Tri-County Mental Health Services has recently expanded its historic emphasis on collaboration with other agencies to maximize services and help the most people possible in Clay, Platte and Ray counties.
Recent initiatives involving the Clay, Platte Ray Mental Health Board were excellent examples. Medication assisted treatment with Kansas City Community Center and proposed efforts with Preferred Families identified methods to expand services to the Northland. With funding and approval from the Department of Mental Health, Tri-County has also expanded its CSTAR outpatient substance abuse program with a location in Richmond. Activities in Clay County have been enhanced as well.
In a related area, the Platte County judge and prosecutor have worked diligently with Tri-County for training and development of the first DWI Court in April. Following further training, the DWI Court will expand to Drug Court status, tentatively scheduled in May.
In Clay County, the Drug Court leaders are exploring approaches to strengthen the program while conserving costs. The next graduation was scheduled for May 6 with 10 to 12 consumers expected to graduate. The recidivism rate remains low and efforts are in process to refine and standardize the definitions to make certain that they are comparable across the State. In Ray County, the most recent graduation was in November 20th at which time 10 consumers graduated and, again, the recidivism rate remains remarkably low.
Tri-County also works with jail staff in all three counties to assist with inmates where clinical needs are identified.
Among the most visible services are Tri-County’s much-praised prevention efforts, which includes both Youth With Vision and each of the Northland Coalitions across the three counties.
Broader mental health services unfortunately illustrate an environment that includes both increasing demad for services and reduced funding. The demand for uninsured services exceeds Tri-County’s allocation from both the Mental Health Board and Missouri Department of Mental Health.
Discussions with the Mental Health Board included interest in determining the extent to which funding serves the needs of those with mental disorders versus those with substance disorders. This is often a challenge because approximately 48 percent of Tri-County consumers have co-occurring disorders.
“Some have observed that more than 60 percent of those with substance disorders also have a mental disorder,” CEO Tom Cranshaw noted. “This makes it a challenge to estimate precisely the percentages of funding that go toward substance disorders versus mental disorders because the evidence-based practice is for Integrated Dual-Diagnosis Treatment, a specialization for which Tri-County was the first in the State to obtain.”Cranshaw said that collaboration is also increasingly critical in view of changes such as growing state and federal budget pressures, as well as trends toward health homes and case coordination for those with co-occuring physical and behavioral health disorders.
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