Communities Join Forces To Promote Change in the Behavioral Health System

The Douglas County Health Department is partnering with the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) and Ozark, Texas and Wright County Health Departments to create local behavioral health system change.  

Previously, Missouri Ozarks Community Health (MOCH), through the Rural Community Opioid Response Program, formed task force committees in each county to identify resources, gaps and barriers to behavioral health needs encompassing substance use and opioid misuse.  

“This behavioral health system change program follows perfectly to help address some of the gaps identified by task force members,” said Valerie Reese, Douglas County Health Department Administrator.  

The Douglas County Health Department is one of seven organizations around the State to partner with the Missouri Foundation for Health in the Local Behavioral Health System Change program.  The program is set in three phases over the course of three years.  The first year will be the initial phase, the second year will be implementation and the third year will be maintenance.  

Some of the planned action items of the program are:

  • hire two Navigators, who will help individuals find and obtain needed resources;
  • identify and pay for transportation costs for individuals in recovery; 
  • develop and implement Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT);
  • develop media messaging to increase awareness of the opioid problems and reduce the stigma; and
  • identify evidence-based curricula to be utilized in schools and faith-based organizations to teach youth coping and life skills. 

For more information contact the Douglas County Health Department at (417)683-4174.