Prevent Falling through the Cracks: New No Wrong Door network to provide access and follow through for people with behavioral health challenges. Photo courtesy: Kim Fuller NMH File Image

A newly formed partner network known as No Wrong Door, funded by a three-year $375,000 startup grant by the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, is a first of its kind to be implemented in Newport County.

The creation of the new health system was announced in a press release provided by Newport Mental Health on Wednesday.

“The Foundation has been enormously generous in helping us create the first-ever coordinated network of agencies working together, using each other strengths, implementing and applying the same screening and referral processes for behavioral health,” said Newport County Prevention Coalition Director Rebecca Elwell in a statement. “This collaborative network really gives us the leg up on suicide prevention as well as mental health and substance use disorders.”

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Newport County has the highest suicide rate in the state and one that is higher than the national rate. Newport County had a 2016 suicide rate of 14.4 per 100,000 individuals compared to the national 13.42 per 100,000. In addition, Newport’s 2016 suicide rate was almost double its 2012 rate of 7.24 per 100,000.

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“Suicide prevention along with mental health, substance use agencies, and outpatient hospital units are revamping the way they do business so that no one falls through the cracks,” said President and CEO Jamie Lehane of Newport Mental Health in a statement. “This is cutting edge.”

Newport County Prevention Coalition and other leaders are involved in the interagency collaboration and what some experts term “a community culture determined to learn together and make a difference”.  Newport Mental Health, the Women’s Resource Center, CODAC, Newport Hospital’s Adult Partial Hospital Program, Child and Family Services, Hope Recovery Center, Trinity Healthy Living, Boys Town of New England and East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP), are joining forces to form the No Wrong Door initiative.

“No Wrong Door is a creative and unique initiative because the connection by community behavioral health agencies and services will allow seamless comprehensive care.  It will be, in a sense, a safety net so that those in need don’t get lost along the way,” said Jon Brett, PhD, Director of the Partial Hospitalization Program at Newport Hospital in a statement.