Springfield works to solve mental health issues in community - FOX 5 KRBK is Springfield MO source for News and Weather

Springfield works to solve mental health issues in community

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Mental health can be a sensitive subject, and for many people who suffer or know someone who suffers from the many illnesses, finding help can be a challenge.

As our Bennon Gurley reports shows us the lack of mental health resources in the area can be difficult, city leaders came together today to try and find a solution.

 "To think about how you’re going to live the rest of your life without your daughter, your best friend, the person you loved most in the world," explains Julie Oziah-Gideon. 

Oziah-Gideon's 20 year old daughter Samantha Huntley was a former Kickapoo High School cheerleader that died of a heroin overdose three days after getting home from treatment.

"She was my whole entire world so that’s why I’m doing this. I want people to know that it happens and we need to work together to make it stop."

Julie says the treatment system is full of obstacles.

They start receiving the help, they start getting better then they’re getting booted again. And that’s hard on them to keep going through that cycle like why am I going to try it’s just going to fail."

The first of hurdles she says are finding a bed and insurance coverage.

"I’ve been through this 15 times already you know I want to be clean and sober but what we’re doing is not working so they give up or they get turned away and say come back in a week. Well they maybe dead in a week."

Experts say one in five adults in the U.S. experiences a mental health illness. That's why Springfield is pushing to find people the best route to find help they need.

Katie Towns is the Assistant Director for Springfield-Greene County Health Department. She tells FOX5,"We don’t want this to be just another assessment. We want this thing to produce things that are going to be actionable and be timely."

Community leaders say an assessment released shows the best strategy is for them to have a unified plan of action surrounding mental health and substance abuse challenges.

"We need to explore those issues and figure out ways we can destigmatise so that people don’t feel inhibited In seeking help."

"Once you take a step you have to keep going so we’ve taken our first step and I don’t feel it’s going to stop, I feel like it’s going to get better and we’re the only ones that can make that happen," explains Oziah-Gideon.

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