2019 News Releases

2019

Missouri's Show Me Hope Crisis Counseling continues

Behavioral health outreach funding extends

November 20 2019 - Jefferson City, MO —

In response to the historic severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from April 29 to July 5, 2019, the Show Me Hope Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) grant will fund psychological services to help build hope and resiliency in Missouri’s survivors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently awarded a $2.4 million CCP Regular Services Program (RSP) grant to the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to continue to deliver outreach services through five participating Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs): Arthur Center, Burrell Behavioral Health, Compass Health, Family Guidance Center and Ozark Center.

Individuals and families impacted by the disaster, known as FEMA 4451, who live in one of the following disaster declaration counties will have access to Show Me Hope services. Those counties are: Andrew, Atchison, Boone, Buchanan, Carroll, Callaway, Chariton, Cole, Greene, Holt, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lewis, Lincoln, Livingston, McDonald, Miller, Newton, Osage, Pike, Platte, Pulaski, St. Charles and Saline.

Show Me Hope crisis counselors will be in the above counties connecting survivors with local mental health resources. However, any Missourian experiencing stress or emotional strain because of the disasters can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-985-5990 or send a text message “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

The CCP is a disaster relief program funded by FEMA to assist individuals and families in recovery from disasters through the following goals: 

  • Reach large numbers of people affected by disasters through face-to-face outreach to shelters, homes, community events and other locations,
  • Assess the emotional needs of survivors and make referrals to traditional behavioral health services when necessary
  • Identify tangible needs and link survivors to community resources and disaster relief services
  • Provide emotional support, education, basic crisis counseling, and connection to familial and community support systems
  • Train and educate CCP staff and other community partners about disaster reactions, appropriate interventions, and CCP services
  • Develop partnerships with local disaster and other organizations
  • Work with local stakeholders to promote community resilience and recovery
  • Collect and evaluate data to ensure quality services and justify program efforts
  • Leave behind a permanent legacy of improved coping skills, educational and resource materials, and enhanced community connections. 

For local detail, contact the Show Me Hope provider covering these counties:

  • Pike County
    • Arthur Center: 573-582-1234
  • Boone, Carroll, Chariton and Greene counties
    • Burrell Behavioral Health: 417-761-5898 
  • Cole, Jackson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Miller, Osage, Pulaski and St. Charles counties
    • Compass Health: 844-853-8937
  • Livingston County
    • Department of Mental Health: 573-751-3070
  • Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Holt and Platte counties
    • Family Guidance Center: 816-364-1501
  • Jasper County
    • Ozark Center: 417-434-3458
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OP-ED: Tenth Anniversary of University of Missouri Psychiatric Center, Mark Stringer, DMH Director

August 20 2019 - Jefferson City , MO —

Ten years ago, Missouri’s Department of Mental Health faced a crossroads. We knew how important access to mental health care was—and is—to Missourians. We also knew the state could no longer afford to provide acute-care inpatient psychiatry services, and the national recession only exacerbated the problems underlying this realization.  

In 2009, the Department of Mental Health was running acute inpatient care facilities across the state, including the Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center in Columbia. If we simply shut it down, we would be eliminating a much-needed resource that served all central Missourians. Instead, we reached out to the University of Missouri and MU Health Care with a unique offer: take over Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center and bring it under the MU Health Care umbrella. 

It was an uncertain venture for both sides. MU Health Care had never run an acute-care psychiatric hospital before. The Department of Mental Health had never completely turned over a health care facility. No one knew what this change should look like, or whether it would succeed. After much negotiation, state leaders and MU Health Care mutually agreed to take a leap of faith. A group of MU Health Care and state administrators worked for two months to set up the infrastructure required for the change, despite not knowing whether Governor Jay Nixon would sign the bill allowing the transition to take place. 

Governor Nixon did sign the bill in late June 2009, just in time for the new fiscal year on July 1. At the end of the day on June 30, Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center ceased to exist, and the morning of July 1, 2009 the University of Missouri Psychiatric Center opened. The hand-off went seamlessly. Patient care never stopped while an entire new entity took over the hospital. 

Today, I am pleased to say MU Health Care’s Missouri Psychiatric Center has exceeded our expectations in every way. Under the leadership of Dr. John Lauriello, MUPC’s Executive Medical Director, it has grown into a state-of-the-art, acute psychiatric hospital that expertly serves central Missourians’ mental health care needs. 

