, and Shelby counties.

Missouri is an Employment First state, meaning employment is considered the option of choice for citizens with disabilities.

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Children and Youth in Disasters 3rd Annual Conference

Attendees will practice evacuation, reunification and a mass feeding exercise

[November 28, 2016, JEFFERSON CITY, MO] - The 3rd Annual Children & Youth in Disasters Conference will be held November 29-30, 2016, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City.  There will be a Disaster Exercise during the conference where attendees will practice mass evacuation from the hotel, transportation to another location for reunification and a mass feeding exercise.  

At approximately 11:30 a.m., conference attendees will evacuate Capitol Plaza Hotel (415 W. McCarty Street) and board buses provided by First Student for transportation to First United Methodist Church (201 Monroe Street).  Upon arrival at the church, participants receive a scenario profile to role play for the reunification portion of the exercise.  The American Red Cross will then host the meal to simulate a mass feeding.

Individuals with experiences from various fields including juvenile justice, childcare agencies, hospitals, mental health providers, school districts, first responder and law enforcement agencies provide unique perspectives and insight for this exercise. The sponsoring state agencies are:  State Emergency Management Agency, Department of Mental Health, Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Social Services-Children’s Division and Youth Services.

The conference is organized by the Children & Youth Disasters Committee, a collaborative statewide planning effort stemming from Governor Nixon’s Faith-Based and Community Service Partnership for Disaster Recovery.  The mission is to improve preparedness and emergency response strategies to meet the specific pediatric needs of this vulnerable population.   

The Children & Youth Disasters Committee specifically thanks the community partners for helping with the exercise portion of the conference:  First Student, First United Methodist Church and the American Red Cross.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

WHO: Participants in the Children & Youth in Disasters 3rd Annual Conference

WHAT: Disaster Exercise where attendees will practice evacuation, reunification and a mass feeding exercise.

TIME/LOCATIONS:

11:30 a.m.      

  • Evacuation of conference attendees from Capitol Plaza Hotel, 415 W. McCarty Street. 
  • Board buses and be transported to First United Methodist Church, 201 Monroe Street.
  • Upon arrival at First United Methodist Church, participants will be given an identity profile and must reunite with others with similar profiles.
  • Once groups have reunited, there will be a mass feeding exercise.

1:30 p.m.

  • Participants will board buses and return to Capitol Plaza Hotel.
  • The conference will resume with discussions of lessons learned from the Disaster Exercise.
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Adair County SB40 Board Receives Blue Ribbon Award

Connecting individuals with disabilities to employment services

[November 3, 2016, JEFFERSON CITY, MO] – The Adair County Senate Bill 40 (SB40) Developmental Disability Board and its team of service coordinators received the Blue Ribbon Award from the Missouri Department of Mental Health recently. The award recognizes the organization’s efforts to connect more than 25 percent of the individuals it serves to employment services. The Adair County SB40 Board is the first in Missouri to receive this award.

The Blue Ribbon Award for Empowering Individuals through Employment is given by the Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities. The employment services, which include job development and job coaching, enable Missourians with developmental disabilities to find and keep jobs within their communities.

“Individuals with disabilities want jobs where their skills and strengths are recognized and valued,” said Division Director, Valerie Huhn. “In Adair County, agencies like Learning Opportunities, High Hope and Chariton Valley help individuals gain the skills they need to work, earn money and connect with others to build a better life.”

Gaining access to employment services is often the first step. Many times services are only needed for a period of months as the individual learns the duties of a job. Then, they can maintain their job without paid supports. Community employers like Sodexo, Wal-Mart, Hy-Vee, Colton’s, Home Depot and many other businesses are engaged in the practice of hiring individuals with disabilities, making competitive employment an achievable goal.

The Kirksville area of the Central Missouri Region is the strongest in the state for assisting its clients with access to employment services opportunities. This region includes the following counties: Adair, Clark, Grundy, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Mercer, Putnam, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby and Sullivan counties. The Blue Ribbon Award winning Adair County SB40 Board specifically serves individuals living in Adair, Putnam, Schuyler, Scotland, and Sullivan counties.

Missouri is an Employment First state, meaning employment is considered the option of choice for citizens with disabilities.

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New leader named for Fulton State Mental Hospital, Gov. Nixon announces

Governor was joined today by new COO Andy Atkinson in touring construction of new mental hospital; $211 million project is scheduled for completion in 2018 

[October 3, 2016, FULTON, MO] –Gov. Jay Nixon today toured ongoing construction of the new Fulton State Mental Hospital with Andy Atkinson, who the Governor announced would be the hospital’s new Chief Operating Officer. Atkinson, a 10-year veteran at Fulton, replaces retired COO Marty Martin-Forman as leader of Missouri’s largest mental hospital, which is the site of the state’s only maximum-security psychiatric facility.

Originally built in 1851, Fulton State Hospital is the oldest state psychiatric hospital west of the Mississippi River. In 2014, the General Assembly backed Gov. Nixon’s plan for replacing the outdated and deteriorating maximum-security psychiatric facility with a new state-of-the-art mental hospital that will be safer and more conducive to modern treatment.Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

“Andy has been an integral part of the DMH team for more than a decade, and his experience and leadership will serve Fulton State Hospital well as it embarks on a historic new chapter,” Gov. Nixon said. “The dedicated men and women at Fulton State Hospital do incredibly important and difficult work, and I greatly appreciate their continued service alongside Andy and his team.”

