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Douglas County Opioid/Substance Use Taskforce Meeting Monthly Update

On February 3, 2020, Douglas County Opiod/Substance Use Task Force members gave updates on current projects and guest speaker Jason Klaus, Missouri Crisis Intervention Team (MO CIT) Council provided overview of CIT and functions.

Douglas County Health Department Health Educator Sonya Hodges reported on the Health Departments partnership with the Missouri Foundation for Health. She outlined a draft job description for Navigators to be hired through the Behavioral Health Systems Change grant along with an overview of the hiring process for the position. 

Missouri Ozarks Community Health Representative Becky Gann announced dates for the Opioid Overdose & Naloxone Administration training and Mental Health First Aid training. 

Opioid Overdose & Naloxone Administration training for schools, libraries, universities and the public will be held on March 11th at 2 pm at the MOCH Wellness Center; 

Mental Health First Aid training will be held on April 10th at the MOCH Wellness Center

Jason Klaus, Detective, represented the Missouri Crisis Intervention Team (MO CIT). Klaus is a Missouri CIT Coordinator and works to establish CIT Councils across the State of Missouri. 

The Missouri Crisis Intervention Team (MO CIT) program is a partnership of law enforcement and other first responders, behavioral health providers, hospitals, courts, individuals with lived experience and community partners who are dedicated to implementing the Missouri Model of CIT.

The goals of CIT are to:

Promote more effective interactions between local law enforcement and other first responders and individuals in crisis

Help individuals in crisis by connecting them with appropriate community resources in an effort to divert involvement with the criminal justice system

Improve the safety of the first responder and individual(s) in crisis

Reduce stigma and expand and sustain CIT across the state. 

Klaus explained that law enforcement often are not well equipped with resources to connect individual(s) who are experiencing a behavioral or mental health crisis with the support they need. 

Each Council works to identify and address local structural barriers to individuals receiving the services they deserve to achieve greater stability. The goal is to connect individuals in behavioral health crisis to resources they need and divert their involvement with the criminal justice system

Douglas County and six other surrounding counties do not have established Missouri Crisis Intervention Team Councils. Klaus hopes to change this by recruiting these counties to undergo MO CIT training and help them establish Councils.  

To establish a CIT Council, law enforcement must first complete CIT training. CIT training is a 5 day, 40 hour training centered on behavioral health education and deescalation skills. 

Community members and law enforcement officials who attended the meeting were concerned with the amount of resources it would take to put Douglas County law enforcement through the 40 hour training. Klaus addressed this, stating that there were two options for training schedules: 40 hour trainings over 5 consecutive days, segmented trainings of 8 hour days over (up to) five consecutive weeks. 

While that did relieve some of the concern, it was still a question whether Douglas County had the resources to put officers through the training. 

Many community members also discussed another barrier to a local CIT Council; a blatant lack of behavioral and mental health resources in our area. 

There is no immediate solution to this problem, but Klaus hoped that through establishing a CIT in Douglas County we would be able to raise awareness and bring in more support. 

The annual Missouri CIT conference will be March 16 & 17, 2020.

The Douglas County Opioid/Substance Use Taskforce meeting is held on the first Monday of every month at 5:30pm at the MOCH Wellness Center.