Now more than ten years later, MUPC patients have access to better treatment than ever before along with a cutting edge pediatric behavioral unit. 

There has also been impressive physical growth. The emergency department serving MUPC has grown from three rooms to the ten-bed emergency department of today, which offers 14 patient observation stations. The facility will soon unveil an innovative play-therapy area for both adults and children. Later this year, they will open an integrative medicine unit where patients will receive the physical and behavioral health care they need from a team of physicians including hospitalists, internal medicine specialists, and psychiatrists. 

Ten years ago, the goal was to preserve and enhance access to mental health care for the people of central Missouri. I continue to be impressed with the growth and development of MUPC. I am truly grateful to Dr. Lauriello, his expert team of health care providers, and to both MU Health Care and the University of Missouri System for all they have done. Congratulations to MUPC on your tenth anniversary. We are grateful for all you have accomplished and look forward to continued partnership in improving health outcomes for Missourians for years to come.
 

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Missouri receives Show Me Hope Crisis Counseling grant to help flood survivors

Behavioral health outreach funding begins immediately

August 05 2019 - Jefferson City , MO —

In response to the historic severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from April 29 to July 5, 2019, the Show Me Hope Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) grant will fund psychological services to help build hope and resiliency in Missouri’s survivors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded the CCP grant to the Department of Mental Health (DMH) this week to deliver outreach services through five participating Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs): Arthur Center, Burrell Behavioral Health, Compass Health, Family Guidance Center and Ozark Center.

Individuals and families impacted by the disaster, known as FEMA 4451, who live in one of the following disaster declaration counties will have access to Show Me Hope services. Those counties are: Andrew, Atchison, Boone, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Cole, Greene, Holt, Jackson, Jasper, Lafayette, Lincoln, Livingston, Miller, Osage, Pike, Platte, Pulaski, and St. Charles.

Show Me Hope crisis counselors will be in the above counties connecting survivors with local mental health resources. However, any Missourian experiencing stress or emotional strain because of the disasters can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-985-5990 or send a text message “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

The CCP is a short-term disaster relief program funded by FEMA to assist individuals and families in recovery from disasters through the following goals: 

Show Me Hope
•    Reach large numbers of people affected by disasters through face-to-face outreach to shelters, homes, community events and other locations,
•    Assess the emotional needs of survivors and make referrals to traditional behavioral health services when necessary
•    Identify tangible needs and link survivors to community resources and disaster relief services
•    Provide emotional support, education, basic crisis counseling, and connection to familial and community support systems
•    Train and educate CCP staff and other community partners about disaster reactions, appropriate interventions, and CCP services
•    Develop partnerships with local disaster and other organizations
•    Work with local stakeholders to promote community resilience and recovery
•    Collect and evaluate data to ensure quality services and justify program efforts
•    Leave behind a permanent legacy of improved coping skills, educational and resource materials, and enhanced community connections. 
Show Me Hope encourages survivors to register with FEMA regarding their overall disaster needs. Missourians can learn more about registration at https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4451. There are three ways to register for FEMA assistance: 
•    Online at DisasterAssistance.gov 
•    By phone at the disaster assistance helpline: 800-621-FEMA (3362). Lines are open daily from 
7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
•    Visit one of FEMA’s disaster recovery center locations listed on the FEMA 4451 website. 

For disaster updates from the State of Missouri, visit Missouri’s recovery website at Recovery.mo.gov. 
For disaster updates from FEMA, visit the disaster webpage at https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4451

For local detail, contact the Show Me Hope provider covering these counties:
•    Arthur Center: Pike
573-582-1234
•    Burrell Behavioral Health: Boone, Carroll, Chariton, Greene
417-761-5898, Contact: Matt Lemmon 
•    Compass Health: Cole, Jackson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Miller, Osage, Pulaski, St. Charles
844-853-8937 
•    Department of Mental Health:  Livingston
573-751-3070
•    Family Guidance Center: Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Holt, Platte
816-364-1501
•    Ozark Center:  Jasper
 417-434-3458
 

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Missouri Law Enforcement Officers gather to focus on Mental Health at the 5th Annual Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Conference

May 15 2019 - Jefferson City , MO —

The 5th Annual Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Conference will be held on Monday and Tuesday, March 18 & 19, 2019, at the Holiday Inn Expo Center, 2200 Interstate 70 Dr. SW, Columbia, MO.  Approximately 600 law enforcement officers, first responders and behavioral health professionals are expected to attend.  The purpose of CIT is to address the challenges that often arise when law enforcement officers encounter individuals with behavioral health conditions in crisis situations.   

