Diverting to Care in Communities Convening Scribing for a community convening to discuss diverting people with mental health and substance abuse issues away from jail, and into the care they need and deserve.

Diverting individuals away from jails and prisons and toward more appropriate and culturally competent community-based behavioral health care is the focus of this initiative from the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFFH).

In this one day session the MFFH brought together community representatives across behavioral health, law enforcement, public health, and community care to share efforts currently underway and strategize around future opportunities for improving the way individuals experiencing mental health and substance use emergencies are supported.

First there was a panel on Messaging and Mindsets to set the table for reimagining how we respond to mental health and substance abuse emergencies. This was followed by breakouts on the same topic to delve in deeper to ask, “how can our communication and the messages we share challenge those mindsets?”

In the second breakout, Rewriting the Story, a real-life tale of a family experiencing a  member in crisis and in need of care was considered.  What if the reality was a “perfect world where resources are abundant? What about our current reality would have to change or shift in order for this to happen?” The group I attended considered what could happen during the crisis. What was the situation? What were the solutions? And what was the result?