The opioid epidemic pushed Indiana to better address the mental health needs of Hoosiers. In recent years Indiana agencies have expanded treatment and recovery services, increased Medicaid coverage and provided school based support.
Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction Director Kevin Moore says maybe most importantly, the conversation around mental health and addiction has changed.
"We hear less talk about physical health and mental health and addiction, and we’re talking about health care," says Moore. "We’re seeing individuals treated as the whole person, we see integration of that work happen in lots of pockets."
Moore sat on a health panel this week at the annual BGD Legislative Conference in Indianapolis. The group also discussed challenges the state faces like provider shortages and law enforcement collaboration.
Moore he says there are still many access issues.
"Indiana really suffers for a lack of health care, so we are trying to target the use of telehealth, target the use of certified recovery specialists, people with lived mental health and addiction recovery experience," says Moore, "helping others until they can get connected with treatment."
Moore says the far-reaching impact of the addiction crisis has changed awareness and reduced stigma.
"It’s my next-door neighbor, or a person that I sit next to in church or shop with," says Moore.
A few hundred people attended the annual legistlative conference ahead of the 2019 session.