Combining forces for stronger mental health care
By Lauren Stockam, a Public Health Information Specialist with Springfield-Greene County Health
When you need help with your mental health, it’s important to have a place to turn for resources and connections to treatment. In Springfield and Greene County, we are fortunate to have many organizations dedicated to improving mental health, but when we come together, we are stronger than we are alone.
Introducing Mental Health 417
In celebration of Mental Health Month, we’re excited to announce Mental Health 417, a collaboration among Healthy Living Alliance member organizations dedicated to mental health care in the Ozarks.
Mental Health 417 is a local, online, and interactive resource hub for people seeking treatment, information and education related to mental health. It includes overviews of common mental health disorders, ideas for self-care that can be accessed locally, information on starting conversations about mental health and a treatment finder to help you get connected to professional mental health care in the Ozarks.
This hub was created for people in the Ozarks to have a one-stop location to assess their needs and access the resources and help they need to better their mental health before it reaches a point of crisis.
Preventing a crisis
In Springfield, the average rate of suicide mortality is 60% higher than the United States’ average, according to findings from the Ozarks Health Commission in 2022. Though this statistic is sobering, it is also a reminder that suicide can be prevented when critical interventions are utilized before a mental health challenge becomes a crisis.
The Mental Health 417 prevention model was inspired by the mental health continuum, developed from Corey Keyes’ research:
Our goal is to reach people experiencing a mental health challenge before they reach the injured stage and especially the ill stage. If we provide and prepare people with the information, skills and tools they need to take control of their mental health, our hope is that they never reach the final stages.
If you are in or approaching the injured or ill stages, our treatment finder and suicide prevention resources are available for when it gets too big to handle on your own. Everyone’s mental health journey looks different, and we’re here to help.
Take the next step
The Mental Health 417 hub is meant to grow. As new conversations and issues in mental health care arise, we have plans and space to add new resources and tools for the community.
This Mental Health Month, we encourage the community to explore this new hub and submit resource suggestions. Use it to kick start a healthy routine, talk to someone you care about or get connected to a mental health professional.
Your mental health matters. Let’s take the next step.
Thank you to the HLA partners who joined in the Mental Health 417 project:
· Community Foundation of the Ozarks
· Community Partnership of the Ozarks
· Springfield-Greene County Health
· Mercy Health Systems
· Jordan Valley Community Health
· Burrell Behavioral Health
· NAMI of Southwest Missouri and
Lauren Stockam is a Public Health Information Specialist at Springfield-Greene County Health. She has worked on outreach projects with WIC, Food Safety, Animal Control, COVID-19, STI and most recently Mental Health 417. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Professional Studies in Nonprofit Communication from Missouri State University. She is passionate about mental health education and substance use prevention.