LCSO embraces SPIRIT in creating a community wellness model | Opinion – Tallahassee Democrat

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As we work to improve the overall safety of our community and continue to digest the findings of the Anatomy of a Homicide report, it is imperative to address our community’s problems in a coordinated manner, connecting those with needs, to service providers.
Street violence, mental health, a rising homeless population, families in crisis and formerly incarcerated persons returning to our society, are all issues that cannot be handled effectively within silos.
Our community wellness models often function independently.  A well-coordinated community model will lead to improved mental health and healthcare outcomes, a reduction in crime and recidivism, with improved, coordinated responses to our communities’ growing needs.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office is using a robust, intelligent referral and case management system called SPIRIT.
SPIRIT stands for Suppression- Prevention- Intervention- Referral- Intelligent-Tool. It’s a system that tracks an individual’s interactions with service providers to ensure a holistic approach.
Under Sheriff Walt McNeil’s leadership and vision, we have partnered with SPIRIT to lay the foundation for working together with our service providers. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office offers this tool, at no cost, to any service provider who wants to deliver services to the men and women of Leon County.
Yes, you heard me correctly, the user training, setup, case management system and referral intelligent tool, are free for our Leon County network.
In addition to the many benefits of SPIRIT already mentioned, the tool is customizable, HIPPA and FERPA compliant, as well as compliant with all statutorily required privacy laws.
We have some agencies in the healthcare field that are rightfully concerned with patient medical records and confidentiality. SPIRIT allows for customizable access to only those who need to view the information. Furthermore, we recognize that some agencies have a case management system that they are content with. In those cases, we ask that you still join as users of SPIRIT to accept referrals and report provider completion of services.
As our country and community are recovering from a pandemic and the uptick in violent crimes nationwide, we must work together to pair those in need of services, with providers who have them to offer.
SPIRIT helps us ensure that those who need services are not lost in a busy, complicated system, falling through the cracks. We encourage you to join our quest to onboard providers and encourage as many as we can to adopt this tool.
The onboarding process is quite simple. The provider agency is sent links that allow them to complete a registration request to be in SPIRIT. Once the information is vetted, the services are listed within the LCSO network and you will be scheduled for training, conducted virtually in most cases, where the provider and employees receive all the information needed to make the best use of the system.
We at the Leon County Sheriff’s Office are “ALLin” and ask that you join us in creating a community wellness model that serves as a national example to all communities.
Larry Bourdeau is Director of Reentry & Inmate Programs for the Leon County Sheriff’s Office
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