Super Staff Series: Connor McCarty

Super Staff Series: Connor McCarty

The Healthy365 Connection Center has a new team member! We are proud to welcome Connor McCarty, who will be serving our team as a Support Navigator with a special focus on clients and families within the justice system. His past social work and child welfare experience makes him the perfect fit for this role and we can’t wait to see our connections with the justice system continue to grow!

A background in child welfare

Connor is a familiar face at the Connection Center because of his past working relationships with his fellow Support Navigators. “I first got involved with Healthy365 through Christina Dewitt, she and I have worked together for about 7 years through social work,” said Connor. “She mentioned what she was doing here and that they were launching their justice program.”

Connor got his professional start in child welfare and has been serving Central Indiana for nearly a decade. “I have been in social work for about 10 years now. I have been working in child welfare for over six years,” he said. “When I was doing my undergrad I did various placements typically related to child welfare, and the majority of my professional work has been at the Department of Child Services.”

Transitioning into the justice system

When you think about working with clients in the justice system, you may just think about those who are incarcerated or on probation. However, families and children who have loved ones in the justice system are also largely affected. “I have worked very closely with the justice program because a lot of our clients overlap,” explained Connor. “I have worked directly with clients that have been in jail or prison, and that have transitioned out and worked with probation. I’ve learned to work collaboratively with them.”

A lot to love about Healthy365

Connor started working at the Healthy365 Connection Center just about a month ago on June 20, but it didn’t take much time for him to fall in love with the environment. “It is an amazing environment to work in and very supportive. Healthy365 is really client-driven and I love that,” said Connor.

He also appreciates how passionate Healthy365 is about our clients. “I love that the client is truly the main focus,” he said. “Everything we do relates to how this is going to benefit the client and, in turn, our community.” 

Unsurprisingly, one of his favorite programs at the Connection Center is one that can benefit children and families: “We can help link families to get coverage for health insurance. It’s an awesome resource because it’s not just Medicaid or the marketplace, it’s all of them. We can help families identify what works best for them and get them applied.”

A heart for Hancock County

Connor has a special place in his heart for local residents because he is one as well. “I’ve lived in Hancock County for about six and half years,” he said. “I lived in New Pal for most of that and then I recently relocated to Greenfield.” He also appreciates both the professional and personal benefits to be found here locally. “It’s a great community as far as collaboration,” he said. “It’s so easy to build those connections and relationships with people. I’ve worked in other counties and that is not always the case.”

Like many Hancock County locals, Connor loves the “small town” feel that can be found alongside a number of “big city” amenities. “I know a lot of people love that ‘small town feeling,’ but there are a lot of things to do and I love that it’s growing,” he said. “I love being able to be part of that growth, not just in this role but as a community member and being able to benefit from it.”

Rapid-fire questions:

If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have?  

“Telekinesis… I would probably never get up.”

What is your favorite Indiana season and why?  

“I love the springtime because I love the outdoors. I love getting our garden and our yard ready for summer, planting and getting things pruned and cleaned up from the winter – that’s the best time.”

What is your favorite way to kick off a Monday? 

“If I’m being honest, it would be to drive through and get a McDonald’s Coke, and then show up to work and I am ready to go.”

What’s your most recent favorite read, movie, or show? 

“We just started Season 2 of ‘The Umbrella Academy’ on Netflix. I’m trying not to binge because we want to extend it but it’s awesome. Elliot Page is in it as a trans character, and as supporting and being in the community I love to see it. Sometimes I think major networks try to exaggerate real life and so it’s really refreshing to see it done well, in my opinion.”

Hancock County hosts Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Training

Hancock County hosts Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Training

Hancock County recently held a local Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) training event at New Palestine Wellness Center in December 2021. Hosted in partnership with Hancock Regional Hospital and Healthy365, this event sought to create a multidisciplinary team of facilitators to help treat the emotional wellness of our community and respond to traumatic events in a therapeutic way. 

What is CISM?

Critical Incident Stress Management, also known as CISM, is a proven tool that can be used by trained facilitators to help minimize the potentially harmful stress related symptoms associated with critical incidents. After a stressful event takes place, first responders can talk with a CISM facilitator to help promote a healthy response and accelerate the healing process. This three-day December 2021 training was led by Lindi Holt, PhD, NCEE, NRP of the Hendricks Regional Health Community Paramedicine Program and Kimble Richardson, MS, LMHC, LCSW, LMFT, LCAC of the Behavioral Health department of Community Health Network.

