One Mission. Lots of Initiatives.
The Evansville Mental Health Commission’s mission is simple: we want to provide immediate and effective mental health care to people who need it, especially those in crisis.
Our group developed a plan to not only achieve this mission, but also lessen the burdens on the county’s overcrowded jail and busy ERs and even save the community money.
The plan consists of initiatives that support our mission. We’re already seeing progress with each of them.
Initiative #1: Connect people with existing services. Help is available right now for people living with mental illness and issues that often come with it, such as substance abuse, health concerns and suicide. Find local services. Note: If you have an emergency, please call 911.
Progress: We’re using our website as a main hub for local services. Click here to find facilities that provide mental health treatment and counseling. We’ve also included local support groups. If you’re a provided that isn’t on our list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Initiative #2: Create a crisis center. With proper intervention, we can successfully divert those with mental illness and substance abuse disorders to an emergency crisis center instead of sending them to our already crowded jails and emergency rooms. Treatment at the crisis center will include comprehensive care—from basic needs (food, shelter) to treatment (physical and mental health care).
Progress: On May 7, Mayor Winnecke, who co-chairs the Mental Health Commission, announced that funding needed to open the center—about $220,000—has been secured! We hope to acquire money through grants to cover annual operating expenses, estimated to be around $775,000 per year.
Initiative #3: Provide crisis intervention training (CIT) to law enforcement, jailers and related professionals. Officers often lack the proper training to deal with people in crisis, which can lead to unnecessary arrests and insufficient medical attention for those with mental illness.
Progress: Plans are in the works to expand CIT training to a greater number of people who will interact with people in a mental health or substance abuse crisis.
Initiative #4: Educate the public. We’re committed to working with other programs and local resources to educate our local community on mental health and related issues, such as addiction and suicide.
Progress: We’re using Facebook to share information on these topics. Please like our page!