Atkinson has been at Fulton State Hospital for 10 years and was the facility’s Hospital Operations Specialist before becoming Chief Operating Officer. He is a registered nurse with masters’ degrees in health management and health information Management. Prior to working for the Missouri Department of Mental Health Atkinson managed inpatient psychiatric units in Missouri and South Carolina.

This summer, Gov. Nixon toured the completed new Energy Control Center (ECC) and Services Building at Fulton. Several other portions of the hospital project have been completed on time and on budget, including the demolition and abatement of several buildings within the west phase, completed earlier this year. In addition, new boilers have been installed at the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education’s School for the Deaf and the Department of Correction’s Cremer Building (previously serviced by the Fulton State Hospital boiler) after construction of the Guhleman and Hearnes Boiler Plant was completed in June 2016.

The last building to be demolished will be the maximum security Biggs Forensic Center after the patients have moved into the new facility. The Biggs and Guhleman Forensic Centers on the Fulton campus treat patients with serious mental illness who are committed by Missouri courts for evaluation and treatment related to a crime, or who have seriously assaulted patients or staff in our other state psychiatric hospitals. Biggs is the state’s only maximum security psychiatric facility. Since 2007, the facility has taken in more than 1,000 admissions from 99 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis.

For the latest information on the Fulton State Mental Hospital construction, visit www.fultonrebuild.mo.gov.

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More than 5,600 law enforcement personnel now trained in mental health crisis intervention

The newest CIT Council expands training in the East Central region

[September 23, 2016, JEFFERSON CITY] – The newest Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Council, East Central, hosted its first 40-hour training for area law enforcement this week.  The goal of the CIT training is to improve public safety across Missouri.  It teaches officers how to approach and assist individuals who are in mental health crisis.  Approximately 5,650 law enforcement personnel have now been trained in through CIT.  

“Missouri officers trained in CIT have done an outstanding job of responding to situations and connecting individuals to the mental health assistance they need,” said Mark Stringer, Director of the Department of Mental Health.  “The partnership between the mental health community and law enforcement has made a tremendous difference for many Missourians with mental illness who need treatment not jail time.”

In 2013, Gov. Nixon called for a series of fiscally responsible measures to improve the way Missouri cares for individuals whose mental illness is so severe that it makes them a threat to themselves or others. Working with members of the General Assembly, the Governor secured $10 million annually for the Strengthening Mental Health System Initiative in the budgets for FY 2014-2017.  More information is available in this report.

Two other new CIT Councils, Sikeston CIT and Northwest CIT, will host their first trainings in October.  Sikeston CIT training will be held October 3-7, in Sikeston, and the Northwest CIT training is October 17-21, in Kirksville. 

Additional CIT councils are in development across the state. For more information on the CIT training in Mexico, MO contact Major Matthew Schoo, East Central CIT Chairperson of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at (573) 564-8084 or Detective Nicholas Tietsort, CIT Training Coordinator of the Audrain Sheriff’s Department at (573) 975-4061.

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Missouri leads in Mental Health First Aid training, per capita, among states with the most people trained

[July 15, 2016, JEFFERSON CITY] – Gov. Jay Nixon today said that Missouri is among the top five states in the number of people trained in Mental Health First Aid and, among that group, leads in the percentage of the population trained. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a national program to teach the skills to respond to the signs of mental illness and substance use disorders.

“Mental illness affects thousands of Missourians, but these stories don’t have to end in tragedy,” said Gov. Nixon. “By investing in proven tools like Mental Health First Aid and expanding access to services through our mental health liaisons, we have taken great strides to make our communities safer, healthier and stronger.”

In 2013, Gov. Nixon called for a series of fiscally responsible measures to improve the way Missouri cares for individuals whose severe behavioral health conditions have gone untreated. Working with members of the General Assembly, the Governor secured $10 million annually for the Strengthening Mental Health Initiative. The initiative included:

  • Thirty-one new mental health liaisons in community mental health centers around the state;

  • New emergency room intervention teams in seven regions of the state, coordinating with 65 hospitals and health centers;

  • Expanding the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Family-to-Family and NAMI Basics programs with a special focus on families with youths and young adult children.

  • Expanding access to Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for law enforcement officers so that more are trained to intervene in mental health crises.

  • Expand Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to targeted groups that are likely to encounter people in mental health crises. Missouri now has more individuals trained in MHFA per capita than any other state in the country.

Of the top five states in terms of number of people who are MHFA-trained, Missouri leads on a per-capita basis:

MHFA Trained

Per Capita Trained

MO

27,730

0.46%

PA

53,757

0.42%

MI

31,131

0.32%

CA

61,359

0.16%

TX

40,545

0.15%

Gov. Nixon has also led the effort to rebuild Fulton State Mental Hospital, the oldest state psychiatric hospital west of the Mississippi River, and replace it with a modern facility that is safer and more conducive to treatment.