Specific agenda information can be found here.

“This conference brings law enforcement and behavioral health professionals together to determine better ways of serving those with serious mental illness or substance use disorders who come in contact with the criminal justice system,” said Det. Jason Klaus, CIT Council Coordinator.  “It results in safer communities and better outcomes for our citizens and our law enforcement officers.” 

For planning purposes, please e-mail Det. Jason Klaus at JKlaus@mocoalition.org if you intend to cover this event.

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Missouri is becoming a Technology First State for individuals with disabilities

The Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities hosts “Tech Fest” in St. Louis County

May 13 2019 - Jefferson City , MO —

Today, the Department of Mental Health (DMH), Division of Developmental Disabilities hosted a “Tech Fest” to showcase the announcement of Missouri becoming a Technology First state.  This initiative encourages the understanding and use of technology in lieu of direct support staffing, which improves the quality of life for some individuals needing services.  It also increases an individual’s safety and health and promotes independence.

The purpose of the “Tech Fest” is to provide individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, local service providers and community members the chance to explore assistive technology and remote support options that are available. Demonstrations of the technology and supports were presented by several vendors as well as shared testimonials from individuals who are benefitting from using remote supports. 

“Assistive technology increases the opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve greater independence in their daily lives,” said Valerie Huhn, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. “These supports help protect the health and safety of people who really don’t need a caregiver for extended periods of the day.”

Assistive technology refers to any item, device or equipment or product system that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.  This technology can be personal emergency response systems, medication reminders and dispensers, weight sensors, video and web cameras as well as other equipment. 

Technology support exhibitors included Missouri Housing, StarResources, 2GetherTech, Hearo Technologies, Night Owl, Rest Assured, Electronic Caregiver and SmartCare.  

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

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MEDIA ADVISORY: DMH, Division of Developmental Disabilities hosts “Tech Fest” in St. Louis County

 

May 10 2019 - Jefferson City , MO —

The Department of Mental Health (DMH), Division of Developmental Disabilities is hosting a “Tech Fest” on Monday, May 13, 2019, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm to showcase Missouri’s announcement to become a Technology First state.  The event will be at the Special School District of St. Louis County, Central Office Rooms 60-61, 12110 Clayton Road, Town & Country. There will be a public demonstration of technology products and testimonials from individuals with developmental disabilities that have benefited from technology supports.

“The Technology First initiative encourages the understanding and use of technology in lieu of direct staffing which can improve the quality of life for some individuals needing services,” said Valerie Huhn, DMH, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. “This initiative increases safety and health, and promotes independence.”  

The exhibitors will include:  Missouri Housing, StarResources, 2GetherTech, Hearo Technologies, Night Owl, Rest Assured, Electronic Caregiver and SmartCare. See also the attached flyer.

For planning purposes, please e-mail Debra Walker at debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov if you intend to cover this event.

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Missouri is becoming a Technology First State for individuals with disabilities

The Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities hosts “Tech Fest” in Cape Girardeau

April 29 2019 - Jefferson City, MO —

Today, the Department of Mental Health (DMH), Division of Developmental Disabilities hosted a “Tech Fest” to showcase the announcement of Missouri becoming a Technology First state.  This initiative encourages the understanding and use of technology in lieu of direct support staffing, which improves the quality of life for some individuals needing services.  It also increases an individual’s safety and health and promotes independence.

The purpose of the “Tech Fest” is to provide individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, local service providers and community members the chance to explore assistive technology and remote support options that are available. Demonstrations of the technology and supports were presented by several vendors as well as shared testimonials from individuals who are benefitting from using remote supports. 

“Assistive technology increases the opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve greater independence in their daily lives,” said Valerie Huhn, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. “These supports help protect the health and safety of people who really don’t need a caregiver for extended periods of the day.”

Assistive technology refers to any item, device or equipment or product system that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.  This technology can be personal emergency response systems, medication reminders and dispensers, weight sensors, video and web cameras as well as other equipment. 

Technology support exhibitors included Missouri Inclusive Housing Development Corp., StarResources, 2GetherTech, Hearo Technologies, Electronic Caregiver, and SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence.  

