The City of Franklin’s Mayor Ken Moore recently announced the launch of Find Hope Franklin. This initiative is a byproduct of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force, which was formed in 2019 to address mental health and substance use issues in Franklin and Williamson County.
“Many in our community have become increasingly concerned about the rise in suicide attempts, substance use and other issues related to the mental health in our area,” said Mayor Ken Moore. “We formed a task force in August consisting of experts in their respective fields ranging from counselors to health care to schools to create both short-term and longer- term programs to provide resources for those in need.”
One action was the development of a website, FindHopeFranklin.com, to serve as a resource that breaks through the clutter for those seeking immediate assistance or those wanting to easily understand the options and information available to them.
“As our group met, it became increasingly apparent that there is an abundance of resources in our community, as well as nationally. However, they were not condensed in one place and it was difficult to navigate to find what you needed,” said Ken. “Our goal was to create a site that would be an easy place to start. This includes listing many of the expert resources we have in our community, many of which offer services on a sliding scale, while also providing quick references to crisis lines, websites and other resources categorized by topic.”
On the website, users will find a link at the very top of the home page to “find help now” for those who are in immediate crisis. This will take them to a variety of 24/7 crisis phone and text lines. The website also has a link to an evaluation tool allowing users to answer a series of questions to determine whether or not they need help. Other resource links include Medical Centers, Community Counseling, Substance Use, Psychiatric Hospitals and Prescription Discounts.
“The website is a great start and I want to commend our task force for their dedication to getting this done in such short order as, given recent circumstances with COVID-19, the need has never been greater in our community,” said Ken.
Coming next from this group will be QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) training for members of the community.
QPR gatekeeper training for suicide prevention education is designed to teach lay and professional “gatekeepers” the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond.
“QPR is a known and proven strategy to train people to recognize the signs of crisis and help direct those in need to get assistance from professionals,” Ken said. “Our goal is to create an army of QPR-trained residents in our community. We are working on our plan to initiate this training soon.”
Another objective coming from the task force was the development of a short-term care facility where those in crisis can go for professional care. “Too many times we are taking people to the ER or to jail who need counseling. We have a need in our community for a place to fill this gap,” said Ken. “We have a sub-group working on what this might look like and how we can get it done.”
Mayor Ken Moore created the Blue Ribbon Task Force in August 2019. The Vision Statement of the group is: The Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force has been created to maximize the collective expertise of professionals and other leaders in Franklin and Williamson County to improve the overall emotional wellness of our community with the intent to become known as a community that cares not only for the economic and physical health but also the mental wellbeing of our citizens.
The group has held multiple meetings facilitated by Franklin resident Gary Minor. Locomotion Creative, a branding firm with Franklin ties, created the Find Hope Franklin name, logo and website.