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Energy Control Center and Services Building is first on new campus to be completed

[June 23, 2016, Fulton, MO] - Gov. Jay Nixon today toured the recently-constructed Energy Control Center (ECC) and Services Building at Fulton State Hospital. The structure is the first on campus to be completed and will house the ECC, Maintenance Shops, Emergency Command Center and Communications Hub, and Computer Information Services. Most notably, the ECC site also includes the Dietetic Services and Materials Management facility, which was previously housed in a deteriorating World War II-era building.

“Construction at the Fulton State Hospital campus is progressing steadily, and today was an exciting opportunity to tour the new facilities and view the development first-hand,” Gov. Nixon said. “The replacement of the outdated and dangerous facility was long overdue, and the new state-of-the-art mental hospital will provide safer conditions that are more conducive to modern treatment for generations to come.”

In 2014, the General Assembly backed the Governor’s plan for replacing the state’s outdated and deteriorating maximum-security psychiatric facility at Fulton with a new state-of-the-art mental hospital that will be safer and more conducive to modern treatment. 

“The Office of Administration is incredibly proud of our state employees, project consultants, and contractors for undertaking a project of such magnitude,” Office of Administration Commissioner Doug Nelson said. “We are very pleased with the work we have seen thus far, and look forward to continuing this progress.”

In addition to the ECC Services Building, several portions of the Fulton State Hospital have been completed on time and on budget. Demolition and abatement of several buildings within the west phase was completed in 2016.

New boilers were installed at the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education’s School for the Deaf and the Department of Correction’s Cremer Building (previously serviced by the Fulton State Hospital boiler) after construction of the Guhleman and Hearnes Boiler Plant was completed in June 2016. The Fulton State Hospital project is scheduled to be complete in 2018. The last building to be demolished will be the maximum security Biggs Forensic Center after the patients have moved into the new facility.

Fulton State Hospital, built in 1851, is the oldest state psychiatric hospital west of the Mississippi River. The Biggs and Guhleman Forensic Centers on the campus treat patients with serious mental illness who are committed by Missouri courts for evaluation and treatment related to a crime, or who have seriously assaulted patients or staff in our other state psychiatric hospitals.

Biggs is the state’s only maximum security psychiatric facility. Since 2007, the facility has taken in more than 1,000 admissions from 99 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis.

For the latest information on the Fulton State Mental Hospital construction visit www.fultonrebuild.mo.gov.

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Resilience Coalition transitions mental health efforts to the community

[June 23, 2016, JEFFERSON CITY, MO] – The Resilience Coalition celebrated its accomplishments, collaborations and partnerships with community behavioral health providers, school districts and the faith community Thursday, June 23, 2016, at an afternoon event at the Dome Conference Center in St. Louis.    This comes at a time when the Resilience Coalition transitions it mental health efforts to community programs like Alive and Well St. Louis, Bridges to Care and Recovery and the St. Louis City and County System of Care.

The Coalition members and partners stepped in as the strong but quiet presence providing the critical, emotional support needed by the children, families and residents of Ferguson and north St. Louis County following the traumatic events in their community.

“It has been inspiring to work with these dedicated colleagues and professionals,” said Laurent Javois, Chair of the Resilience Coalition and Eastern Regional Executive Officer for the Department of Mental Health.  “One piece of our legacy will be the listening sessions hosted by organizations throughout the area and facilitated by Joe Yancey of Places for People, Vetta Thompson with the Washington University, Brown School of Social Work, and Khatib Waheed, the Coalition’s Assistant Coordinator.  Their efforts exemplify the compassion and commitment that fosters healing and promotes emotional wellness.”

The Resilience Coalition was established in August 2014 by the Directors of the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Department of Social Services.  It was sanctioned to work with St. Louis community leaders to assist families and schools in teaching resilience and promoting hope for a better life for all children in the North St. Louis area. 

“I am very proud of the work the Resilience Coalition has done.  These dedicated individuals and organizations gave selflessly of their time and a talent to respond to immediate, emotional needs of their communities.” said Mark Stringer, Director of the Department of Mental Health.   “We recognize and celebrate their efforts.  I am confident the transition of supports to these exceptional community partners will build on the Coalition’s strong foundation.”

In addition to the state departments, agencies involved in the Resilience Coalition include: Allies in Healthcare, BJC Behavioral Health, Behavioral Health Network, Behavioral Health Response, Bridges to Care & Recovery, Children’s Advocacy Services of Greater St. Louis, Crider Health Center-Compass Health Network, Great Circle, Harris Stowe State University, Hopewell, Metropolitan Police Department-North Patrol Division, Missouri Coalition of Community Behavioral Healthcare, Missouri Foundation for Health, National Council for Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Office of Community Engagement, Places for People, Preferred Family Healthcare, Regional Chamber of Commerce, St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund, St. Louis Department of Human Services, St. Louis Initiative to Reduce Violence (SIRV), St. Louis Mental Health Board, St. Louis University, University of Missouri-St. Louis, United Way, and Washington University.

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Gov. Nixon signs student safety legislation, discusses historic investments in mental health

House Bill 1583 directs public school districts to implement youth suicide and prevention policies by 2018, adds cyber bullying to state anti-bullying laws

[June 3, 2016, Osage Beach, MO] – Following an address to the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s Spring Training summit, Gov. Jay Nixon today signed student safety legislation to help prevent cyber bullying and youth suicide.

