In May 2013, The Joint Funders consisting of Mary Black Foundation, Spartanburg County Foundation, Spartanburg Regional Foundation and United Way of the Piedmont, conducted a detailed needs assessment for Behavioral Health in the Spartanburg County area. This needs assessment includes a survey of the community, information obtained from prior studies, focus groups consisting of consumers accessing mental health services and a survey of behavioral health providers; an inventory of available services; and an action plan that would be developed over the next three years by the Behavioral Health Taskforce comprised of key stakeholders and community leaders and experts.
The Behavioral Health Task Force has identified its focus to “reduce the unmet need” through engaging in realistic strategies which recognize that early identification of behavioral health issues can be as beneficial as significantly expanded service providers. In that regard, there are several featured areas of focus, all community-based efforts taking on an upstream approach.
While the Task Force membership is holding steady at 25 members, other community members representing specific competencies in our community have been added to smaller, issue-focused work groups.
The Behavioral Health Taskforce has approached their work in 4 different areas: Training and Skill Development, Community Capacity, Community Awareness and Upstream Interventions.
Training and Skill Development
Focusing on hospital personnel, law enforcement, first responders, school personnel
- SBIRT (Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment)
- Motivational Interviewing
- ACE Awareness (Adverse Childhood Experiences)
- Mental Health First Aid
- Leveraging resources for modifications in the Emergency Center to include a Behavioral Health Wing
- Focusing on high risk populations such as veterans, seniors and the Spartanburg County Detention Center
- Expansion of Telepsychiatry services focusing on a unique model in collaboration with private physicians and our local Federally Qualified Health Centers. This model not only offers a warm line for physician support, but also telepsychiatry evaluations and the embedding of counselors into private practices.
- Mental Health America – in collaboration with Mental Health America SC, the Taskforce supported a satellite MHA in Spartanburg to provide advocacy and education.
- NAMI Spartanburg (National Alliance on Mental Illness) – worked in partnership with NAMI to build its capacity to provide peer support services and education.
- Development of a Resource Guide to behavioral health services in our community
Focusing in on unique partnerships and working in a collaborative effort we have supported the following partnerships and leveraged resources to institute the following programs/services in our community:
- Embedding counselors at the Spartanburg County Detention Center
- Healthy Outcomes Program Spartanburg (HOPS) – Decreasing Emergency Center visits through a partnership with Access Health Spartanburg and the Emergency Center
- Reassurance Line Services
- Autism Supports
- Postpartum Depression Supports
- Representative Payee Program
- Telepsychiatry Expansion
For more information or to get involved contact Heather Witt.
The Behavioral Health Task Force is working on the national opioid epidemic at the local level by convening partners to raise awareness and educate the community around these issues. One resource developed already is a map of local prescription drug disposal drop-boxes where anyone can drop off unused or unwanted prescription drugs.