CESSA Communication, Information Sharing & Public Messaging Subcommittee Meeting - Approved Minutes 01/25/2023

Meeting of the Technical Subcommittee on Communication, Information Sharing, and Public Messaging

January 25, 2023 2:30-4:00 pm via Zoom

Meeting Minutes - Approved by Members 02/22/2023

  • Call to Order/Roll Call
    • Meeting called to order via Zoom at 2:32 pm by Dr. Allison Brown, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Behavioral Health Crisis Hub, Jane Addams Center for Social Policy and Research (partner to Illinois DHS-DMH in support of CESSA implementation)
  • Member Roll Call/Minutes:
    • Emily Miller (Chair), Vice-President for Behavioral Health Policy, IL Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF) - present and approved the minutes
    • Jim Kaitschuk, Director of IL Sheriff's Association- present and approved the minutes
    • Jessena Williams, DMH Statewide Coordinator for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind and Late-Deafened, (designee for David Albert, DMH Director) - present and approved the minutes
  • Expert Consultants:
    • Dr. Allison Brown, UIC Behavioral Health Crisis Hub
    • Peter Eckart, UIC Behavioral Health Crisis Hub
    • Marisa Kollias, Director, IDHS Communications
    • Jennifer Wooldridge, Deputy Director, Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board
    • Jill McCamant, Suicide Prevention Coordinator Project Manager, Office of Health Promotion, IDPH
  • Other (public) participants:
    • Samuel Jones
    • Sarah White
  • Official Notices
  • OMA Training
  • DMH/UIC Behavioral Health Crisis Hub Updates- Peter Eckart, UIC
    • Updates that also coincide with CESSA Statewide Advisory Committee (SAC)- Most of the 11 Regional Advisory Committees (RACs) are moving forward to their third meetings in February. Their agendas include work on getting educated and acclimated to the CESSA issues, including how those relate to their particular region. By the third rounds of meetings, it is anticipated that their agendas will include work around the different kinds of potential response with law enforcement (alternative response model, CIT, co-responder models), along with what is known about innovative responses and how it can relate to that particular region.
    • The CESSA SAC 6-month sprint plan - this plan, that outlines action steps for the next six months until the CESSA deadline of July 1, 2023, was discussed at the recent SAC meeting. That plan relates to this subcommittee's work in fulfilling those CESSA requirements.
  • Questions from the subcommittee members:

Emily: Are the RACs being well-attended? All slots filled?

Peter: We are tracking that at the UIC Crisis Hub. There is variation across the regions. They are being well attended and have some slots to be filled also. Currently there are advocacy slots to be filled. The UIC Crisis Hub members are working with the co-chairs to get those empty slots filled. The co-chairs are doing an amazing job.

Emily: When you say advocacy slots, is that more generalized?

Peter: More generalized slots. These slots set aside for advocates.

Jim: Can someone provide us with the rosters with the gaps. I wanted to make sure that our field has adequate representation.

Peter: We may not be able to share that because of OMA rules, but the co-chairs would know that.

Emily: Shared link to the RAC representatives via the CESSA website.

Jim: Lists two names in Region 1 but I don't know who they represent- county, city, municipal, etc. Lists the representation but not the vacancies.

Peter: We are tracking the vacancies. I don't know why the agency affiliation is not listed. I can find that out and then get that answer to you.

Jim: Thank you.

  • DHS Communications' 988 Public Messaging (presentation by Marisa Kollias, DHS)
    • Presentation - overall strategy across the organization- raise awareness of 988 and when to use it. Reach individuals who are
    • And communicate to family, friends, or caregivers, who are seeking information or support
    • Increase call volume
    • Align target audience
      • Legislators
      • Community Partners
      • Statewide- age 13 +
      • BIPOC
      • Youth, Adolescents, Young Adults
      • Persons with disabilities
      • Older Adults
      • LGBTQIA+
      • Native language that is not English
      • DHH
      • Veterans

Emily: In identifying key stakeholders and constituencies, community partners are very broad. Who does that encompass?

Any stakeholders who we generally communicate with already. That communication is with DHS, and who the committee members communicate with.

Emily: An area to add is perhaps, village presidents, locally elected officials, county boards, municipality level. They often times have a very close relationships with law enforcement. Also, members of the clergy, various local organizations: Kiwanis, Boys/Girls Clubs, VFWs, etc. I would hope that you'd be able to tap into those localized groups in order to expand the reach. Being a part of the DHS Communications community, I do recognize the limited scope from what has existed. Fellow state agencies, beyond DHS. IDPH, State Police, HFS, They have their own set of community partners and adding those into the mix is important.

