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Community leaders from across many sectors in Springfield came together during a 15-month process to assess the needs, challenges and opportunities surrounding mental health and substance abuse in our community.
Along the way, a difficult reality emerged—Greene County’s suicide and depression rates were higher than state or national averages. We have fewer inpatient beds than national standards. And stigma was an often-cited barrier.
But significant progress has been made throughout the course of this assessment on these issues as well. Community partners stepped to the plate to increase access, lessen wait times and have tough discussions around what our community needed to be better.
On Friday, April 12, the community is invited to learn the results of the assessment, hear the opportunities for improvement moving forward, see the resources available and learn how to get involved. A press conference is scheduled at 9 a.m., followed immediately by a resource fair until 11 a.m. at the Springfield Art Museum at 1111 E. Brookside Dr.
Everyone is welcome, and registration is encouraged by visiting sgfmentalhealth.eventbrite.com
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 limited data and a lack of 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 Greene County. 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.
A grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health has made possible this first-of-its-kind effort for the county. The $252,500 grant 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 Greene County can best leverage its resources to better serve our community needs.
Crescendo Consulting Group has shepherded our community through the process of this comprehensive study to be unveiled at the April 12 event.
The Healthy Living Alliance, 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, has taken on the action plan resulting from the Springfield Community Health Needs Assessment.
For more information on these efforts or questions about how to get involved in HLA initiatives, contact: Kathryn Wall, Public Health Information Administrator, Springfield-Greene County Health Department at 417.874.1205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.