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Gagliardo: Behavioral Health Alliance providing for Grundy County

Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 8:56 p.m. CST • Updated: Monday, March 10, 2014 9:13 p.m. CST

MORRIS – One of the networks the Community Foundation of Grundy County is actively involved with is the Behavioral Health Alliance (BHA) of Grundy County. 

BHA originally came together in 2009 as a group of individuals concerned with the shortage of behavioral health resources in the county. BHA’s goal in meeting was to obtain a mental health grant for children. Although the group did not receive this grant, they did begin to see the benefits of working together. Since that time, BHA has developed into an active network of individuals and service providers.

Like many organizations and networks, BHA has taken a look at where we are and where we want to be. In doing so, BHA has changed our meeting format, updated our brochure, modified our website and changed the look of our e-newsletter.

Previously, BHA meetings were mainly comprised of committee reports and agency updates. Because we want to grow our membership and appeal to the masses, we decided to have pre-determined discussion topics covering all areas of behavioral health. Each month our newsletter and meeting focus will be on that specific topic. 

For example, in March, our newsletter contained an article discussing Concealed Carry in Grundy County. At our meeting March 25, a representative from the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department will present to BHA on the law, who can and cannot get a license to carry and what measures are being taken at a state and local level to ensure individuals are being trained in gun safety.

When appropriate, BHA will bring in an outside speaker, which was the case in February. On February 25, Mark Heyrman, Law Professor and Mental Health Advocate from the University of Chicago Law School, presented on the Impact of Affordable Care Act on Behavioral Health. His presentation was open to the public and received positive feedback from those who attended.

The tentative schedule of topics for the remainder of the year is as follows: 

April – Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, May – Heroin, June – Veterans and Mental Health, July – Anxiety, August – Mental Health Court, September – Sexual Identity, October – Hoarding Behavior, November - Prescription Drug Abuse and December -–Crisis Intervention.

All are invited to attend BHA meetings; however, I would encourage anyone interested in attending to contact BHA prior to the meeting to ensure there have been no changes made to the location, time or topic. BHA meets at 3 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of each month (except July and December) in the Canalport Conference Room located behind We Care of Grundy County. 

To find out more about BHA visit our newly redesigned website www.bhagrundycounty.com, Facebook page, or email bhagrundy@gmail.com.

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