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Posted on: August 29, 2019

DCCF community convening session to discuss behavioral health

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As one key issue area of the current Douglas County Community Health Plan, conveners in the community are working to ensure everyone in Douglas County — no matter the social determinants they face — has access to quality behavioral health through prevention and an integrated access to care and recovery.

As evidenced by the Behavioral Health Leadership Coalition’s work on this issue, when community issues arise that no one organization can tackle on its own, we try to connect people and help them work together to make progress on common goals. In 2019, the Douglas County Community Foundation as one of its community initiatives has launched a series of community conversations around issues that impact the health, future and well-being of all Douglas County residents.

All members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend the next conversation on Behavioral Health in Douglas County “Big Ideas for Prevention and Hope” from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sept. 23, at Theatre Lawrence, 4660 Bauer Farm Drive. As part of its mission to improve the lives of Douglas County citizens through charitable action, DCCF will be convening nonprofit, business and government leaders, university faculty, and philanthropists for conversations about how we can all make progress toward these local concerns featured in the Community Health Plan.

The event will feature contributors of Big Ideas for Prevention and Hope:

  • Dr. Stephen Ilardi, associate professor of psychology, University of Kansas
  • Gina Meier-Hummel, coordinator, Kansas Youth Suicide Prevention
  • Lori Alvarado, CEO, DCCCA
  • Sarah Humbert, board member, Van Go
  • Nancy Jackson, Generous Change
  • Patrick Schmitz, CEO, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center
  • Steve Splichal, superintendent, Eudora Schools
  • Bob Tryanski, Director of Behavioral Health Projects, Douglas County

Why this conversation matters

Despite Douglas County having many social service resources, we still have unmet behavioral health needs.

We have seen several successes in the past few years. This includes implementing the Zero Suicide Initiative has been implemented, an Integrated Crisis Team at LMH Health, opioid prescription rates are dropping, starting of a Peer Fellows Program and construction on a crisis stabilization campus slated to start soon.

However, we still have a long way to go. The percent of adult binge drinkers within the county continues to grow and the suicide rate, although dropping, is still above the national average.

See more about health inequities in Douglas County via the Healthier Together platform.