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Residents Have Chance to Hear More About Mental Health Services Study

Volunteer opportunities also to be discussed at annual town meeting this week.

Residents Have Chance to Hear More About Mental Health Services Study

With a recent League of Women Voters study identifying shortcomings in mental health detection, care and treatment locally, the town of Canton will discuss the issue this week. 

The study will be one of two topics at Wednesday night's Annual Town Meeting. 

The recent study involves a comprehensive look at services in the Valley and discovered the following issues when it comes to mental health. 

  1. Stigma exists for consumers and families.
  2. Mental health parity is an issue. Mental health issues have not been treated like other illnesses.
  3. Early detection/intervention is inadequate.
  4. Lack of insurance coverage and inadequate coverage (Impact of the Affordable Care Act in 2014) is a problem.
  5. There are too few professionals to diagnose and treat in the Farmington Valley.
  6. Access to information and services is sometimes confusing and inadequate.
  7. Housing and long-term solutions are lacking.
  8. Transportation is a problem because many services are outside of towns.

The study began in January and contains suggestions for improvement, position statements, a chart of available services and much more, focusing on the following.

  1. What behavioral health services are available to residents of the Farmington Valley?
  2. What stands in the way of individuals receiving the services they need for behavioral health difficulties?
  3. What can state and local governments and other entities do to improve the state of behavioral healthy for residents of Canton and the Farmington Valley

For more details, read the document attached to the story.

At a recent Board of Selectmen meeting, First Selectman Richard Barlow suggested the topic for the annual town meeting.

“I think it’s a very timely topic,” Barlow said. It certainly is something that people have interest in.”

At the suggestion of selectmen Steve Roberto, selectman voted to add the topic of volunteering for boards and commissions.

Roberto said he is concerned about the struggle to get people to volunteer for the positions and feels in some cases there is somewhat of a misperception about the time required. The meeting will be a good chance for people to learn more about what’s involved, he said.

The meeting will take place Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall Auditorium, 4 Market St., Collinsville.


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