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

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MEDIA ADVISORY: DMH, Division of Developmental Disabilities hosts “Tech Fest” in Cape Girardeau

April 26 2019 - Jefferson City , MO —

The Department of Mental Health (DMH), Division of Developmental Disabilities is hosting a “Tech Fest” on Monday, April 29, 2019, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm to showcase Missouri’s announcement to become a Technology First state.  The event will be at the Public Library, 711 Clark Street, Cape Girardeau. There will be a public demonstration of technology products and testimonials from individuals with developmental disabilities that have benefited from technology supports.

“The Technology First initiative encourages the understanding and use of technology in lieu of direct staffing which can improve the quality of life for some individuals needing services,” said Valerie Huhn, DMH, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. “This initiative increases safety and health, and promotes independence.”  

The exhibitors will include:  Missouri Inclusive Housing Development Corp., StarResources, 2GetherTech, Hearo Technologies, Electronic Caregiver, and SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence.  See also the attached flyer.

For planning purposes, please e-mail Debra Walker at debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov if you intend to cover this event.

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Missouri on Track to Become a Model Employer

Governor Parson announces Missouri’s selection for a federal program aimed at expanding employment and training opportunities for individuals with disabilities

April 17 2019 - JEFFERSON CITY, MO —

Governor Parson announced today that Missouri is on track to become a Model Employer state for individuals living with disabilities and has been selected for a mentorship program through the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) to help achieve this goal. The Governor made the announcement during his visit to Paraquad, the leading disability services provider in the St. Louis region.

Paraquad is a nonprofit organization who works to empower people with disabilities to increase their independence through choice and opportunity. In 2017, Paraquad provided services to 2,323 individuals, including assisting over 500 individuals in obtaining a job or receiving the necessary support to succeed at a job.

“Paraquad has a long history of serving Missourians living with disabilities, and I’m thankful for their assistance in helping Missouri become a Model Employer,” said Governor Parson.

Missouri is on track to become a Model Employer later in 2019. This classification is an emerging trend developed by the National Governors Association to help more people with disabilities obtain competitive, integrated employment. State governments can commit to hiring more people with disabilities, and thereby become a “model employer” for private businesses and non-profits.

Missouri was recently selected as one of 11 states to participate in the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP). EFSLMP will support the development and implementation of Missouri as a Model Employer. This technical assistance program is run through the USDOL, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and is a cross-disability, cross-systems change initiative with a focus on developing a framework of aligning practices, policies, and structures, which promote increased employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

“Becoming a Model Employer is crucial to ensuring Missouri is doing everything possible to fully integrate Missourians living with disabilities into the workforce,” said Governor Parson. “I am pleased to hear that Missouri has been selected for this innovative program to make certain we are implementing all the best policies and practice to become a Model Employer.”

As part of the EFSLMP program, Missouri was chosen as a Vision Quest and Core state. As a Vision Quest state, Missouri will engage in a series of small working groups, consisting of three to four states per team, to focus on analyzing, developing and implementing policy recommendations related to implementation of Missouri as a Model Employer for individuals with disabilities. As a Core state, department representatives will work with national experts to build capacity to improve employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities.

Missouri’s teams consist of representatives from the Governor’s Office, Paraquad, Office of Administration, Department of Mental Health - Divisions of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Department of Social Services, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Economic Development – Workforce Development, Governor’s Council on Disability, Missouri DD Council, and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.

ODEP chose the following 11 states:

Vision Quest States: Missouri (State as a Model Employer). Additional states: Alabama (Mental Health and Employment); Colorado (Strategic Planning); District of Columbia (Mental Health and Employment); Kentucky (Strategic Planning); Louisiana (Mental Health and Employment); Michigan (Strategic Planning); Tennessee (Mental Health and Employment); and Utah (State as a Model Employer).

Core States: Missouri (Capacity Building/Provider Transformation). Additional states: Arkansas (Capacity Building); Iowa (Capacity Building); Louisiana (Capacity Building/Provider Transformation); Michigan (Capacity Building/Provider Transformation); Tennessee (Capacity Building/Provider Transformation); and Utah (Capacity Building/Provider Transformation)

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Missouri Veterans Launch Suicide Prevention Team

Missouri veterans and military advocates take suicide prevention training to expand resources in local communities. 

