Posted by Warwick Online on May 14, 2020
Warwick-based Thrive Behavioral Health, Inc. and Newport Mental Health have been awarded $8 million in federal grant funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, along with Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced last week.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked unprecedented fear and anxiety making this a crucial time to expand access to substance use and mental health support for Rhode Islanders,” said the members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation in a joint statement. “While necessary to keep communities safe, social distancing and quarantining have left many feeling isolated and made it more challenging to access important mental health services. These critical funds will enable proven local mental health organizations to reach and help people most in need during this crisis.”
The grants will increase access to and improve the quality of community mental health and substance use disorder treatment services in Rhode Island by expanding Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs). The mission of CCBHCs is to provide person- and family-centered integrated services and in so doing, improve the quality of life of communities.
Thrive Behavioral Health, Newport Mental Health and their Horizon Healthcare Partner Community Care Alliance hold the distinction of being the only three Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics in Rhode Island,” CEO Daniel Kubas-Meyer said in a release. “This means that our clients receive the highest quality of care that incorporates proven and effective models of treatment.
In a follow up email he wrote, “This grant is a great endorsement of the work being done by all the partners to improve the quality of the lives of all our clientele. It also keeps the CCBHC project moving forward in Washington with the overall model to eventually provide for not just services, but financial support that is both adequate and timely.”
He said the grant would provide or enhance the following services: employ staff to help clients obtain and remain in employment; employ staff to help clients get and stay in housing; help parents develop better parenting skills; employ staff to help elderly clients with serious mental illness; develop a children's crisis response team and provide medically assisted treatments to clients with addiction issues. "In addition,” he writes, “we will be bringing in outside support to provide training to all direct care staff (200 in all) in motivational interviewing.
Kubas-Meyer said the grant would provide support to about a 14 staff positions. He estimates 300 clients of the 4,000 persons served annually by Thrive will be directly impacted.
Both Newport Mental Health and Thrive will extend this funding to Community Care Alliance and CODAC Behavioral Healthcare so that Rhode Island residents will have easy access to treatment throughout the Ocean State.
According to the release, at 24%, Rhode Island has the highest level of mental illness among adults nationally, and 34% of children who needed mental health treatment or counseling in the past 12 months did not receive the care they required. The CCBHC expansion grant program provides Rhode Islanders with access to services including 24/7 crisis intervention services for individuals with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders including opioid use disorders; children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance; individuals with co-occurring mental and substance disorders.
Over the two-year grant period, the funding will enable the state’s community mental health centers and their partners to expand evidence-based behavioral health practices to over 10,000 adults, children and families throughout Rhode Island who currently do not have access to services, the release reads.