What goes into CISM training?

The extensive training took place over three days as a structured, supportive discussion to teach participants how to help others process trauma. “We can be there to support anybody from a doctor and hospital, to a fire/EMS team, to law enforcement who might need some time to think through what they’ve been through and emotionally deal with that,” explained Kim Kile, Director of Counseling at Greenfield Central High School.

“I hope that we don’t have to use it very often, but unfortunately I know that we will,” said Phillip Allen, Fortville Police Officer. “A lot of the training is focusing on various critical incidents we respond to that we may need to figure out how to cope with over the course of time.”

How will Hancock County use CISM?

There has been a small CISM team of seven people operating with the Hancock Health system  with great success thus far. “Hancock Health has had a Critical Incident Stress Management team active for about the last year,” said Amanda Everidge MSW, LSW, Director of Community Health Improvement and Hancock Co CISM Coordinator. “We have seen that by our team responding to traumatic events in various areas of our health system that it has really helped individuals process what they encounter, to understand their emotional reactions and move forward in a healthy way.”

The goal of this training was to expand the team to 29 local representatives from healthcare, emergency services, mental health providers, and other community partners as a county-wide effort to be prepared for treating mental wellness following any critical incident in Hancock County. 

“Our hope is to be able to use this training and the team that is receiving it to be able to reach out to individuals in Hancock County that have a crisis happening within their workplace, such as the police or fire department or healthcare organizations, to be able to offer assistance in the immediate time frame right after the incident,” said Tondra Crum Worley, Program Manager at Community Behavioral Health in Greenfield.

If you would like to learn more about CISM training or to call upon the team for your staff in need of support, you can contact aeveridge@hancockregional.org, ahinkle@hancockregional.org or 317-468-4231.

Getting Active in the Hancock Flat 50

Getting Active in the Hancock Flat 50

This year’s annual Hancock Flat 50 is coming up soon on August 28! You can participate as a cyclist of any skill level in one of the 50- or 25-mile biking routes, or you can come out for the post-ride festival with activities for the kids, live music, food trucks and more. Learn more about the ride below or register your family today at hancockflat50.com.

Hancock Flat 50 History

The annual Hancock Flat 50 event was created in partnership with the Hancock County Tourism Commission and Hancock Health, in order to promote getting active for health as well as community engagement and the many amenities that Hancock County has to offer. The first Hancock Flat 50 was held in 2016. That ride included 150 participants of all skill levels and ages. Since then, cyclists have nearly tripled, with more than 420 riders in 2019. The 2020 ride was unfortunately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the event is back and ready for more riders in 2021!

How to Register

There are multiple options to register yourself or your family for the Hancock Flat 50 ride. The 25-mile ride includes 1 drink ticket, 1 meal ticket, 2 sags stops during the ride, and a shirt for entries by Aug. 1. The 50-mile ride registration includes the same features as well as an additional sags stop. Crossfitters will enjoy the “Flat and Fit” option, which includes the 25-mile ride plus a mystery Crossfit WOD (Workout of the Day). And for those looking to register as a spectator, you can select the “Easy Ride,” which includes 1 meal ticket and a shirt for entries by Aug. 1. 

The ride begins at 9 a.m. with the start/finish line at the corner of S. Pennsylvania Street and North Street in downtown Greenfield. Participants can pick up their registration packets either that day at 7:30 a.m. or at the Family Bike Chain the day prior from noon-6 p.m. VIP parking spots are also available for just $15. 

Proceeds Benefit Hancock Co Trails

When you participate in the Hancock Flat 50, the proceeds from your registration fee will be put back into the community to encourage more interest in cycling and physical activity. Since the first ride in 2016, $28,000 has been donated to projects like the Hancock County Trail Plan, extending local walking/biking trails and increasing signage for biker and pedestrian safety. 

Post-Ride Festival

Once you finish your Hancock Flat 50 ride, the party is just getting started. This year’s post-ride festival in the Living Alley will include live music, local food trucks, as well as drinks such as an exclusive Pedal Pusher brew from Greenfield’s own Wooden Bear Brewing Co. We’ll also have fun activities for the kids throughout the day. And our recovery zone for cyclists completing the race will feature not just your typical recovery area items, but the opportunity to try out our pulse compression recovery boots, which can improve blood flow and circulation following your ride for less muscle fatigue. 

