On Feb. 11. Four Corner Community Behavioral Health Executive Director Karen Dolan and Program Director Jennifer Thomas visited Emery County Commissioners for a public hearing to receive comments from citizens regarding the mental health and substance abuse treatment needs of Emery County.
Dolan reported that the tri-county area (Carbon, Emery and Grand counties) offers full complimentary services including outpatient services with therapists, doctors and nurses as well as comprehensive mental health treatment which provides housing and job placement. Medication management and support in all aspects of life to keep people stable, out of psychiatric hospitals and in good standing within the community are also offered.
Housing is available for those in need in Carbon and Grand counties. Dolan emphasized the importance of safe housing for the mentally ill. Club houses provide a place for mentally ill people to go during the day to learn vocational skills and gain support from the community.
Four Corner’s also has a drug court program where there is random drug testing 3-4 times per week. Participants of the program go to treatment every day and have a tracker from the sheriff’s department. This allows for participants in the program to be more easily hired because employers in the community feel more confident that they are going to be clean and closely monitored.
Dolan explained that for our society, it makes more sense. Substance abuse is a medical problem and people should be treated in a program that supports them long enough that they can achieve long term sobriety. She feels that this is better than going to prison and coming out angry and starting the whole process over again.
All three counties have substance abuse treatment in five different drug courts. In Emery County, there is a felony drug court in which approximately 18 people currently participate it. This acts as a prison diversion program. Rather than putting people in prison, they are kept in the community with their families where they have a lot of support and various treatment options.
Dolan stated that they have had great success with both the drug and mental health programs in the area.