Defining the Box Working Group 5 Feb 2009 Quick Report

DATE:             February 5, 2009

TO:                  Town Council

FROM:             Andrew Pham, Mayoral Intern

SUBJECT:        Defining the Box Work Group (a subgroup of The Mayor’s Mental Health Task Force)

February 5, 2009;  8:30-10:15 AM Town Operations Center First Floor Conference Room

Task Force Members Present: Natalie Ammarell (Chair), Linda, Foxworth, Thava Mahadevan, Michelle Turner

Staff Members Present: Andrew Pham

The purpose of this work group is to define the current structure of mental health services as it relates to the Chapel Hill/Orange County area.

Mapping the System

The group identified different ways to depict the current system including visual maps, client points of entry, funding maps, regulatory maps, and client simulation maps. After some discussion, the consensus was that the most practical approach was to divide clients into age groups. The group modeled the entry points, client sources, referral structure, funding structure and regulatory influence of the birth-3 and 21-65 age groups. This exercise gave the group an outline to follow for the rest of the age groups.

Observations on the Current System

After modeling the system for the two age groups, the subcommittee made the following observations:

  • Preventive care and funding for it are lacking in the area.
  • The current system is based on acuity; individuals in crisis or with severe or co-occurring conditions are more likely to be granted eligibility for service than those with less complex mental health needs.
  • Providers are unable to effectively manage cases and provide mental health services simultaneously.

Possible Solutions

The work group identified some potential solutions:

  • Coordinated case management.
  • Establishment of an Inter-Agency Council for the adult age group.
  • Reimbursement for certain non-direct services.
  • More widespread Crisis Intervention Training.
  • More and better integrated preventive services.

The work group agreed to invite two other people to help with its work and it scheduled its next meeting for Friday March 6, 2009 at 8:30 AM in the Town Operations Center 1st Floor Conference Room.

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