April 16 2019 - Jefferson City , MO —

Missouri veterans and military advocates take suicide prevention training to expand resources in local communities.  

More than 25 Missouri veterans, family members and advocates from organizations that support the military community are launching a new Department of Mental Health (DMH) program to create a statewide network of certified suicide prevention trainers.  These individuals will gather on April 16, 2019, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm to become certified trainers in Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR). The training will be held at the Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare, Kathy Carter Building, 221 Metro Drive, Jefferson City. 

QPR is a one-hour course where participants learn to recognize the warning signs of suicide, provide hope for the individual in crisis, and find him or her immediate help.  Following today’s instruction, these certified trainers will go back to their communities and offer this suicide prevention course to others for FREE.  Funding for today’s training is provided by a federal suicide prevention grant awarded to DMH.

“Suicide has a tragic impact on not only individuals and families, but entire communities. Missouri’s veterans have already selflessly served our nation, and I commend these veterans for extending their service to Missourians by leading efforts aimed at reducing suicide among fellow service members and all citizens,” Governor Parson said. “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 suicide attempts and deaths.”  

The Missouri Veterans Suicide Prevention Team include representatives from AMVETS Post 98 (West Plains), Post 181 (Kansas City); American Legion Post 132 (Warrensburg), Post 202 (Columbia), Post 208 (Manchester), Post 388 (Wentzville), Post 393 (Gower); American Legion Auxiliary Post 5 (Jefferson City); Caregivers on the Homefront (Kansas City); Disabled American Veterans Chapter 10 (Queen City); Elizabeth Dole Foundation-Fellow (Cuba); Horses & Heroes (Kansas City); Old Man River Nature Retreat (Potosi); Missouri Chaplain Services LLC (Mt. Vernon); Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2513 (Warrensburg), Post 4398 (Richmond), Post 5178 (Gravois Mills), Post 6603 (Blue Springs).

In addition to the below talking points on suicide, attached are two documents regarding suicide myths and helpful tips for reporting on suicide:
•    In 2018, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in Missouri.
•    Prior to attempting suicide, those in a suicide crisis are likely to send warning signs; learning the warning signs can save a life.
•    For every suicide death, approximately 25 people survive an attempt.
•    Nine of out 10 people who attempt suicide and survive, do not go on to die by suicide later.

For more information about the program contact Jon Sabala at 573-751-2368, e-mail jon.sabala@dmh.mo.gov or Debra Walker at 573-751-1647, e-mail debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Missouri Veterans’ Suicide Prevention Team gathers for training

April 12 2019 - Jefferson City , MO —

More than 25 Missouri veterans, family members and advocates from organizations that support the military community are launching a new program to create a statewide network of certified suicide prevention trainers.  This group from all over the state will be the Missouri Veterans Suicide Prevention Team.

Participants will gather on April 16, 2019, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm to become certified trainers in Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR). The training will be held at the Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare, Kathy Carter Building, 221 Metro Drive, Jefferson City.  
 
Interviews with participants and/or instructors can take place during the designated lunch hour from 12:00 Noon to 1:00 pm.  It is preferred that the training not be interrupted for interviews. 

The schedule will run as follows:
9:00 am – 12:00 Noon - Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Training begins
12:00 Noon – 1:00 pm – Lunch break 
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm - Training resumes
 
For planning purposes, please e-mail Debra Walker at debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov if you intend to cover this event.

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Missouri is becoming a Technology First state for individuals with disabilities

The Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities hosts a “Tech Fest” in Springfield

 

March 19 2019 - JEFFERSON CITY —

Today, the Department of Mental Health (DMH), Division of Developmental Disabilities is hosting a “Tech Fest” to showcase the announcement of Missouri becoming a Technology First state. Event is from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at The Library Center Auditorium, 4653 S. Campbell Ave, Springfield. This initiative encourages the understanding and use of technology in lieu of direct support staffing, which improves the quality of life for some individuals needing services. It also increases an individual’s safety and health and promotes independence.

The purpose of the “Tech Fest” is to provide individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, local service providers and community members the chance to explore assistive technology and remote support options that are available. Demonstrations of the technology and supports were presented by several vendors as well as video testimonials from individuals who are benefitting from the use of remote supports.

