Local News

Rutland Mental Health Services awarded $3.9M grant

Community Care Network’s Rutland Mental Health Services has been awarded a multi-year planning, development and implementation grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to become a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). The four-year, $3.9 million grant to Rutland Mental Health Services began Oct. 1.

The CCBHC-PDI grant program is designed to support behavioral health care providers with planning and support to come into compliance with the CCBHC Certification Criteria within one year of participating in the CCBHC-PDI program.

According to SAMHSA, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the purpose of the competitive CCBHC grants are to help to transform community behavioral health systems and provide comprehensive, coordinated behavioral health care by establishing new CCBHC programs. CCBHCs provide person- and family-centered integrated services. The CCBHC-PDI grant program assists organizations in the planning for and development and implementation of a CCBHC that meets the national CCBHC certification criteria; provides a comprehensive range of outreach, screening, assessment, treatment, care coordination, and recovery supports based on a needs assessment that aligns with the CCBHC Certification Criteria; and supports recovery from mental illness and/or substance use disorders by providing access to high-quality mental health and SUD services, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.

“This is a transformational grant for Rutland Mental Health Services and the behavioral health programs we offer,” said Dick Courcelle, chief executive officer for Community Care Network. “These grants are highly competitive, and the federal CCBHC model is the next generation, so to speak, for community behavioral health organizations. We are excited to begin our journey to become a CCBHC, because the model offers great enhancements and benefits to the community-based behavioral health system of care.” Currently, there are over 400 CCBHCs operating across the country, as either CCBHC grantees or clinics participating in their states’ Medicaid demonstration.

CCBHCs are required to provide nine core services, which they can provide directly or through formal relationships with designated collaborating organizations. These include crisis services; treatment planning; screening, assessment, diagnosis & risk assessment; outpatient mental health and substance use services; targeted case management; outpatient primary care screening and monitoring; community-based mental health care for veterans; peer, family support and counselor services; and psychiatric rehabilitation services.

Laura Kass, chief services officer for Rutland Mental Health Services, said that the agency will focus on integrated care services and approaches to address documented needs of sub-populations, including adults with substance use disorders, youth with serious emotional disturbance, rural older adults challenged by mental illness and substance misuse, and intensive behavioral health care outreach to members of the armed forces and veterans. “The grant gives us the opportunity to greatly enhance the array of services we currently offer as a designated agency, and provide more integrated and coordinated care,” said kass.

As a designated agency, Rutland mental health services provides many of the community-based behavioral health services required of a CCBCH. “The PDI grant provides the additional resources to increase our services and outreach, including investment in the people and systems to do so,” said Courcelle. The CCBHC grant will be staffed by a number of new positions strategic to the success of the initiative, according to Courcelle.

Laura Kass said that the CCBHC model is designed to ensure access to coordinated comprehensive behavioral health care. “A CCBHC is designed to provide a comprehensive array of services and standards so that people who need behavioral health care do not fall through the gaps in the care system or are unable to coordinate their care across multiple providers.” SAMHSA requires that CCBHCs must provide care coordination to help people navigate behavioral health care, physical health care, social services, and the other systems they are involved in, said Kass.

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