“Every student should feel safe at school, and every teacher should have the resources and training needed to keep them safe,” Gov. Nixon said. “This is an important piece of legislation that can improve and save lives, and I appreciate the work of the Legislature to bring it to my desk.”

House Bill 1583 allows licensed educators, beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, to annually complete up to two hours of training or professional development in youth suicide awareness and prevention to satisfy a portion of the hours required for professional development.

This legislation also directs the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop guidelines and training materials on this issue, and to require each school district to have a policy in place by 2018 on youth suicide awareness and prevention. House Bill 1583 also clarifies the definition of bullying and includes the definition of cyber bullying in state statutes regarding schools’ anti-bullying policies.

Strengthening Missouri’s mental health system has been a top priority of Gov. Nixon’s administration.

In 2013, Gov. Nixon called for a series of fiscally responsible measures to improve the way Missouri cares for individuals whose severe behavioral health conditions have gone untreated. Working with members of the General Assembly, the Governor secured $10 million annually for the Strengthening Mental Health Initiative– an effort that will be expanded this year.

A cornerstone of this initiative was the placement of 31 community mental health liaisons (CMHLs) statewide to work with law enforcement and court personnel to connect people in behavioral health crises to treatment. To date, there have been more than 31,000 contacts between Community Mental Health Liaisons, law enforcement and the courts, with more than 18,000 referrals to mental health services.

The Strengthening Mental Health Initiative also included the placement of emergency room intervention teams in seven regions of the state, including coordination with 65 hospitals and health centers. Since their implementation, 3,302 individuals have been engaged in Emergency Room Enhancement services. Outcomes for individuals who have received services include a 56 percent decrease in ER visits and a 57 percent decrease in hospitalizations; a 62 percent decrease in homelessness; a 41 percent decrease in arrests; and a 99 percent increase in treatment program enrollment.

Last month, the Governor signed the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, which answers his call for historic investments in services for Missourians with developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders, increasing state and federal funding for the Department of Mental Health by more than $200 million. This includes:

  • A 3 percent rate increase and rebasing for providers of services for Missourians with developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders.

  • $1.6 million to expand the placement of emergency room intervention teams to additional regions;

  • $18.2 million to expand access to Crisis Residential Services for individuals whose conditions have become so severe that they can no longer be cared for in their homes;

  • $5.4 million for a new crisis prevention program to help low-income Missourians between the ages of 21 and 35 who have a severe mental illness or substance use disorders.

  • $14 million to ensure that there continues to be no waiting list for in-home services for low-income Missourians with developmental disabilities, with a $14 million increase. When Gov. Nixon took office, many Missourians had to wait months or even years for the services they needed to live independently. Today, that waiting list has been eliminated.

In 2010, Gov. Nixon created the Partnership for Hope, which provides home- and community-based services to Missourians with developmental disabilities and their families. The Partnership for Hope, the first of its kind in the nation, is now helping more than 4,375 people with developmental disabilities in 103 counties and the City of St. Louis.

In 2010, Gov. Nixon also spearheaded the bipartisan effort to pass the law mandating the coverage of autism diagnosis and treatment. For the first time, insurance companies were required to cover one of the most highly effective types of therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis, or ABA. While effective, the cost of ABA can exceed tens of thousands of dollars a year, making insurance coverage necessary for most families.

In 2015, United Cerebral Palsy ranked Missouri third in the nation – and second most-improved since 2007 – for providing quality services that improve the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

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Gov. Nixon signs budget making historic investments in mental health services

FY2017 budget answers the Governor’s call to increase funding for providers, keep waiting list for in-home services at zero

[May 5, 2016, Jackson County, MO] - Gov. Jay Nixon joined advocates and caregivers at Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County – eitas(empowering individuals through advocacy and support) today to sign House Bill 2010, the Fiscal Year 2017 budget for the Missouri Department of Mental Health. The budget includes historic investments in services for Missourians with developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders, increasing state and federal funding for the Department of Mental Health by more than $200 million.

“Working together, we have made Missouri a national leader in helping Missourians with developmental disabilities lead healthier, happier and more independent lives,” said Gov. Nixon. “This budget builds on these achievements and helps ensure Missourians with developmental disabilities have access to the high-quality services they need to live with independence and dignity.”

The budget passed by the General Assembly answers the Governor’s call to ensure that there continues to be no waiting list for in-home services for low-income Missourians with developmental disabilities, with a $14 million increase. When Gov. Nixon took office, many Missourians had to wait months or even years for the services they needed to live independently. Today, that waiting list has been eliminated.

In 2010, Gov. Nixon created the Partnership for Hope, which provides home- and community-based services to Missourians with developmental disabilities and their families. The Partnership for Hope, the first of its kind in the nation, is now helping more than 4,300 people with developmental disabilities in 103 counties and the City of St. Louis. Since 2010, the program has served a total of 466 individuals and families in Jackson County.

The FY2017 budget also includes a 3 percent rate increase and rebasing for providers of services for Missourians with developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders. The budget also provides an increase of $18.2 million to expand access to Crisis Residential Services for individuals whose conditions have become so severe that they can no longer be cared for in their homes.

