A group that oversees mental-health services in Boone County is considering merging into another city or county institution. The Boone County Mental Health Board has suffered from sporadic meeting attendance and failed attempts to create a community mental-health fund.
As enrollment rates increase at universities across the country, counselors say they face more difficulties handling student mental health concerns. And as KBIA’s Scott Kanowsky reports, the University of Missouri system is feeling the strain as well.
Dr. David Wallace is standing in front of a class of college students, a PowerPoint projection lit behind him. It is Suicide Prevention Week at MU, so Wallace is giving tips on coping with severe mental health problems.
A report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, said Missouri will see a slight increase in next year’s funding for mental health treatment and services. Despite this, the report said the state is still in the midst of a mental health crisis.
There are 1.6 million people living in rural Missouri, and many have a hard time accessing health care. In the 2011 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s healthy county rankings, Hickory County in West Central Missouri is rated one of the worst in the state in terms of mental health. It’s so bad, residents say they experience just over a week’s worth of poor mental health days each month. They are also unhealthier and experience more poverty than the national average.