Harrison County Behavioral Health Coalition to soon be absorbed by Healthy Harrison Coalition 

In November 2016, a group of stakeholders gathered together to address behavioral health issues in Harrison County. Those people formed a group they eventually named the Harrison County Behavioral Health Coalition.

“We started in a partnership between the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Network and CHI Hospital Missouri Valley,” said Molly Brown, Southwest Iowa Region for Mental Health and Disability Services. “We identified goals and set priorities, then began working. At the end of year one, or the beginning of year two, things changed with the network, and we shifted to a partnership with Southwest Iowa Mental Health and Disabilities Region.”

After identifying the group as Harrison County Behavioral Health Coalition, they have since been working on three primary goals.

• To increase the overall awareness of existing and potential resources among community stakeholders through an established behavioral health community coalition.

• To break the generational cycle of addiction and dysfunction through preventative education of parents and youth through a partnership with the schools.

• To improve the community’s knowledge of behavioral health and the crisis response to individuals with behavioral health needs by supporting the work of the Southwest Iowa Mental Health and Disabilities Region.

The coalition launched a web-based, searchable, and printable resource directory that is mobile friendly in April 2018. This step addressed the coalition’s first goal.

To address the second goal, the coalition implemented Me360, a substance use prevention program, in five school districts in Harrison County. At least 375 students in grades seven through nine and 36 parents/guardians have been introduced to the program since its debut.

Additionally, the suicide prevention education, Coping Through the Teen Years, has been implemented in three districts for grades six through 12, reaching 418 students and 21 faculty members.

The coalition also offers Common Sense Parenting in two districts with two additional parenting cafes and two six-week classes, as well as grief support.

“We also have a combination, a unique program,” added Brown. “A couple of proactive individuals in the community were certified in either the Nurtured Heart Approach or Connections Matter. These three entities put together a four-week program where the Nurtured Heart Approach would be delivered in two separate evening, three hours each. Connections Matter was one two-hour session, and then the last day was a screening of the film ‘Resilience.’ The purpose of this was child abuse prevention education.”

The coalition sponsors two Mental Health First Aid trainers who have held nine classes and trained more than 200 individuals to detect mental health crisis. This addresses the coalition’s third goal, as do the Crisis Stabilization services available in Harrison County. Those services are Hope4Iowa Crisis Call Line, Mobile Crisis Response, and Turning Pointe CSRS.

Hope4Iowa Crisis Call Line (844-673-4469) is available to all residents of Harrison County. This connects individuals in a crisis to a helping hand and the resources to address and improve mental wellness.

Mobile Crisis Response is available to those in Woodbine, Logan, and Dunlap. According to the coalition’s data, 100 percent of the calls received resulted in diversion from hospitalization or emergency room visits.

“The Mobile Crisis Response is in a state of revolution here in Harrison County, and it requires a partnership with law enforcement,” Brown said. “When it is engaged, when it is used, and when those partnerships exist, it is very effective in steering people away from unnecessary ER and hospital visits.”

It also helps the hospital determine which individuals would benefit most from that level of care.

• Turning Pointe Crisis Stabilization Residential Service. This program, based in Clarinda, is available to Harrison County residents who are 18 years of age and older. The program’s purpose is to support individuals in a mental health crisis and allow them to remain within the community instead of being admitted into inpatient acute care hospitalization. Anyone, including friends, family, emergency departments, and providers have the ability to make a referral to Turning Pointe, 24 hours a day, by calling 712-303-7066.

“That is where we have been the past three years – on quite the journey at quite a fast pace, it feels like,” said Brown.

Though they have been busy, Brown said there is still work to be done.

At a meeting on May 14, the Behavioral Health Coalition announced that the Healthy Harrison Coalition will absorb the Behavioral Health Coalition soon due to grant funding that was not renewed.

According to Sherri Webb, Harrison County Home and Public Health Parent Educator, this change is “exciting, but challenging.”

Darcy Behrendt, Vice President Patient Care Services at CHI Hospital Missouri Valley, and Madelyn Brunow, HCHPH Public Health Nurse, are co-chairs of the Healthy Harrison Coalition.

“We try to be a network of networks to bring people together,” Brunow said. “We are hoping this relationship can continue, and we invite everyone to join us.”

Brunow added that they have been working on a sustainable plan to address and advance the behavioral health goals within Healthy Harrison Coalition.

While they are positioned to start off well, Brunow said they will continue to look for additional funding.

The 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment will be available at the end of June on the CHI website.

For help with a crisis, call the Hope4Iowa Crisis Call Line at 844-673-4469. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.

Have a question? Email the Hope 4 Iowa Crisis Line at hope4iowa@boystown.orb.

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