There’s still time to register for the Hancock Flat 50, with the deadline coming up soon on Aug. 25. To learn more about participating or volunteer opportunities, contact the organizers online or at 317-468-4231.

What is the CRAFT Support Group?

What is the CRAFT Support Group?

Do you love someone who struggles with drug or alcohol use? Healthy365 is offering a new CRAFT Support Group for families impacted by addiction. CRAFT uses evidence-based and compassionate education to motivate and support families and friends of those currently in addiction. The first FREE rolling 12-week session will begin Thursday, July 15 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Healthy365 Office in Greenfield. 

What does CRAFT stand for?

Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) is a highly effective 12-week workshop for family members or friends who have a loved one in addiction. CRAFT takes a compassionate approach to communication strategies and empowers you both to take care of your own well-being and to help your loved one in their journey to recovery. The CRAFT Support Group at Healthy365 is a free resource for local residents that includes a complimentary workbook with registration

How do the sessions work?

This support group is for those 18 and older who wish to assist their loved ones in finding treatment for addiction. Note that space is limited, so pre-registration is required. Our first Healthy365 CRAFT Support Group will begin on July 15. Our 12-week sessions will operate indefinitely on a rolling basis and will be offered both in-person and via virtual Zoom meetings. You can join us every Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Healthy365 Connection Center at 120 W. McKenzie Rd., Suite G in Greenfield. 

Our rolling session approach and virtual/in-person options mean that if you are on vacation one week but still wish to attend, you can do so virtually that week. Or if you have another engagement one evening and must miss the meeting entirely, you can attend that meeting during the next round of sessions. We want our attendees to feel comfortable jumping in at any time to get the help that they need in support of their loved ones. 

What can I expect to learn?

Topics in our CRAFT Support Group will include a focus on family dynamics and identifying triggers and motivators in your loved one’s substance use, as well as effective methods and available resources to empower you to influence change and improve your quality of life. Taking care of yourself too is important for those with a loved one in addiction, and prioritizing self-care can impact your whole family positively. We’ll also work on developing positive communication techniques that can help your loved one where they are, as well as assisting them to enter treatment services and engage in recovery.

How is CRAFT different from other options?

The CRAFT program is an evidence-based system that seeks to help families change how they are interacting with loved ones actively struggling with substance use. The primary goal is to help get that person into treatment for recovery. However, CRAFT is unique in that it focuses not just on the individual in addiction, but on self-care for the family members as well, whether or not their loved one moves forward with treatment. Research shows that about 70% of families who go through CRAFT training are able to help their loved ones get into treatment within one year. 

If you are interested in joining us on Thursdays for the CRAFT Support Group, you can register online today or call our office at 317-468-4231 to learn more. 

Hancock Health Foundation’s Mental Health Campaign

Hancock Health Foundation’s Mental Health Campaign

Recently, our local Hancock Health Foundation launched an official mental health campaign to help bring mental illness and substance abuse issues to light in our community — and to bring an end to the darkness and suffering. Healthy365 is supporting these efforts with our various educational programs and our team of support navigators. Learn how you can support better mental health in Hancock County, too! 

Struggles with Mental Health

For too long, problems such as mental illness, substance abuse, and suicide have flourished in silence in Hancock County. In fact, one in four American adults—and one in five children—lives with mental illness. In Indiana, our situation is even more dire, ranking second in the country for youth suicide attempts and fifth for the worst drug problems. In Hancock County specifically, 65% of youth report knowing someone who has had serious thoughts of suicide.

Mental Health Campaign Goals

The Hancock Health Foundation has made a commitment to opening up an honest conversation about mental illness and substance abuse in our county. Residents of all ages are struggling with these issues, and it’s time to open up and address these problems.

And the campaign isn’t just raising awareness: The foundation has committed to raising $3.5 million to fund critical support and resources for our community.

Campaign Funding Impacts

With the $3.5 million that Healthy365 and the foundation are seeking to raise, we will support new and continued intervention programs and professional services. These will include school-based prevention and early intervention services, as well as medication-assisted opioid treatment services.

