Branson Police Department Creates Model For Positive Change

Project funded by Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant

With funding from Skaggs Foundation in 2021, Branson Police Department launched a Regional Peer Support Team. The team is dedicated to helping Stone and Taney county first responders process personal issues and struggles associated with the traumatic events they respond to and manage through their careers.

“In its first year, the team has done incredible work getting the project up and going, which included a 3-day training seminar for 30 first local responders,” says Skaggs Foundation director of Community Relations Mindy Honey. “In just a matter of a few months, they are already making a huge impact. In year one, the peer support team was activated 17 times for individual and group crisis interventions, providing services to at least 46 first responders.” 

Now, the peer support team has been selected to lead a breakout session at the Missouri Crisis Intervention Training Conference in 2022. This gives the team an opportunity to share what they have learned through the process of creating the team which included bringing together numerous agencies that span two counties and multiple disciplines.

The hope is that the peer support team will become a model for positive change statewide in regards to mental health and first responders. 

“This is not a common model that is used, so by presenting at the conference we can hopefully encourage positive change statewide when it comes to mental health and first responders,” explains Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews.

Skaggs Foundation recently presented Branson Police Department with funding for the second year of the project. Funding for this project was made possible by Skaggs Foundation’s community grant-making program, Skaggs Legacy Endowment. Since 2013, Skaggs Foundation has awarded more than $7.1 million in Skaggs Legacy Endowment grants. To learn more about Skaggs Legacy Endowment, visit SkaggsFoundation.org.

To learn more about Branson Police Department, visit bransonmo.gov.

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Cutline: Skaggs Foundation Director of Community Relations Mindy Honey, center, and grants committee member Anne E McGregor, left, present a check to Branson Police Department and local first responders for the second year of a regional peer support team grant.

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