Jim: In terms of providers, are we considering EMS, Fire, Police? Boots on the ground.

Marisa: That's very helpful.

Jim: You also have Fire Protection Districts, Rural Fire, and a variety of different volunteer groups. They are called to respond where it may be a lift assist initially, but then it ends up being a mental health type of situation.

So consider how to message to those groups as some messages are not well-received. There was a document shared by DHS indicating that Law Enforcement can affect a situation negatively. That is not going to draw the attention that DHS would like. So, it's important to talk with organizations like mine so that we massage the message so that it is received the way that we want it received.

Allison: I wanted to communicate to the group that Scott Block sent me a message that he won't be here, but shared that we should keep the judicial branch in mind in terms of printed materials. He is asking for each of the 25 courts to receive materials. That was a very generous and good suggestion from Scott. Also, I want to ask Jen Wooldridge about sharing some ideas…right now would be a good time.

Jen Wooldridge: We have our CIT conference upcoming in June. We'd like for CESSA materials to be available there. The audience is: CIT officers, social workers, judges, etc. Around 250 people attend. In addition, we can also distribute materials at our quarterly board meetings. This audience is: village board members, different state agencies' staff, etc. They can take it back to their state agencies and communities.

There is also the Executive Institute at Western Illinois University, and they would be happy to share the information with their stakeholders

With each mobile team system in Illinois, each one has an advisory board, where they can share information with them and share with their regions.

With the CIT Teams, we do training annually, and have 60 full courses throughout the year. This audience includes: officers, NAMI partners, mental health professionals. So that is an opportunity to the information out in a wide variety of ways.

Marisa: With the high level marketing tactics, there are things we have been using to target our messaging. These are called marketing tactics on how to get to our audience. Our paid social advertising and earned PR is where we talk to supporters across the state. This is free, but we use our own organic messages and our list of reporters to sustain our messaging. The rest of the boxes on this slides are ways to get messaging out: Google search, website landing page, collateral, etc.

Next, we have key performance metrics, where we track how we are communicating and how we are effective. These are ways that we are communicating to our stakeholders: What is our reach and how many we are reaching, attendance numbers at events. This is through paid social media and TV ads, where we are able to calculate the click through rates. A high level launch on timing, based on what would work includes both Phase 1 and 2. I would recommend that in order to comprehensively blanket across the state. You see the list is comprehensive, so I will share my slides with you to further review.

Emily: This plan was created strictly for 988 or others?

Marisa: For 988, but we can wrap CESSA into it.

Emily: So there is a specific set- aside media plan messaging plan established? Is there a finite funding amount?

Marisa: I will gladly report back with that.

Emily: Would it be through State funding?

Marisa: Yes, State funding. The budget would go towards, items such as geofencing, social ads, paid social, etc. By the way, to explain about geofencing. This is an ad that is really large ad, and it goes in grocery shops, barber shops, very local places. Additionally, we would recommend that items under the "Out of Home" umbrella include radio and messaging on the PACE and CTA buses.

Emily: We appreciate being able to see the slides for further review.

Allison: Curious to know from the group, as Marisa said that this is primarily the 988 strategy, how would we wrap in CESSA? 988 is tied to CESSA so one of our strategies is for it to tie into the CESSA messaging. One thing to think about is how do we tie it into CESSA?

Emily: Yes, I agree. I think that CESSA piece likely is a multi-step approach of outreach, engagement, and information-sharing. The public messaging piece is probably more of a ladder approach, as opposed to only information-sharing. As the plan is being developed, there are very specific organizations and groups that are crucial to ensure clear communication throughout this development process. The law enforcement groups are one of the most important pieces of that process. Along with this, hospitals, physicians, and mental health centers are all critical that they understand CESSA throughout.

Jim: Be careful about combining 988 and CESSA together, because we will get back into the situation where there is misinformation and confusion.

Emily: Yes, it is a massive undertaking. That is a very important point that we make sure that everyone understands these pieces of 988, the crisis continuum, and CESSA. It is complex so it is easy for misinformation and confusion to happen.

Jim: We should use the same communication chains, where messaging is very distinct in their purpose.

Marisa: We will ensure that we prepare the proper CESSA messaging. We want to minimize confusion. Then share that information with our partners. We can identify subject matter experts to control the story and control the narrative.

Jessena: I agree with the importance of explaining the different pieces and explaining their relationship.