“Assistive technology increases the opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve greater independence in their daily lives,” said Valerie Huhn, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. “These supports help protect the health and safety of people who really don’t need a caregiver for extended periods of the day.” Director Huhn shares more in a recent podcast.

Assistive technology refers to any item, device or equipment or product system that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. This technology can be personal emergency response systems, medication reminders and dispensers, weight sensors, video and web cameras as well as other equipment.

Technology support exhibitors included Missouri Housing, StarResources, empower:abilities, 2GetherTech, and Hearo Technologies, Electronic Caregiver, Wolfner Library, Night Owl, SmartCare, Rest Assured, Missouri Assistive Technology, On My Own, and Numotion.

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Missouri is becoming a Technology First state for individuals with disabilities

The Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities hosts a “Tech Fest” in Springfield

March 19 2019 - Jefferson City , MO —

Today, the Department of Mental Health (DMH), Division of Developmental Disabilities is hosting a “Tech Fest” to showcase the announcement of Missouri becoming a Technology First state. Event is from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at The Library Center Auditorium, 4653 S. Campbell Ave, Springfield. This initiative encourages the understanding and use of technology in lieu of direct support staffing, which improves the quality of life for some individuals needing services.  It also increases an individual’s safety and health and promotes independence.

The purpose of the “Tech Fest” is to provide individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, local service providers and community members the chance to explore assistive technology and remote support options that are available. Demonstrations of the technology and supports were presented by several vendors as well as video testimonials from individuals who are benefitting from the use of remote supports. 

“Assistive technology increases the opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve greater independence in their daily lives,” said Valerie Huhn, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. “These supports help protect the health and safety of people who really don’t need a caregiver for extended periods of the day.”  Director Huhn shares more in a recent podcast.  

Assistive technology refers to any item, device or equipment or product system that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.  This technology can be personal emergency response systems, medication reminders and dispensers, weight sensors, video and web cameras as well as other equipment. 

Technology support exhibitors included Missouri Housing, StarResources, empower:abilities, 2GetherTech, and Hearo Technologies, Electronic Caregiver, Wolfner Library, Night Owl, SmartCare, Rest Assured, Missouri Assistive Technology, On My Own, and Numotion.  

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

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Law Enforcement Officers from across Missouri gather to focus on Mental Health

5th Annual Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Conference in Columbia

March 18 2019 - COLUMBIA, MO —

The 5th Annual Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) conference was held today and continues tomorrow, Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at the Holiday Inn Expo Center in Columbia, MO. More than 600 law enforcement officers, first responders and behavioral health professional are at the event this year! Specific agenda information can be found here. The purpose of CIT is to address the challenges that often arise when law enforcement officers encounter individuals with behavioral health conditions in crisis situations.

“This conference brings law enforcement and behavioral health professionals together to determine better ways of serving those with serious mental illness or substance use disorders who come in contact with the criminal justice system,” said Det. Jason Klaus, CIT Council Coordinator. “It results in safer communities and better outcomes for our citizens and our law enforcement officers.”

The CIT program trains law enforcement to guide individuals to appropriate mental health services and offer support, instead of sending them directly to the criminal justice system. The 40-hour training covers mental illness, crisis response, active listening, tactical communication/de-escalation, and mental health law. CIT officers learn basic assessment skills for handling situations and are provided with knowledge of local behavioral health services. CIT training serves as both a jail diversion as well as a means to mental health assistance.

This annual conference is hosted by the Missouri Crisis Intervention Team (MO CIT) Council. CIT is most effective when everyone works together for the best outcome; law enforcement, behavioral health providers, community leaders and individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders and their families.

For more information about Missouri CIT contact Det. Jason Klaus at 573-768-6179 or e-mail JKlaus@mocoalition.org.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: DMH, Division of Developmental Disabilities hosts “Tech Fest” in Springfield

 

March 18 2019 - Jefferson City , MO —

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) is hosting a “Tech Fest” on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm to showcase Missouri’s announcement to become a Technology First state.  The event will be at The Library Center Auditorium, 4653 S. Campbell Ave, Springfield. There will be a public demonstration of technology products and testimonials from individuals with developmental disabilities that have benefited from technology supports.

“The Technology First initiative encourages the understanding and use of technology in lieu of direct staffing which can improve the quality of life for some individuals needing services,” said Valerie Huhn, DMH, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. “This initiative increases safety and health, and promotes independence.”  

