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  • Community-Wide Effort to Improve Behavioral Health Services Finds Significant Gaps for Community to Focus On

    Community-Wide Effort to Improve Behavioral Health Services Finds Significant Gaps for Community to Focus On

    (November 29, 2021) – Following a five-month community-based effort to research and identify behavioral health services and needs on Nantucket, the steering committee finalized phase one of its multi-phased initiative aimed at addressing behavior health concerns impacting the community. As part of the initiative, the committee gathered and analyzed data and brought together community members with civic and government leaders to explore and report on some of the major challenges facing Nantucket’s behavioral health stakeholders.

    The assessment found 15 gaps across the community-wide behavioral health prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery options offered on Nantucket.

    "The Pandemic helped expose some challenges that we’ve always struggled with. The report makes it clear that we need to increase resources to address some of our shortfalls. It’s time for all of us to roll up our sleeves and get to work on plugging these gaps. We can design a system that works for all members of our community,” said Moirar Leveille, author and founder of Moirar Holistic Wellness.

    These findings include five system-wide issues which if remedied could significantly improve the overall function and coordination of multiple behavioral health resources based on the island. The five issues are: the lack of person-centered collaboration; under-resourced access and navigation supports; fragmented oversight and limited data utilization; insufficient reimbursements and funding levels; and the impact of a lack of adequate and affordable housing on recruitment and retention of professional staff.

    "I’m pleased that we have a comprehensive understanding of our strengths and opportunities. This will help us focus our efforts and investments in the future,” said Nantucket Town Manager Libby Gibson.

    With the release of the report, the 15-member committee is currently determining how to best implement the report’s findings and improve the behavioral health resources on Nantucket. To support the coming work, the Behavioral Health Initiative Fund administered at the Community Foundation for Nantucket was recently awarded a grant from the 2021 Nantucket Cottage Hospital Community Health Initiative.

    “Nantucket Cottage Hospital is committed to improving Nantucketer’s access to quality care, particularly in the behavioral health space,” said Gary Shaw, President and CEO of Nantucket Cottage Hospital. “While we have worked to expand our behavioral health resources at the hospital, we are one part of a system of providers in this space, which is why this kind of comprehensive, community-based initiative is so vital to improving the lives of our community members.”

    The complete report including an executive summary in English, Portuguese, and Spanish can be found at https://cfnan.org/nantucket-behavioral-health-assessment-phase-i-report/

    For inquiries, contact: Margaretta Andrews, Executive Director of the Community Foundation for Nantucket, at mandrews@cfnan.org

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