In 2010, the RHC released a report, “Pathways to Progress: Transforming the Behavioral Health System.” This report summarized the efforts and successes of the Eastern Region Behavioral Health Initiative from 2006-2010 and highlighted the regional collaboration as a model for the St. Louis region.
The Eastern Region of Missouri has had a long-standing commitment to providing services and programs to individuals and families affected by mental health and substance abuse issues, referred to collectively as “behavioral health.”
In order to strengthen the existing behavioral health safety net system, representatives from mental health and substance abuse providers, the Missouri Department of Mental Health, physical health providers, consumers, consumer advocates, community leaders, and community organizations joined together to create recommendations for a more responsive and coordinated system for acute adult behavioral health care.
This group identified challenges and opportunities in the behavioral health safety net system, determined best practices and proposed alternative models. They then developed detailed recommendations for improving the system. They focused on coordinating care for individuals who frequently utilized the behavioral health system, improving the entry into care process, and reducing stigma. They also concentrated on increasing providers’ and staff’s ability to interact appropriately and effectively with those with a behavioral health diagnosis.
The report captures the Eastern Region Behavioral Health Initiative’s efforts to:
- Foster greater collaboration and integration between the region’s physical and behavioral health providers
- Implement important system changes to improve services for behavioral health consumers
- Provide forums for open dialogue and collaborations
- Develop strategies for the long-term sustainability for our efforts