Mental Health service benefits from expanded CCBHC program

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Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow recently announced Michigan and Kentucky were selected as additional participants in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration project as required by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

The expansion of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) program will allow HealthWest in Muskegon to increase access to behavioral and physical health services to Muskegon County residents.

“Behavioral and physical health are connected,” said Julia Rupp, HealthWest executive director. “This expansion will allow us to continue our model of integrated care, help create better health outcomes for Muskegon County residents and do so in a fiscally responsible manner.”

CCBHCs are required to provide a comprehensive set of services, including 24/7 crisis services; outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services; immediate screenings, risk assessments and diagnoses; and care coordination, including partnerships with emergency rooms, law enforcement and veterans groups.

HealthWest in 2018 was selected as a pilot site for this expansion and received a $4 million, two-year grant to provide comprehensive behavioral health and addiction treatment services to Muskegon County residents.

The program allowed nearly 2,220 people to be screened for mental health or related interventions, and nearly 2,700 people were contacted through program outreach efforts through the first three quarters of fiscal year 2020.

“The CCBHC program has already allowed us to better serve our community during the COVID-19 pandemic by making us better equipped to transition to telehealth services and provide behavioral health assistance to more community members,” Rupp said. “We are excited about the opportunities this program will provide us in reaching our goal of a healthier Muskegon County.”

This newest expansion will allow HealthWest to continue its efforts and potentially provide a more stable funding model for these programs. The announcement comes after years of inadequate mental health funding from the state, which put local organizations like HealthWest and county governments under severe financial strain.

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