The exhibitors will include:  Missouri Housing, StarResources, empower:abilities, 2GetherTech, and Hearo Technologies, Electronic Caregiver, Wolfner Library, Night Owl, SmartCare, Rest Assured, Missouri Assistive Technology, On My Own, and Numotion..  See also the attached flyer.

For planning purposes, please e-mail Debra Walker at debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov if you intend to cover this event.

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Adair County Continues to Expand Opportunities to Citizens with Developmental Disabilities

DMH Purple Ribbon Award recognizes connecting individuals with disabilities to employment services.

March 01 2019 - JEFFERSON CITY, MO —

The Adair County SB40 Developmental Disability Board received the Purple Ribbon Award today from leaders of the Department of Mental Health (DMH) for connecting more than 35 percent of the individuals it serves to employment services. Adair County SB40 supports individuals with developmental disabilities in Adair, Putnam, Schuyler, Scotland and Sullivan Counties.

The Purple Ribbon Award for Empowering Individuals through Employment is given by the DMH Division of Developmental Disabilities. Employment services, which includes career planning, job placement and workplace supports, enables Missourians with developmental disabilities to accomplish their career goals and meet the workforce needs within their communities. The Adair County SB40 Board received the Blue Ribbon Award in 2016, and is now the first organization in Missouri to achieve the Purple Ribbon status.

“Individuals with disabilities want jobs where their skills and strengths are recognized and valued,” said Division Director, Valerie Huhn. “Through partnerships with local Senate Bill 40 Boards, Targeted Case Management organizations, community providers, and area businesses, the state has built a committed team to 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 to increased independence. Many times, services are only needed for a brief period of transition as the individual learns the duties of a job. Employment not only provides increased financial resources; it also helps build community connections and expands an individual’s social relationships. In the Kirksville area, businesses like Sodexo and the First Christian Church of Kirksville see the talents and benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities, making competitive employment an achievable goal.

Missouri is an Employment First state, meaning that all individuals who want to work can work, when given the opportunity to build upon their unique talents, skills and abilities.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Adair County SB40 Developmental Disability Board receives Recognition for Empowering through Employment

February 27 2019 - Jefferson City , MO —

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) Division of Developmental Disabilities (DD) is presenting the first Purple Ribbon Recognition to the Adair County SB40 Developmental Disability Board on March 1, 2019, at their office, 314 East McPherson, Kirksville, MO.  This is the first Purple Ribbon awarded in Missouri.

There will be testimonials from families and individuals who have gained employment skills, as well as representatives from community businesses that have benefited from hiring individuals with developmental disabilities.  Department leaders will share the Empowering through Employment recognition process and present the Purple Ribbon award.  Area legislators will also present Missouri House and Senate resolutions.  

The Empowering through Employment initiative was developed to help Missouri reduce the gap between the percentage of Missourians with intellectual and developmental disabilities who express interest in employment and those who are supported with becoming employed.  DMH-DD is proud to honor the Adair County SB40 Developmental Disability Board with the Purple Ribbon Recognition for achieving 35.5% of individuals accessing supported employment services.  

The award ceremony will begin promptly at 9:00 am.  

For planning purposes, please e-mail Debra Walker at debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov if you intend to cover this event.
 

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Missouri to become a Technology First State for individuals with disabilities

The Department of Mental Health initiative encourages the use of technology to help individuals with developmental disabilities be more independent.

February 14 2019 - JEFFERSON CITY, MO —

Today, Mark Stringer, director of the Department of Mental Health (DMH) announced that Missouri is becoming a Technology First state. The DMH Division of Developmental Disabilities is moving forward with an initiative that encourages the understanding and use of technology in lieu of direct support staffing, which improves the quality of life for some individuals needing services. This initiative increases an individual’s safety and health and promotes independence.

A discussion and demonstration of the Technology First supports was presented during the monthly Mental Health Commission meeting. DMH staff, Commissioners and other meeting attendees heard from vendors of technology products as well as testimonials from individuals and families benefitting from remote supports.

“This assistive technology increases the opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve greater independence in their daily lives,” said Valerie Huhn, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. “These supports help protect the health and safety of people who really don’t need a caregiver for extended periods of the day.”

Assistive technology refers to any item, device or equipment or product system that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. This technology can be personal emergency response systems, medication reminders and dispensers, weight sensors, video and web cameras as well as other equipment.

