SAMSHA Funding Allows Thrive to Expand Mental Health Services Due To Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
WARWICK, RI (October 13, 2021) – Thrive Behavioral Health has been awarded $4,280,248 in grant funding to expand behavioral health practices and address the needs of individuals living with behavioral health conditions in Kent and Washington counties of Rhode Island, including minority populations and economically disadvantaged communities. This funding is part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMSHA’s) investment in 231 Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) throughout the country to address the increased need for mental health services since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dan Kubas-Meyer, President and CEO of Thrive Behavioral Health says, “This funding gives Thrive the extra support it needs to expand the reach of our clinical services to even more individuals whose behavioral health has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Helping to improve the lives of Rhode Islanders living with behavioral health symptoms by giving them the tools and support they need to live healthier lives is what we do best here at Thrive. We are grateful to have this additional funding to be able to offer this support to the increasing population here in Rhode Island who need it.”
Over the course of two years, Thrive Behavioral Health will use this funding for six projects that will expand evidence based behavioral health practices and clinical services to individuals living with serious emotional disturbance (SED), serious mental illness (SMI) as well as individuals with SED or SMI and substance use disorders, referred to as co-occurring disorder (COD).
The six projects funded by this CMHC grant include:
- Mental health supports for public schools with school-wide behavioral plans designed to outline practices that will nurture student’s social and emotional development, supporting the whole child.
- Expansion of Thrive’s Youth and Family Services into South County with program staff based in the Westerly office of Wood River Health Services to deliver home-based outpatient or intensive treatment services to children and families.
- Expansion of outpatient services in Coventry and West Warwick for children, adolescents, families and adults including youth social skills groups and parent education groups.
- Outpatient services for new clients impacted by COVID-19, including those who are underserved, with a program that will seek to eliminate the barriers faced by low-income, minority populations with culturally competent care to better address behavioral health issues and reduce the stigma of treatment.
- Emergency services for individuals in crisis.
- Hire new employees for Training, Information Technology and Transportation Departments to increase service accessibility and quality.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the percentage of adults with recent symptoms of anxiety or depression increased from 36.4 percent to 41.5 percent from August 2020 to February 2021, and the percentage of those reporting an unmet mental health care need increased from 9.2 percent to 11.7 percent.  The mental health of children and adolescents has also been greatly impacted by the pandemic with the CDC reporting that from April to October of 2020, hospitals in the U.S. saw an increase in mental health-related visits by 31 percent in 12-17 year old adolescents and a 24 percent increase in 5-11 year olds.
“For many children and teens, their social and emotional development has been greatly affected by the added stressors brought on by the pandemic. Our programs not only provides these kids with the mental health services they need but also the added support and education for the parents and families,” adds Barbara Lamoureux, Vice President of Thrive’s Youth & Family Services division.
Thrive Behavioral Health has provided services in Rhode Island since 1976. It offers comprehensive behavioral healthcare programs and services annually to over 3,700 children, adolescents, adults, and seniors. Thrive is committed to improving its clients’ quality of life through an extensive range of community-based and outpatient mental health, substance use, educational, and housing services that are recovery-oriented, trauma-informed, and family-focused. Thrive is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
Thrive is a federally Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic. It is a founding member of Horizon Healthcare Partners (HHP), comprised of three Community Mental Health Centers (Community Care Alliance, Newport Mental Health, and Thrive), CODAC Behavioral Healthcare, and Tides Family Services, a community-based service organization for youth and families. For more information on its programs and services, visit ThriveBHRI.org or follow it on social media @ThriveBHRI.
 “SAMHSA Awards Record-Setting $825 Million in Grants to Strengthen Community Mental Health Centers, and Support Americans Living with Serious Emotional Disturbances, Mental Illnesses” [Press Release], SAMHSA, September 28, 2021, https://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/press-announcements/202109281153
 “Emergency Department Visits for Suspected Suicide Attempts Among 12025 Before and During Pandemic”, MMWR Report, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), June 18, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7024e1.htm