Dare Community Collaborative on Child Mental Health and Substance Use meets monthly and involves organizations, groups and individuals who have an interest in the mental well being of our children on the Outer Banks. Recently, I received a copy of their latest minutes. It is good to know we are moving forward on mental health and substance abuse .
Wally Overman, Commissioner reported that the Dare County Commissioners approved $25,000 for the start-up of telepsychiatry at Surf Pediatrics. This is a partnership that involves Surf Pediatrics, Dare County Health and Human Services, The Outer Banks Hospital and ECU School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. Telepsychiatric services are expected to start in September.
The School-Based Mental Health Work Group met with Arty Tillett and new school superintendent, John Farrelly. They are optimistic that the administration will seek to implement strategies that will address the mental health needs of students. Susan Lee presented a workshop on School Mental Health at the Dare County Schools Professional Learning Day on August 23. The Work Group meets the first Tuesday of the month at 2:30 p.m. at the Dare County Administration Building. The State School Board approved a new policy on the School-Based Mental Health Initiative.
The Superintendent of Public Instruction will study the policy during this school year as school systems prepare to implement the policy during the 2018-19 school year.
The Breaking Through Task Force, * a work group of Healthy Carolinians of the Outer Banks that focuses on mental health concerns, developed a survey to obtain information from families that will be distributed later this fall. The task force also developed a survey for Dare County Schools personnel to ascertain their perception of mental health needs in the schools. This task force was formed after the completion of the 2016 Community Health Assessment Process with the goal to address communication and stigma concerns related to substance abuse and mental health disorders in Dare County.
Two groups not represented at the Collaborative meetings were family members and youth. The Collaborative will need to focus on getting those two groups represented. Contact Trillium if you are interested.