In 2010, Gov. Nixon spearheaded the bipartisan effort to pass the law mandating the coverage of autism diagnosis and treatment. For the first time, insurance companies were required to cover one of the most highly effective types of therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis, or ABA. While effective, the cost of ABA can exceed tens of thousands of dollars a year, making insurance coverage necessary for most families.

In 2015, United Cerebral Palsy ranked Missouri third in the nation – and second most-improved since 2007 – for providing quality services that improve the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

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Gov. Nixon makes appointments and nominations to five boards and commissions

[March 3, 2016, Jefferson City, MO] – Gov. Jay Nixon today announced his nominations to four boards and commissions and his appointments to the Children’s Trust Fund Board. The nominations will be subject to approval by the Missouri Senate. The appointees and nominees, along with their boards and hometowns, are:

  • Board of Geologist Registration (Rosella L. Schad – Holts Summit)
  • Children’s Trust Fund Board (Dr. James D. Anderst – Kansas City; Sharon E. Rohrbach – Fenton; Derek J. Wiseman – St. Louis)
  • Mental Health Commission (Dr. Stephen F. Huss – Hillsboro; Dr. Karl E. Wilson – St. Louis)
  • Missouri Brain Injury Advisory Council (LaRea Annette Griggs – Raymore; Harvey Richards – Columbia; Judith E. Sandbothe – Jefferson City)
  • State Fair Commission (Barbara J. Hayden – Sedalia; Dr. Willis Jackson Magruder – Kirksville; Donald R. McQuitty – Sunrise Beach; Lowell F. Mohler – Jefferson City; Kevin C. Roberts – Hillsboro)

Board of Geologist Registration

The Governor has nominated Rosella L. Schad, of Holts Summit, to the Board of Geologist Registration. The Board of Geologist Registration protects the public, licenses qualified professionals, enforces profession standards, and encourages development and partnerships with existing small businesses.

Schad is a licensed professional engineer and a certified public accountant who also holds a master’s of business administration and a master’s of public administration from the University of Missouri. She currently is an appraisal specialist for the Missouri State Tax Commission and previously was an engineer for the Missouri Public Service Commission. The Governor has nominated her for a term ending April 11, 2017.

Children’s Trust Fund Board

The Governor has appointed Dr. James D. Anderst, of Kansas City; Sharon E. Rohrbach, of Fenton; and Derek J. Wiseman, of St. Louis, to the Children’s Trust Fund Board. The Children’s Trust Fund works to prevent or alleviate child abuse and neglect by planning and policy development; ensuring appropriate funding of results-oriented programs, training programs for prevention professionals, and research; promoting public awareness and education; and assisting in the integration of statewide prevention efforts.

Dr. Anderst is division chief of the Division of Child Abuse and Neglect at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine. He is board-certified in general pediatrics and in child abuse pediatrics. Dr. Anderst is active in the Helfer Society, which is for physicians devoted to the problem of maltreated children. The Governor has appointed him for a term ending Sept. 15, 2017.

Rohrbach is a registered nurse who is a founder and past CEO of the Nurses for Newborns Foundation, which provides a safety net for families most at-risk in order to prevent infant mortality, child abuse and neglect. She is a recipient of the Crystal Wagon award from Cardinal Glennon Hospital. Rohrbach serves or has served on numerous boards and committees related to healthcare and social services. The Governor has appointed her for a term ending Sept. 15, 2016.

Wiseman is an attorney with the Husch Blackwell law firm in St. Louis and a graduate of Washington University School of Law. He is an assistant coach of the law school’s national moot court team, and had been a member of the team while in law school. Wiseman was president of the student body at the University of Central Missouri, where he earned his undergraduate degree. The Governor has appointed him for a term ending Sept. 15, 2018.

Mental Health Commission

The Governor has nominated Dr. Stephen F. Huss, of Hillsboro; Dr. Karl E. Wilson, of St. Louis, 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.

Dr. Huss retired in January 2016 after 43 years as the president and chief executive officer of Community Treatment Inc., known as COMTREA, which has a staff of 358 in seven departments. The non-profit agency provides medical, dental, mental health, domestic violence shelter and substance abuse treatment services in Jefferson County and south St. Louis County. Dr. Huss also was a certified alcoholism and drug abuse counselor. The Governor has nominated him for a term ending June 28, 2019.

Dr. Wilson is a clinical psychologist who retired in 2012 after 33 years as President and CEO of Crider Health Center, a safety net community health and mental health center serving Franklin, Lincoln, St. Charles and Warren counties. Dr. Wilson also taught at Washington University for 38 years. He served on the national Board of Mental Health America and on the founding Board of Missouri Health Connection. The Governor has nominated him for a term ending June 28, 2018.

Missouri Brain Injury Advisory Council

The Governor has nominated LaRea Annette Griggs, of Raymore; Harvey Richards, of Columbia; and Judith E. Sandbothe, of Jefferson City, to the Missouri Brain Injury Advisory Council. The Missouri Head Injury Advisory Council studies and makes recommendations to policy makers to improve, expand, coordinate and develop a service delivery system, including prevention, for survivors of head injury and their families.