Technology support exhibitors at the announcement included 2GetherTech, Smart Care, Hearo Technologies, Wolfner Library, ACT with University of Missouri, and Missouri Inclusive Housing Development Corporation.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Announcement of Missouri as a Technology First State

February 12 2019 - Jefferson City, MO —

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) is dedicating the first part of the Mental Health Commission meeting on Thursday, February 14, 2019, to announce that Missouri will be a Technology First State. There will be a public demonstration of technology products, testimonials from individuals and families that have benefited from technology, and a brief discussion from department staff on how Technology First can be best utilized.  

“The Technology First initiative encourages the understanding and use of technology in lieu of direct staffing which improves the quality of life for some individuals needing services,” said Valerie Huhn, DMH, director for the Division of Developmental Disabilities. “This initiative increases an individual’s safety and health and promotes independence.”  

Media are encouraged to arrive early to speak with vendors and individuals and families providing testimony. The meeting will begin promptly at 10:00 am.  

The schedule will run as follows:
9:00 am – Assistive technology vendor exhibits; meet individuals/families using remote supports 
10:00 am – Mental Health Commission meeting begins; Announcement of Missouri as a Technology First State followed by presentations and discussion 
12:00 pm – Commissioners break for lunch

For planning purposes, please e-mail Debra Walker at debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov if you intend to cover this event.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Announcement of Missouri as a Technology First State

 

February 12 2019 - Jefferson City , MO —

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) is dedicating the first part of the Mental Health Commission meeting on Thursday, February 14, 2019, to announce that Missouri will be a Technology First State.  There will be a public demonstration of technology products, testimonials from individuals and families that have benefited from technology, and a brief discussion from department staff on how Technology First can be best utilized.  

 “The Technology First initiative encourages the understanding and use of technology in lieu of direct staffing which improves the quality of life for some individuals needing services,” said Valerie Huhn, DMH, director for the Division of Developmental Disabilities. “This initiative increases an individual’s safety and health and promotes independence.”  

Media are encouraged to arrive early to speak with vendors and individuals and families providing testimony.  The meeting will begin promptly at 10:00 am.  

The schedule will run as follows:
9:00 am – Assistive technology vendor exhibits; meet individuals/families using remote supports 
10:00 am – Mental Health Commission meeting begins; Announcement of Missouri as a Technology First State followed by presentations and discussion 
12:00 pm – Commissioners break for lunch

For planning purposes, please e-mail Debra Walker at debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov if you intend to cover this event.

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Missouri Ranks 4th in the Nation in Efforts to Serve Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The annual Care for Inclusion 2019 report ranks states on employment and community living.

February 01 2019 - JEFFERSON CITY, MO —

Missouri has made significant strides to improve policies that help individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities lead more independent and productive lives. This determination propels the state to a 4th place ranking in a report compiled by the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP).

“Making services for individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities a priority helps contribute to Missouri’s workforce development,” said Governor Parson. “Every Missourian should have the opportunity to live a full, productive life by participating in and contributing to their communities.”

The Case for Inclusion 2019 ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia on how well state programs, primarily Medicaid, serve those living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The states are ranked in five key areas critical to the inclusion, support, and empowerment of individuals with I/DD and their families: Promoting Independence; Promoting Productivity; Keeping Families Together; Serving Those in Need; and Tracking Health, Safety & Quality of Life.

Mark Stringer, Director of DMH said, “This national ranking is a great testament to the efforts of our department employees, our provider agencies, and local Senate Bill 40 boards, which continue to make a real, life-changing difference for thousands of Missourians and their families.”

While Missouri did make important improvements, Missouri, like other states, is still challenged with the number of people living in large, congregate settings and the number of individuals working in competitive employment, meaning they work alongside others without disabilities at a market-driven wage.

The full Case for Inclusion 2019 report, along with scorecards for each state and additional resources, can be downloaded at caseforinclusion.org.

About the ANCOR Foundation

The ANCOR Foundation exists to expand the commitment and capacity of providers and communities dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Foundation works to amplify the impact of service providers whose programs and resources empower people of all abilities to live independently, enjoy greater accessibility, and experience the self-confidence and self-satisfaction that comes with being an included and valued part of the community.

About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with 64 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For 70 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with its member affiliates, parents, and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal, and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 70 years and beyond.

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