An associate professor in the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington has been awarded a $1 million grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Association for her work on studying mental health services in Daviess County.

Dr. Priscilla Barnes is researching mental health support for drug addiction in a community short of healthcare providers.

The money will help support the Daviess Advances Recovery Access Consortium, which provides mental health services in the county.

“Community-academic partnerships are essential in creating participatory approaches to ensure that the voices of local residents are heard and represented in the development and sustainability of programs, administrative processes, and local policies,” said Barnes.

According to the IU School of Public Health, Daviess County is a designated Health Professional Shortage Area and Mental Health Professional Shortage Area.

IU says the project’s priority populations are residents living with an active addiction and individuals living in long-term recovery.

“Despite the pandemic of COVID-19, we must not forget the other pandemics plaguing humanity–the scourges of opioid addiction, of violence and self-harm, of disparity and despair throughout the world and right here at home in the rural communities of Indiana,” said IU School of Public Health-Bloomington Dean David Allison.

IU says the project will implement and test the efficacy of a coordinated care model to increase the number of patients receiving mental and/or behavioral health services and reduce the number of emergency department admissions due to overdoses.