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Regional collaboration strengthens mental health services for veteransFrom the Crawford County Mental Health CenterA Community Green Zone Advocacy Training event was held recently in Pittsburg, Kansas to honor, recognize, and support Service Members, Veterans, and their Families (SMVF). This event connected mental health centers, military members, law enforcement, local and state officials, advocacy groups, healthcare professionals, and community members to empower community members as they support veterans as they transition from military life to a civilian environment. Green Zones are designated locations recognized by veterans as safe places. Attendees of the event participated in training to become Green Zone advocates and were given certificates along with Green Zone decals to display, allowing veterans to recognize these locations as safe places.
A collaborative effort between regional community mental health centers Crawford County Mental Health Center (CCMHC), Spring River Mental Health and Wellness, and Labette Center for Mental Health Services has been in process for a couple of months to develop SMVF programs at their agencies as part of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Accreditation.Under the guidance of Loran Osborn, SSG, US Army (Ret.), SMVF Navigator at Four County Mental Health Center, this group is developing programs that connect the SMVF population to mental health resources in their communities and help them access military and veteran benefits. This Veterans Advisory Board meets regularly for program development and elicits feedback from advocacy groups such as VetLinks and the Southeast Kansas Veteran Providers’ Coalition.Members of the Veterans Advisory Board include individuals from many different organizations. Members consist of Carol Meza-Bakke, CCMHC, James Childers, CCMHC, Amy Glines, CCMHC, Heather Spaur, CCMHC, Braeden Hinton, CCMHC, David Bradbury, CCMHC, Stacy Manbeck, Spring River Mental Health and Wellness, Misti Mustain, Labette Center for Mental Health Services, Matt Atteberry, Labette Center for Mental Health Services, Dan McNally, Spring River Mental Health and Wellness and VetLinks, Michelle York, Spring River Mental Health and Wellness, and Loran Osborne, Four County Mental Health Center.To better serve the SMVF population, James Childers Director of Addiction Services and SMVF at Crawford County Mental Health Center, plans to create an online directory of services, agencies, groups, connections, and resources. “Most people are aware of the large organizations, VA (Veterans Affairs), and other government resources, but there are so many small organizations providing a great deal of benefits. Having that information easily accessible for veterans and service members is a part of what this group is intended to do,” Childers said.To learn more about the SMVF programs and services available to help SMVF members in your community, contact your mental health center, Crawford County Mental Health Center,, Spring River Mental Health and Wellness,, Labette Center for Mental Health Services,, and Four County Mental Health Center, Ann’s Catholic School celebrating 60th anniversary during Catholic Schools WeekFrom St. Ann’s Catholic SchoolIn 1962, St. Ann’s Catholic School opened its doors in Carthage. The four-room school with three teachers and a teaching principal has undergone many changes over the 60 years, but having a Christ-centered school has always been it’s focus. This year, we are celebrating 60 years of St. Ann’s Catholic School during the annual Catholic Schools Week. While each day is loaded with fun events, it is Celebrating Community day that we will celebrate this Golden Anniversary.On January 31st, we will begin our celebration at 1:30 with a special birthday party. All students are asked to bring a wrapped present to donate to Children’s Haven in Joplin, MO. At 2:30, Julie Reams and other Carthage Chamber of Commerce members will be with us for a Ribbon Cutting ceremony, and directly after the ribbon cutting ceremony, we will have refreshments and a video showcasing the 60 years of St. Ann’s.That evening, St. Ann’s will be hosting an evening celebrating St. Ann’s complete with dinner, entertainment from St. Ann’s St. Cecilia Singers and St. Geneisus Players. There will be various projects from all of the classes to show the amazing academics that happen at St. Ann’s. It is a night to celebrate the current students of St. Ann’s as we recognize the impact the school has had on the community for 60 years.Doors will open for the St. Ann’s Celebration at 5:45 p.m. with dinner beginning at 6:15 p.m. Tours of the school will be happening all evening, along with various performances and guests will be able to walk around the building to see the students work and visit with friends, alumni, and teachers of St. Ann’s.For more information, contact Mikelle Cortez at (417) 358-2674 or email her at Alzheimer’s State Task Force releases report and recommendations

From the Missouri Department of Health and Senior ServicesJEFFERSON CITY, MO — More than 120,000 individuals in Missouri are currently living with Alzheimer’s or related dementia. With the aging of the baby boomer population, that number will escalate to more than 130,000 by 2025. A recent report, Missouri Alzheimer’s State Task Force Report and Recommendations identifies areas with strategies for the State of Missouri to address and respond to the escalating public health crisis regarding Alzheimer’s.Commissioned by the 101st General Assembly, the Alzheimer’s State Task Force members were appointed by Governor Parson. Task force members were commissioned to:• Assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease on Missourians.• Examine existing services and resources for persons with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.• Develop recommendations to respond to the public health crisis of Alzheimer’s in Missouri.• Ensure inclusion of all ethnic and racial populations that have a higher risk.• Identify opportunities for the state to partner with federal government entities.• Provide information and coordination across all state agencies regarding Alzheimer’s.• Examine dementia-specific training requirements across health care, adult protective services workers, law enforcement and all other areas in which staff are involved with the delivery of care to those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.• Develop strategies to increase the diagnostic rate of Alzheimer’s disease in Missouri.“Alzheimer’s disease poses a grave and growing challenge to Missouri and our nation,” said Paula F. Nickelson, acting director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.“The Task Force did a tremendous job gathering information and developing recommendations that will assist in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s and benefit those with Alzheimer’s, their caregivers and their family members.”Upon completion of reviewing current services and resources related to Alzheimer’s and other dementias and hearing the needs of Missourians through eight community forums, the Alzheimer’s State Plan Task Force identified four focus areas.• Advance Risk Reduction, Early Detection and Timely Diagnosis • Increase Access to Care, Support, and Treatment • Improve Quality of Care • Ensure a Coordinated Statewide Response “Gathering input from persons living with Alzheimer’s disease, family caregivers and stakeholders from across the state was a critical part of the planning process,” said Nickelson.“The voices of those who spoke during the in-person town hall-style community forms and those who completed surveys are considered throughout the plan.”

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