(Posted on FB, NC CANSO EMPOWERS page)
While the public mental health system isn’t the only source of help and support for people with mental health challenges, they are to ensure that citizens with no private means–and that is so many of us!–are given the help they need when they may need it. Are the outputs of your MCO reflected by people living higher quality lives and personal growth or is your area still having growing numbers of citizens appearing in EDs when in personal crises or because they simply do not know where to go?
If you are on a CFAC (consumer and family advisory committee), please ask about the numbers of individuals utilizing Emergency Departments and psychiatric emergency centers, where they exist. Because these numbers are the best indicators of 2) how well people are accessing services before they reach the point of crisis, 2) the service culture and quality with which they are met, and 3) the coordination of the local mental health system, including relationships with community assets that may be best able to help and individual, depending on need.
If you are an advocate serving on a CFAC or not, this is such important information for us to have! We can hardly ask for specific changes to ensure progress in our communities with out such data.
Is no one keeping this data? Then we as caring citizens must ask the legislature and the Department of Health and Human Services to put a focus on these aspects of service. Because we may be spending way too much money on too few good or lasting results if such things are not regularly considered!