Griggs is a partner at the McCollum & Griggs law firm in Kansas City and has represented many clients affected by traumatic brain injuries. She currently advises the board of directors of Hope Haven Shelter of Cass County, a domestic violence shelter for women and their families. Griggs is a member of the Association of Women Lawyers and also does community work with the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. The Governor has nominated her for a term ending May 12, 2017.

Richards is associate executive director for the Missouri State High School Activities Association and is in charge of the sports medicine, coaches education, football, track and field, and cross country for the association. He is a member of the statewide committee for the Missouri Brain Injury Association. Richards is the former principal and superintendent of Steelville High School and also taught in Vienna and St. Clair. The Governor has nominated him for a term ending May 12, 2018.

Sandbothe has more than 29 years’ experience in hospital and military nursing, management and leadership. Holding the rank of lieutenant colonel, she was the full-time occupational health nurse for the Missouri National Guard from 1989 to 2008, and was the case manager for more than 40 Wounded Warriors, coordinating their medical, mental and dental health issues, including traumatic brain injury. The Governor has nominated Sandbothe for a term ending May 12, 2018.

State Fair Commission

The Governor has nominated Barbara J. Hayden, of Sedalia; Dr. Willis Jackson (Jack) Magruder, of Kirksville; Donald R. McQuitty, of Sunrise Beach; Lowell F. Mohler, of Jefferson City; and Kevin C. Roberts, of Hillsboro to the State Fair Commission. All of them currently serve on the Commission, which oversees the operations of the Missouri State Fair. The Missouri State Fair is held each year in August in Sedalia and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Hayden, a Republican, is a small business owner who is the president and CEO of Starline Inc., which manufactures unprimed brass cartridge cases for reloading ammunition. In addition to the State Fair Commission, Hayden has served on the Pettis County Workforce Development Board, the board of directors for Missouri Valley College, and the Missouri Supreme Court Disciplinary Board. The Governor has nominated her for a term ending Dec. 29, 2017.

Dr. Magruder, a Democrat, is the president emeritus of both A.T. Still University and Truman State University. He was president of Truman State University from 1994 to 2003 and A.T. Still from 2008 to 2012. Dr. Magruder is a past president of the Council on Public Higher Education in Missouri and a past vice chair of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA). The Governor has nominated him for a term ending Dec. 29, 2016.

McQuitty, a Democrat, is retired after 17 years as the chief executive officer of N.W. Electric Power Cooperative and previously was with the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives for 11 years in Jefferson City. McQuitty, who also served on the board of directors for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, is a former state representative for the 12th District, representing Linn, Macon and Shelby counties. The Governor has nominated him for a term ending Dec. 29, 2019.

Mohler, a Republican, was appointed as director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture in January 2001 and served in that position until being named to the Missouri Conservation Commission in July 2003. Mohler retired from the Missouri Farm Bureau in 1996 after 26 years as its chief administrator and corporate secretary. He and his wife, JoAnn, operate a 200-acre farm in Cole County. The Governor has nominated him for a term ending Dec. 29, 2017.

Roberts, a Democrat, is an attorney with the law firm of Roberts, Wooten and Zimmer in Hillsboro who obtained his law degree from the University of Missouri. He served as president of the Hillsboro R-III Board of Education and on the board of directors for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, and was chairman of the Missouri Lottery Commission. He is a past president of the Hillsboro Community Civic Club, which sponsors the Jefferson County Fair. The Governor has nominated Roberts for a term ending Dec. 29, 2018.

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Gov. Nixon visits Bolivar to discuss expansion of Missouri’s Strengthening Mental Health Initiative

Governor’s FY2017 budget expands access to early intervention services for Missourians with severe mental illness

[February 12, 2016, Bolivar, MO] – Gov. Nixon met with mental health care providers and local law enforcement in Bolivar today to detail his efforts to improve the health and safety of Missouri communities by expanding Missouri’s Strengthening Mental Health Initiative. Gov. Nixon’s budget for Fiscal Year 2017 includes an increase of more than $40 million for services for Missourians with mental health and substance use disorders.

During his visit, the Governor also discussed plans to implement a Crisis Prevention Program for Missourians with severe mental illness and substance use disorders.

“Our Strengthening Mental Health Initiative is helping thousands of Missourians with mental illness find the care they need to get healthy and stay safe,” Gov. Nixon said. “My balanced budget continues and expands this lifesaving initiative so that more Missourians get the care they need – before they reach a crisis point.”

In 2013, Gov. Nixon called for a series of fiscally responsible measures to improve the way Missouri cares for individuals whose severe behavioral health conditions have gone untreated. Working with members of the General Assembly, the Governor secured $10 million annually for the Strengthening Mental Health Initiative in the Fiscal Year 2014, Fiscal Year 2015, and Fiscal Year 2016 budgets. This funding will continue and increase in Fiscal Year 2017.

A cornerstone of this initiative was the placement of 31 community mental health liaisons (CMHLs) statewide to work with law enforcement and court personnel to connect people in behavioral health crises to treatment. These efforts have already yielded significant results. To date, there have been more than 27,000 contacts between Community Mental Health Liaisons, law enforcement and the courts, with more than 15,000 referrals to mental health services.

