Over the last couple of years there has been a tremendous focus on the need for expanded care for people suffering with mental health issues. This, coupled with the opioid crisis, has led to a significant amount of work, both locally and statewide, to begin to develop additional quality programs in a more comprehensive system of care. Sussex County Health Coalition (SCHC) has been a leader in helping foster dialogue, examine needs and create collaborations to address these pressing issues and gaps. We have also had a seat at the table for statewide discussions.
In the past four years we have seen comprehensive school based mental health programming emerge in four of the five school districts in Sussex County, increased capacity from providers expanding in our area both geographically and in the service arrays and healthcare systems taking a proactive and collaborative role in this work. Engaging in the work of building solutions, expanding messaging around addiction, fighting stigma and finally prevention has emerged as a priority to focus
on our youth.
Multiple things have aligned that have brought us to a tipping point regarding mental health in our community and state.
- The creation of a statewide Behavioral Health Consortium
- New legislation for a statewide Overdose System of Care
- Delaware Center for Health Innovations Mental Health Parody work
- The opening of SUN Behavioral Health in Sussex County
This is not to say we are done, there is still much more work to do. However, I am highly optimistic we are locally, as well as statewide, heading in the right direction. We need all stakeholders in the mental illness arena to continue to fight the stigma associated with mental illness. We remain committed to our work and invite you to join us in our efforts by supporting our partners National Association of Mental Illness of Delaware (NAMI DE), Mental Health Association of Delaware (MHA) and atTAcK addiction. It will take all of us to continue this critical work.
In communities across the country and right here in Sussex County, many people have suffered from mental illness and substance use disorders. Seeing those unmet needs, CEOs from three downstate healthcare institutions—Jeffrey Fried (Beebe
Healthcare), Terry Murphy (Bayhealth) and Steve Rose (Nanticoke Health Services)—voiced their concerns and needs to the team at SUN Behavioral Health. At SUN, our mission is to partner with communities. We wholeheartedly welcome the opportunity to solve unmet needs for those suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders in Sussex County and beyond.
Our hospital is part of a community-wide solution: helping those seen in emergency rooms or sent to community hospitals that don’t have mental health units, helping those transferred to other law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities and homeless shelters and helping patients who do not receive the appropriate mental health care for their needs. SUN is committed to interrupting this escalating and dangerous cycle. We are working collaboratively with health care professionals and local neighborhoods to create appropriate services delivered in the finest facility with the highest standard of care. Our team of board-certified psychiatrists, doctors, nurses and other care providers brings extensive professional expertise and experience to all patients and their families. SUN is here. We’re committed to being at the forefront of this critical and dynamic field. And we are committed to helping all our neighbors across Sussex County.
Article written by Amy Wood, CEO for SUN Behavioral Health