The Barnes County Behavioral Health Coalition met on Thursday, January 11.
CHI Mercy Hospital received a SPARK grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND Caring Foundation to support people experiencing homelessness in Barnes County. Representatives noted that the funds are nearly exhausted.
Representative Dwight Kiefert, District 24, was in attendance and provided an update. He noted that states attorneys have been in contact with the Health & Human Services committee as the state hospital is effectively not available for use. At the peak of operations, the state hospital had beds for 1500 to 2000 clients, now there are 100 beds available.
“As Representative Kiefert noted, changes at the State Hospital directly impact our communities, as local agencies try to work together to identify mental health providers, housing and economic assistance needed for people who are experiencing behavioral health challenges,” states Katie Beyer, City-County Health District Administrator.
Recently, City-County Health District was able to host a University of North Dakota social work intern, Leslie Uecker. Uecker was able to assist CCHD with updating the Valley City Health & Wellness Resource Guide.
“Whether you are setting an intention for 2024 to begin or restart mental health services, the Resource Guide can help you find local providers,” states Meghan Velure, registered nurse and program coordinator at City-County Health District. A copy is available at www.citycountyhealth.org/resources.
In addition, information was shared by local partners who wrote for an opioid settlement grant. The State of ND had just over $7 million available and received about $59 million in applications. City-County Health District was one of 65 agencies to put forward an application. CCHD requested $390,000 to fund positions such as navigators and crisis staff to assist with behavioral health concerns, employment and housing needs. In addition, Valley City Public Schools put forth a request to support prevention education.