North Country Independent Living has been awarded a $475,347 grant over the next three years to create a Coordinated Community Response group in Douglas County focused on reforming mental health crisis response.

“This grant can be a game-changer for mental health in Douglas County, because it is intended to change our ability to respond locally to mental health crisis needs in a way that will be person-centered and recovery-focused,” said University of Wisconsin-Superior social work professor Lynn Goerdt, who helped develop the proposal for the grant. “We should significantly increase our ability to assist people to prevent a mental health crisis from escalating to a point where they find themselves far from their community and support network.”

A CCR group pulls together partner organizations to explore current systems, evaluate effectiveness and implement change. Backed by the grant from Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin, such groups build cooperation across systems.

Over the next three years, partners plan to develop priorities for change, develop and implement a system for individualized crisis planning and put in place a HIPAA-compliant method for data sharing. They will also be exploring models for peer-focused community supports.

Organizations interested in taking part can contact North Country Independent Living Project Manager Tracy Henegar at tracy@northcountryil.org.