Emily: We can pass along our recommendations to RACs how to message and who to message to. One of the things I was thinking about was about our local school districts, and reaching out to the community for strategic planning. With town hall meetings, is that a recommendation to give to RAC for them to conduct a series of them to encourage engagement? While discussing it here, it is the expertise of that region where those members serve and live. Those members are the people that know the current ways of conducting business there. If one of our recommendations is to use those connections, then how can DHS Communications play a role in that too? Maybe reaching out to local media based on the specific region and promote participation in a town hall? It could even be a virtual town hall, where attendance tends to be higher with virtual than in person. Sometimes people are emboldened to speak their mind with the virtual format. Maybe one of our recommendations is that regional groups utilize a town hall type concept to garner public information and support.

Jessena: Town hall is a great opportunity to consider.

Jim: I don't know if we are ready for town hall meetings right now. What would you think about a virtual meeting to set up to talk with the RACS on discussing what they are doing right now. Then maybe zone it according to areas of the state: northern, central, southern. Then we can gauge if they have a good feel on what they are doing and then what issues they are experiencing.

Emily: Yes, that is a good point. I was not suggesting to proceed with town hall meetings for right now. I love that idea to have our own meetings with the RACs, and organize it according to a bigger area of the state. I would support hat, because that would give us at this subcommittee a better understanding of where those RACs are at.

Jim: It's not just this sub-committee, but maybe Technology sub-committee would benefit too. Right now, we don't have enough dialogue with RACs.

Emily: When is the next SAC meeting? Because that is a great suggestion to bring in front of the SAC. I don't know the protocol, in being able to reach out.

Marisa: Are their certain dates that we need to hit to be in compliance, in 2023?

Emily: The only actual date is the July 1 deadline according to the extension given in the legislation. The CESSA law is passed, but there are clauses included throughout that nothing is enacted or changed until proper structure is implemented and present.

Jim: The other part of this is CESSA is effective July 1. However, it is moot until the structure is there. We continue to try to move towards to that date. The northern part of the state is more apt to handle the requirements, than the other parts of the state.

Emily: Representative Lindsey LaPointe is the designee for the mental health committee. I spoke to her last week, and mentioned her interest in 988, Mobile Crisis Response, and CESSA with our continued desire to be involved in the implementation. That is important to know if we need some legislative champions. We could utilize her brain from the legislative perspective, and she has indicated her desire to be involved in however she can.

Marisa: That's positive. I really think we can leverage her across communities. For example, with radio and TV interviews. That would be helpful to utilize her as a partner to spread the word.

Allison: I shared a link to the website pages for CESSA, and the myth busters page. These are specific descriptions about the implementation of CESSA that Marisa mentioned. Please share this widely and freely among your networks.

Emily: You have any thoughts about us having our own separate meetings with RACS, jointly with the Technology sub-committee, sectioned off by the state. We could hear what they are going through. Any thoughts, Allison and Peter?

Peter: We have in place a mechanism whereby the co-chairs from each of the RACs report the issues and questions, as it relates to communications. They are used, in addition to the minutes, as a communication tool. That is the not the same thing as to what you are discussing, but it is one way to bring concerns to the subcommittees and UIC that support this work. You all know the timeframes we are under, so I think we would have to weigh in on all of the requirements that the RACs have to fulfill. Ideally, to have a townhall with all of the RACS to discuss communication issues as an optional invitation would be great. What I am weighing are the amount of demands and deliverables that we are asking from the RACs.

Emily: I agree. I think it would benefit us here and the RACs both, to have a joint conversation in some type of format.

Peter: I encourage Allison to think about this. Feb 1 is our next meeting with all of the co-chairs with 11 regions. You may want to write something up to put on that agenda. That would be appropriate. We are starting to get our first reporting forms from the RACs, and from there we will circulate those amongst the UIC staff. Allison will review these for the Communications realm. So, that will produce some content for you to consider.

Emily: Whatever information that can be shared from those groups would be beneficial.

Jessena: I agree.

Marisa left at 3:33 pm.

Emily: Subcommittee recommendations have already been discussed.

Allison: Agreed

Emily: Next meetings are scheduled here on this slide, and they are posted to the CESSA webpage. By the Feb 8 meeting, we will have more information to review from the Feb 1 RACs meeting that will have occurred.

  • Public Comment: None
  • Emily asked for a motion to adjourn. Jim Kaitschuk moved to adjourn, and was seconded by Jessena Williams. Meeting adjourned at 3:34 pm