The System of Care model used within Hancock Health and Healthy365 is a collaboration of mental health and substance use treatment services for local residents in need. System of Care is an effort to meet youth, families, and young adults exactly where they are and help pinpoint solutions to challenges by partnering for healing and improved health and wellness while alleviating suffering and delivering kindness.

How does the System of Care work?

System of Care is an approach that has been used across the country since the mid-1980s. In Indiana, the System of Care model is organized through the Division of Mental Health and Addiction, and it is a state priority to assist communities in adopting the strategy for reaching Hoosiers in need of behavioral and mental health services. 

Working through the Hancock Health Network, Amanda Hinkle RD, CHW is the point of contact for Hancock County’s System of Care, and she also serves as the Healthy Community Manager for Healthy365. As she explains, “System of Care is a way for key stakeholders, including youth and family, to come together once a month to talk about services available and what gaps in services we might have, specifically around mental health and substance use prevention and intervention.”

Who is involved in the System of Care?

During monthly System of Care meetings, numerous Hancock County agencies discuss how we can work together to remove barriers for services and implement new strategies that allow residents full access to whatever support or treatments they may need. Service providers who attend System of Care meetings can include healthcare, mental health providers, substance use treatment providers, education and early childhood, law enforcement, faith communities like our Congregational Network, developmental disability, child welfare and juvenile justice, senior services, first responders, and local government, nonprofits and businesses.

When did the Hancock County System of Care begin?

With the help of several community partners and support from the state, System of Care came to Hancock County in July 2016. Our current Director of Community Health Improvement, Amanda Everidge MSW, LSW, was initially brought onto the Healthy365 team as our county’s System of Care Coordinator. “The opportunity came through a grant from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction to help engage Hancock County in bringing System of Care to our community,” Everidge explains.

At the same time, Hinkle was working with the Indiana WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program, where she also saw the need for a collaboration of local agencies. “I did not like telling someone, ‘I don’t know or I’m not sure.’ For me, that wasn’t acceptable,” she says. “I was in the process of gathering contact information from everyone when I learned that Healthy365 was starting up and that the System of Care model was coming to our county.” 

Hinkle started participating in the System of Care meetings as a representative from WIC, and within a year she transitioned into her role as the current System of Care Coordinator for Hancock County, and later also joined the Healthy365 team as Healthy Community Manager.

How can the System of Care help me?

The System of Care model aligns perfectly with the goal of Healthy365, which is to connect local residents to resources and help find solutions to our community’s most pressing health issues. And at System of Care meetings, we discuss with our community partners the resources that are available and what services may still be missing for those in need. 

If you find that you are in need of support in your or your family’s wellness journey, contact Healthy365 today so that our Support Navigators can get you connected with existing resources or work with our System of Care partners in order to identify the best solution for your concerns.