2014 LAC Strategic Plan

Cascade County Mental Health Local Advisory Council
Strategic Plan, January, 2014

The purpose of the Local Advisory Council is to:

  1.  assist in the improvement of public mental health services in the local community, and
  2.  to review and make recommendations about local public mental health services, as well as
  3.  provide input and recommendations to the Mental Health Oversight and Advisory Council (MHOAC) and the Central Service Area Authority (SAA) that serve the state and regional communities.

(Mission statements explain why we exist, our unique role, and what drives all our work.)

Our vision statements, the future we want to help make a reality

1. For the people needing or wanting mental health services:

  • Adequate services are available and accessible in a timely way.

2. Regarding the mental health services in place:

  • There is solid coordination of services.
  • All services are integrated.
  • There is a mental health court.
  • There are sufficient numbers of psychiatrists and other mental health providers to provide the needed services.
  • There is one or more Drop-In Centers.
  • The referral system among providers is solid – concrete, well-known and decentralized.
  • Emergency Room service is exemplary.
  • Person-Center approaches are the norm.

3. Regarding people’s attitudes toward people with mental illness:

  • There is no stigma associated with mental health issues.

(Vision statements name the ideal we are striving toward; they are a description of the perfect world we want to contribute to.)

Our six priority goals

1. Conduct a community needs assessment about mental health services and needs; collect the data, statistics and historical information – and then share it with all stakeholders.

2. Develop a youth advocacy group, sometimes called “Hope and Advocacy for the Future.”

3. Develop a 72-hour crisis response house, a “Hope House.”

4. Institute Crisis Response Teams.

5. Advocate for a Mental Health Court.

6. Collaborate with Child Protective Services.

Goal #1. Conduct a community needs assessment about mental health services and needs; collect the data, statistics and historical information – and then share it with all stakeholders.

A. Why is this goal important to us and the community?

We want to know exactly what we are dealing with, the assets, needs, gaps, etc.

We want to be able to demonstrate effectiveness.

Grassroots efforts, like this will be, are successful.

By doing so, we will be able to provide proof and evidence of the needs and gaps.

We will also be able to demonstrate what works and works less than perfectly, therefore needing attention.

It creates a focus.

It will make possible enhancements and improvements to services.

It will identify needs, including where and who the most significant ones exist.

It will lend itself to good collaborations with stakeholders.

B. Who are the stakeholders in this effort? Who will benefit by what we do and learn? Who will perhaps help with the effort?

The hospital emergency room leadership. – Law enforcement.

County Commissioners. – City Commissioners.

Judges. – County Attorneys.

The Health Department. – Nursing homes.

Schools administrators. – Day care centers.

Private insurance companies. – Child Protective Services.

Providers: private practitioners, AWARE, YDI, the Center for Mental Health, etc.

C. What are we striving for? What will the outcomes be, in an ideal sense?

Stakeholders will value our work. The project will demonstrate our relevance and helpfulness to the community.

The whole community will have a really good picture of what is taking place, the positives and the challenges.

There will be better mental health outcomes (less suicides, less child abuse, less admissions from our County to the State Hospital, better transitions from admissions, etc.)

People needing and wanting services can readily access the services.

Advocacy is more effective.

Legislators and local policy makers will value and rely on the data we collect. They will be able to make the best possible decisions with solid information, and see opportunities to save community resources and dollars with what is learned.

The project will enhance our relationships with other communities and LACs.

D. How will we go about this? What are the action steps we envision?

Announce the project. Consider a celebratory event to launch it and draw attention to it among the stakeholders.

Develop a one-page outline of what we’re trying to gather and track.

Ask and invite the stakeholders with existing data who can share what they have already accumulated and track.

Ask the Department of Commerce, Census and Economic Information Center, 841-2740, and explore the federal Census information for relevant data.

Determine a method of cataloging and keeping the data we collect. Ask a researcher for help with this process, so that is manageable.

Get all the relevant, existing state reports.

Compile all the data we collect, analyze it, and write a report.

Raise funds to help with the analysis and writing of the report.

Have a conversation with Montana State University about requesting a student to help with the data compilation and report writing.

Ask the in-state insurance companies to give us any relevant data they have. Ask Monica Lindeen, Commission of Insurance, to help with this. 444-2040

Determine good approaches to also include people receiving services in our data collection. Ensure their voices are part of our process – about their wants and needs for improved services. Do so in a technical, scholarly way to secure solid data.

Recruit someone in the media field to join us to help with publicity about the project and to communicate the findings.

E. What benchmarks can we set to assure we are making progress?

Request a student to assist with our data collection and cataloging. Shelley A. and James will inquire with the College of Great Falls.

At our February meeting, brainstorm the list of what we want to learn.

Shelly H. will study how high quality community needs assessments are done and what they include. Look at the University of Kansas Community Tool Box materials.

At our March meeting, plan an event to announce and draw attention (specifically to the stakeholders list) to the project.

At the March meeting, decide who approaches a media contact about how to publicize the project to stakeholders.

Consider attending the Neighborhood Council of Councils meetings to present an overview of what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and the potential it provides the community.

F. Who will make sure the action steps are underway and progress is made?

Shelley, Shelly, Jane, Bill and Trent. Art will also be invited. All LAC members will assist in the effort. The Work Group will bring requests to the LAC for specific tasks and meetings for people to commit to doing. Our meetings will focus on the steps of this project. Shelly will make sure Work Group meetings take place.

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