Springfield’s Community Health Needs Assessment, published in 2016 and available at OzarksHealthCommission.org, identified mental health and substance abuse as significant issues in our community, but also emphasized how a lack of data and a comprehensive understanding of Springfield’s needs hindered efforts to improve these issues.
There has been a growing call to action surrounding mental health and substance abuse challenges in Springfield and the region. Springfield’s Healthy Living Alliance has taken on the task of leading our community through a mental health and substance abuse assessment. This assessment will help our community get a clear picture of the needs and opportunities we have in addressing the impact of mental health issues and substance abuse locally.
Our community has been working together through 2018 to analyze data, facilitate conversations and look for best practices in mental health and substance abuse care.
A significant grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health has made possible this first-of-its-kind effort for Springfield. The $252,500 grant has funded an assessment with the goal of measuring the effects of stigma on mental health and substance abuse, the impact of these issues on other health-related outcomes and other emerging needs or concerns. Ultimately, this assessment is designed to lead to a conversation about how Springfield can best leverage its resources to better serve our community needs.
The Healthy Living Alliance is a local organization aimed at making healthier living a priority in Springfield by bringing together representatives from local business, government and nonprofit and healthcare industries.