With this funding, we also plan to hire two new mental health navigators and 10 new licensed social workers who can serve the people of Hancock County. You can support these efforts with a gift of support — and we thank you for your generosity.

Healthy365 Mental Wellness Programs 

At Healthy365, we also seek to educate our community about local mental health issues. As a free, confidential, centralized connection for resources, our support navigators are here with a sympathetic ear to provide support and help you identify local resources for your mental wellness needs, including support groups, mental health professionals, stress management resources, and more.

We can also help residents recognize and address signs of substance abuse in themselves or loved ones. Our Rise Above It program educates and combats mental illness in young people and their families, with focuses on anxiety, suicide, social media, and more. We also address suicide prevention for all ages with our QPR training, which offers an emergency response to save someone’s life if they are considering self-harm or suicide.

About the Hancock Health Foundation 

Founded in 1982, the Hancock Health Foundation supports the advancement of health care and wellness throughout Hancock County. They fund multiple awards and scholarships for local residents, in addition to funding capital projects within the Hancock Health network. Hancock Regional Hospital does not receive tax dollars, so the foundation’s work is critical to bridge gaps, provide care for those in need, and offer community outreach and public health programs.

If you’d like to learn more about the Hancock Health Foundation or their mental health campaign, you can visit their website today. Any support you can offer the campaign, either through spreading awareness or giving a generous gift, is greatly appreciated and will make a big difference in our community.

 

Meet the Healthy365 Network

Meet the Healthy365 Network

As a caring community partner, Healthy365 is your free and confidential, centralized connection for resources within Hancock County. Founded a mere five years ago, with a brick and mortar center opening in January of 2020, the Healthy365 network is committed to making improvements in the quality of life of our community.

Healthy365 Network is a Connection to Your Needs

Healthy365 focused on the pressing health issues of the Hancock County community, including addiction, mental health, chronic disease, obesity and the cost of healthcare. In a recent survey of local residents, their top health concerns were:

  • Cost of health insurance, healthcare, and/or medications (57% of all participants)
  • Addictions and drug overdoses (41%)
  • Mental health and suicide (41%)
  • Chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. (21%)
  • Obesity (20%)

Since 2014, these top needs have remained nearly the same. However, the cost of healthcare has recently jumped to the top of the list. The Healthy365 network is seeking to help our community better understand their available prescription support and insurance options, specifically with Medicare and Medicaid. Hancock Health has also recently opened multiple Gateway locations, which provide low-cost immediate care, lab work and state of the art imaging you would receive in the hospital at a fraction of the cost.

Removing Barriers to Your Healthcare

Perhaps the most impactful piece of Healthy365 is its unique system of care based on helping those in need navigate the wide variety of local healthcare providers. For example, before the birth of the Healthy365 network, patients seeking out mental healthcare would need to call 211, at which point they would probably be given a list of providers, but it would not be an exhaustive list and would include almost solely nonprofits.

This left the person seeking help with a lot of work to navigate the system themselves, and often at a time when they may have been unable to do so. When our community is in need of help, Healthy365 is committed to addressing local pressing health issues and continues to focus on overall wellness – mind, body and spirit.

Family Connection with Healthy365 Support Navigators

Now, Hancock County residents can access Healthy365 as a walk-in or call-in client, or local doctors can refer patients to Healthy365. Our team of Support Navigators can help guide the person to the best place to receive the help they need. Not only that, but the team will also make contacts and assist the patient in what is called a warm hand-off referral.

Healthy365 works with all ages to ensure that health is a top priority for the whole family. The Superhero 5K and Hancock Flat 50 are just some of the events and organizations created to encourage wellness in the community. Healthy365 has also expanded its services to include school relationships. All four school districts of Hancock County have implemented mental health clubs and mental health awareness activities. Furthermore, all staff are now trained in suicide prevention thanks to the work of this outstanding community organization.

Hancock County Community Support

Over the last few years, Healthy365 has developed hundreds of meaningful relationships, partnered with numerous local organizations and offered support to many local individuals in their journey towards better mental and physical wellness. We help you find solutions to these challenges by partnering for healing, improving health and wellness, alleviating suffering and delivering kindness one patient at a time.

If you need help contact our office online, call (317) 468-4231 or visit in person at 120 W. McKenzie Rd. Suite G in Greenfield.