“This initiative has had a real and positive impact on the health and safety of our community here in Bolivar,” said Bolivar Chief of Police, Mark Webb. “Before this program was available, many people in need of services had nowhere to go. Today, we are working hand-in-hand with our mental health liaison to connect Missourians in crisis with the care they need. This effort has also helped our officers better understand and respond to the needs of Missourians with mental illness. It’s been a tremendous benefit to our department and our community, and I strongly support its expansion.”

“The significant investments Gov. Nixon has made in Missouri’s mental health system are making a real difference here in our part of the state,” said Dr. Todd Schaible, President/CEO of Burrell Behavioral Health. “Governor Nixon has moved human services toward a system where collective costs can become less while outcomes can become better.”

The Strengthening Mental Health Initiative also included the placement of emergency room intervention teams in seven regions of the state, including coordination with 65 hospitals and health centers. Since their implementation, 2,917 individuals have been engaged in Emergency Room Enhancement services. Outcomes for individuals who have received services include a 58 percent decrease in ER visits and a 62 percent decrease in hospitalizations; a 66 percent decrease in homelessness; a 54 percent decrease in arrests; a 32 percent increase in employment; and a 119 percent increase in treatment program enrollment.

The Governor’s balanced budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017, which he presented last week in his State of the State address, includes $1.6 million to expand the placement of these emergency room intervention teams to an additional two regions. The Governor’s budget proposal also includes $5.4 million for a Crisis Prevention Program that will be launched later this year. The Crisis Prevention Program will serve approximately 2,000 low-income Missourians between the ages of 21 and 35 who have a severe mental illness or substance use disorders. The Crisis Prevention Program will link these Missourians with out-patient health care services and behavioral health services, and provide ongoing care coordination.

Eligible individuals will be able to access physical and behavioral health services, medications as well as employment services.

To learn more about Gov. Nixon’s balanced budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017, please visit MO.gov.

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Gov. Nixon visits St. Joseph to discuss expansion of Missouri’s Strengthening Mental Health Initiative

Governor’s FY2017 budget expands access to early intervention services for Missourians with severe mental illness

[January 28, 2016 - St. Joseph, MO] – Gov. Nixon met with caregivers at The Family Guidance Center in St. Joseph today to detail his efforts to improve the health and safety of Missouri communities by expanding Missouri’s Strengthening Mental Health Initiative. Gov. Nixon’s budget for Fiscal Year 2017 includes an increase of more than $40 million for services for Missourians with mental health and substance use disorders.

During his visit, the Governor also discussed plans to implement a Crisis Prevention Program for Missourians with severe mental illness and substance use disorders.

“Through our Strengthening Mental Health Initiative, thousands of Missourians have received the help and treatment they need to get well and stay safe,” Gov. Nixon said. “But there are many more Missourians who cannot afford these services, and are at real risk. My budget makes smart, strategic investments to help these Missourians get the care they need – before they reach a crisis point – making our communities healthier, safer and stronger.”

In 2013, Gov. Nixon called for a series of fiscally responsible measures to improve the way Missouri cares for individuals whose severe behavioral health conditions have gone untreated. Working with members of the General Assembly, the Governor secured $10 million annually for the Strengthening Mental Health Initiative in the Fiscal Year 2014, Fiscal Year 2015, and Fiscal Year 2016 budgets. This funding will continue and increase in Fiscal Year 2017.

A cornerstone of this initiative was the placement of 31 community mental health liaisons (CMHLs) statewide to work with law enforcement and court personnel to connect people in behavioral health crises to treatment. These efforts have already yielded significant results. To date, there have been more than 27,000 contacts between Community Mental Health Liaisons, law enforcement and the courts, with more than 15,000 referrals to mental health services.

The Strengthening Mental Health Initiative also included the placement of emergency room intervention teams in seven regions of the state, including coordination with 65 hospitals and health centers. Since their implementation, 2,917 individuals have been engaged in Emergency Room Enhancement services. Outcomes for individuals who have received services include a 58 percent decrease in ER visits and a 62 percent decrease in hospitalizations; a 66 percent decrease in homelessness; a 54 percent decrease in arrests; a 32 percent increase in employment; and a 119 percent increase in treatment program enrollment.

The Governor’s balanced budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017, which he presented last week in his State of the State address, includes $1.6 million to expand the placement of these emergency room intervention teams to an additional two regions.

The Governor’s budget proposal also includes $5.4 million for a Crisis Prevention Program that will be launched later this year. The Crisis Prevention Program will serve approximately 2,000 low-income Missourians between the ages of 21 and 35 who have a severe mental illness or substance use disorders. The Crisis Prevention Program will link these Missourians with out-patient health care services and behavioral health services, and provide ongoing care coordination.

Eligible individuals will be able to access physical and behavioral health services, medications as well as employment services.

To learn more about Gov. Nixon’s balanced budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017, please visit MO.gov.

