Hendricks County Community Foundation Announces New Behavioral Health Plan for Hendricks County

In partnership with the Hendricks County Health Partnership and Community Solutions, the Community Foundation convened community health leaders over the past 6 months to develop a county-wide behavioral health plan with the goal that all people in Hendricks County are mentally healthy, free of addiction, or on a path to recovery. The plan was funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant approved by the Hendricks County Commissioners and Council. The county also set aside $300,000 for implementation of the plan.

The Health Partnership recently released the final Hendricks County Community Action Plan which provides strategies for partners to work together in services of this shared result. You can read the plan on the HCCF website at hendrickscountycf.org/for-our-community/collaboration.

The Steering Committee for the plan developed the following strategies that would have a direct impact on four priority areas: provider access, isolation and stigma, education and awareness, and social-emotional development:

  1. Increase the number of behavioral health workers in Hendricks County
  2. Create a Hendricks County system of navigators to assist in prevention efforts and assist people to better maneuver through the mental health and substance use treatment options
  3. Inform faith-based community about mental health and substance use disorders and get them involved in referring people to appropriate resources
  4. Treat direct service professionals suffering from vicarious trauma by de-stigmatizing and creating access to mental health and substance use disorder providers that specialize in treatment for their professions, including but not limited to law enforcement, EMS, corrections, fire, ER dept. and healthcare workers, teachers and school staff, and any others who may serve victims of trauma and those experiencing mental health and substance use disorders directly or indirectly
  5. Maintain and promote the Hendricks County Online Community Resource Guide
  6. Engage and involve business leaders in the Hendricks County Health Partnership
  7. Make trauma informed care (TIC) and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) awareness a culture throughout the county
  8. Provide support for people raising children in Hendricks County

The community health leaders who volunteered on the Steering Committee are as follows:

• Michael Aviah, Hendricks County Health Department
• April Bordeau, Care to Change Counseling/Mental Health and Wellness Coalition
• Bridgette Collins‐George, Hendricks County Work Release
• Chase Cotten, Willow Center
• Dennis Dawes, Hendricks County Commissioner
• Krista Fay, Avon Community School Corporation
• Chris Flegal, United Way of Central Indiana
• Michelle Freeman, Cummins Behavioral Health Systems
• Aaron Garner, Hendricks County Systems of Care/Tetra Prime Consulting
• Eric Hessel, Hendricks County Community Foundation

• Lael Hill, Mental Health America of Hendricks County
• Marina Keers, Hendricks County Senior Services
• Evan Love, Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department
• Ann McCafferty, Indiana Rural Health Association
• Trisha Parlencer, IU Health West Hospital
• Tim Parsons, The Journey Church
• Jennifer Ramey, Hendricks Behavioral Hospital
• Julie Randall, Family Promise of Hendricks County
• Jean Renk, Duke Energy
• Shane Sommers, Hendricks Regional Health

The plan uses the Results-Based Accountability model to build out measurable indicators and evidence-based best-practices to meet these goals. Since the pandemic, the need for mental and behavioral health services and substance disorder treatment have grown exponentially. HCCF hopes to lead our community to actionable, measurable, and meaningful outcomes in this space.

“I am so proud to play a role on behalf of The Willow Center in co-leading the Hendricks County Health Partnership as we implement this community action plan,” says Chase Cotten, Community Director of The Willow Center and Chair of the Steering Committee. “The Partnership is stronger and more engaged than it has ever been before, recently combining the forces of multiple local collaboratives including the Substance Use Task Force, the Mental Health & Wellness Coalition, the System of Care, and the Client Consultation Board for Prevention. With the financial support of the Community Foundation and the Hendricks County Government, we are eager to accomplish these goals for the betterment of all people who live, work, and play in Hendricks County.”

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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