The Department of Mental health is taking a critical look at its policies, practices, and outcomes. The goal is to understand where we are, and take actions to enhance equity in Missouri’s public mental health system. The Mental Health and Inclusion Alliance was established to support the Department of Mental Health in actualizing and fulfilling its commitments to equitable access, inclusive services, and favorable outcomes for the people it serves.
Mental Health Equity is the right to access quality mental health services for all populations. It is a structural and systemic concept that focuses on achieving comparable, favorable outcomes across racial and other groups through the allocation of resources in ways designed to remedy disadvantages some people face through no fault of their own.
The Alliance aims to help DMH and its provider network achieve and sustain equity by promoting fairness in policies, programs, initiatives, hiring & promotion practices, funding decisions, and consumer outcomes.
To achieve these objectives the Alliance believes we must advance and embed equity and inclusion principles and practices in the mental health system. In addition, we must empower disadvantaged populations and stakeholders to participate in service system design and delivery, as well as policy development.
The members of the Equity and Inclusion Alliance will deliver and help implement a Mental Health Equity and Inclusion Plan. Most of the work is being done by teams, called workgroups, with specific areas of focus.
Mental Health Equity & Inclusion Alliance Workgroups:
- Education and Communication
The Education and Communication Workgroup will educate on how to include all people and remove barriers that prevent them from participating in any aspect of the organization and mental health system and to provide a common, current, and comprehensive understanding of what it means to be a racially equitable and inclusive organization.
- Data Gathering and Analysis
The Data Gathering and Analysis Work Group will explore, analyze, and provide data pertaining to access, outcomes, and satisfaction with services delivered by DMH-funded programs to promote data driven decision-making regarding race and other demographic indicators.
- Organizational Assessment
The Organizational Assessment Workgroup will provide research, recommendations, and framework needed to complete a Racial Equity focused Organizational Assessment of Missouri Department of Mental Health, as well as guide completion of the DMH Equity and Inclusion Plan.
- Racial Equity Impact Analysis
The Racial Equity Impact Analysis Workgroup will examine equity, inclusion, and fairness in policy formation and implementation, organizational processes/procedures, equitable preservation of client rights, and equitable management of a committed workforce of stakeholders.
Definitions of Equity and Inclusion:
Equity - is the guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Working to achieve equity acknowledges unequal starting places and the need to correct the imbalance.
Inclusion - a state of belonging, when persons of different backgrounds and identities are valued, integrated, and welcomed equitably as decision-makers and collaborators. Inclusion involves people being given the opportunity to grow and feel or know they belong.