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2nd grant for Boone Co. Behavioral Task Force substance abuse program

Rockford WIFR-LD logo Rockford WIFR-LD 10/21/2020 WIFR Newsroom
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BOONE COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - The Boone County Behavioral Task Force was awarded a second grant to continue to address substance abuse and mental health in the county.

The funds aim to support the efforts of the task force and advance its goals to increase community collaboration and reduce substance abuse in Boone County. The purpose of the program is to support projects that develop, implement, or expand comprehensive programs in response to illicit opioids stimulants, or other substances of abuse, according to the task force in an announcement on Wednesday afternoon.

The Boone County Behavioral Health Task Force was formed in April 2017. The program furthers the funding agency’s mission of providing resources to support state, local, tribal and territorial efforts to reduce violent crime and drug abuse and enhance public safety while supporting victims, according to the task force.

The grant application was written by the Region 1 Planning Council. Boone County, the City of Belvidere, and the Boone County Board of Health provided the funding for these grant writing services. Projects must feature comprehensive, collaborative initiatives aimed at reducing the impact of substance abuse on individuals and communities, including a reduction in the number of overdose fatalities, as well as mitigation of the impacts on crime victims.

“The funding will allow Boone County to expand programming and services already established through the Boone County Comprehensive Opioid Abuse program, which is a system-wide series of coordinated interventions seeking to leverage the current redesign of the Boone County Jail Medical Services and integrate Behavioral Health services into inmate care, including Medication Assisted Treatment,” according to the task force.

Additionally, the COAR program included the creation of a Recovery Navigator program, which will provide comprehensive case management services both to jail inmates, and to residents in the community.

“The new Boone County Support Outreach Recovery Team project is twofold: to fill the identified need for a Community Law Enforcement Officer to work with the justice-involved community and an Addiction Counselor to work with the county’s jailed population. These two gaps were identified through the Boone County Sequential Intercept Mapping process completed in 2018 by the Task Force," according to the task force.

Founded in 2017, the task force is made up of organizations from public health, mental health, justice, and faith communities and has worked together to create solutions to behavioral health issues with a focus on substance abuse. The CLEO will be a law enforcement officer familiar with the community. This individual will engage with members of the public in Boone County who experience Opioid Use Disorder and Substance Abuse Disorders. They will work with first responders and help link people with addiction into treatment as well as outreach to the public.

This outreach will include, but is not limited to, outreach to OUD/SUD person and their friends and family; NARCAN training to interested members of the public; drug awareness programs to students; and outreach to groups like AA and NA, per the task force.

The second purpose is to fill the identified need for an Addiction Counselor who will work as a Recovery Coach in the Boone County jail. This individual will deliver services and provide group and individual therapies within the jail. The project includes partnerships between the Behavioral Health Task Force, the Boone County Health Department, Rosecrance and the Belvidere Police Department, the task force says.

“We expect the results of SORT to include less OUD/SUD-related crime including overdose, suicide, domestic violence, aggravated battery, and theft,” according to the task force.

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