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Gov. Nixon visits St. Charles Developmental Disabilities Resource Board to discuss historic investments in developmental disability services

Governor’s FY2017 budget will increase funding for providers, keep waiting list for in-home Medicaid services at zero

[January 27, 2016 - St. Charles, MO] – Gov. Jay Nixon joined advocates and caregivers at the Developmental Disabilities Resource Board in St. Charles today to discuss historic investments in services for Missourians with developmental disabilities included in his Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

The Governor’s budget for Fiscal Year 2017, which he presented last week in his State of the State address, invests a total of $131 million in additional state and federal funding for the Department of Mental Health-Division of Developmental Disabilities. This includes an increase of $14 million to ensure that there is no waiting list for in-home Medicaid services for Missourians with developmental disabilities. The Governor’s budget also includes more than $73 million in state and federal funds for providers of these essential services, including a 3 percent rate increase and rebasing to ensure all providers are paid fairly.

“We believe all Missourians – including those with developmental disabilities – deserve the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential,” Gov. Nixon said. “From creating the Partnership for Hope to eliminating the waiting list for in-home services for low-income Missourians with developmental disabilities, we have made Missouri a nationally-recognized leader in caring for our most vulnerable citizens. This year we will build on this progress with needed investments that will benefit families and communities in every corner of our state.”

The Governor’s budget also includes $5 million to expand the Thompson Center for Autism in Columbia, $1 million to help launch an autism clinic at Truman State University and $500,000 to expand services at the Mercy Kids Autism Center in St. Louis and St. Charles counties.

“Gov. Nixon has been a steadfast advocate of Missourians with disabilities and we appreciate his leadership on these issues,” said Peg Capo, Executive Director of the St. Charles Developmental Disabilities Resource Board. “With these investments, the Governor continues to ensure that Missourians with disabilities and their families have the resources they need to live with dignity and independence.”

In 2010, Gov. Nixon created the Partnership for Hope, which provides home- and community-based services to Missourians with developmental disabilities and their families. The Partnership for Hope, the first of its kind in the nation, is now helping more than 4,100 people with developmental disabilities in 103 counties and the City of St. Louis.

The Governor also made it a priority to eliminate the waiting list for in-home services for low-income Missourians with developmental disabilities. When he took office, many Missourians had to wait years for the services they needed to live independently. Today, that waiting list has been eliminated.

In 2015, United Cerebral Palsy ranked Missouri third in the nation – and second most-improved since 2007 – for providing quality services that improve the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

To learn more about the Partnership for Hope, visit the Missouri Department of Mental Health or click here for a video about the program.

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Gov. Nixon announces expansion of Missouri’s Strengthening Mental Health Initiative

Governor’s FY2017 budget expands access to early intervention services for Missourians with severe mental illness

[January 21, 2016 - Hannibal, MO] – Gov. Nixon met with caregivers at Mark Twain Behavioral Health in Hannibal today to detail his efforts to improve the health and safety of Missouri communities by expanding Missouri’s Strengthening Mental Health Initiative. Gov. Nixon’s budget for Fiscal Year 2017 includes an increase of more than $40 million for services for Missourians with mental health and substance use disorders.

For Missourians in behavioral health crisis who seek treatment in emergency rooms, Gov. Nixon’s balanced budget includes funding to expand the number of emergency room intervention teams, which help connect these individuals to treatment and services. In addition, the Governor announced plans to implement a Crisis Prevention Program for Missourians with severe mental illness and substance use disorders.

“Our community mental health liaisons and emergency room intervention teams have achieved real results, helping thousands of Missourians in crisis,” Gov. Nixon said. “But our work is not done. Too often, Missourians with severe mental illness can’t afford the treatment they need to stay on the road to recovery. As a result, their conditions worsen, with heartbreaking consequences for families and communities. These smart, strategic investments will help thousands of Missourians get the care they need – before they reach a crisis point – making our communities healthier, safer and stronger.”

In 2013, Gov. Nixon called for a series of fiscally responsible measures to improve the way Missouri cares for individuals whose severe behavioral health conditions have gone untreated, including placing 31 community mental health liaisons (CMHLs) statewide to work with law enforcement and court personnel to connect people in behavioral health crises to treatment.

Working with members of the General Assembly, the Governor secured $10 million annually for the Strengthening Mental Health Initiative in the Fiscal Year 2014, Fiscal Year 2015, and Fiscal Year 2016 budgets. This funding will continue and increase in Fiscal Year 2017. Another cornerstone of this initiative was the placement of emergency room intervention teams in seven regions of the state, including coordination with 65 hospitals and health centers. Since their implementation, 2,917 individuals have been engaged in Emergency Room Enhancement services. Outcomes for individuals who have received services include a 58 percent decrease in ER visits and a 62 percent decrease in hospitalizations; a 66 percent decrease in homelessness; a 54 percent decrease in arrests; a 32 percent increase in employment; and a 119 percent increase in treatment program enrollment. The Governor’s balanced budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017, which he presented yesterday in his State of the State address, includes $1.6 million to expand the placement of these emergency room intervention teams to an additional two regions.

The Governor’s balanced budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017 also includes $5.4 million for a Crisis Prevention Program that will be launched later this year. The Crisis Prevention Program will serve approximately 2,000 low-income Missourians between the ages of 21 and 35 who have a severe mental illness or substance use disorders. The Crisis Prevention Program will link these Missourians with out-patient health care services and behavioral health services, and provide ongoing care coordination. Eligible individuals will be able to access physical and behavioral health services, medications as well as employment services.

To learn more about Gov. Nixon’s balanced budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017, please visit MO.gov.

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