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Behavioral Health Services North, a leader in whole-person health including mental health and substance abuse disorder care in Northern NY, has been selected to receive a total of $7 million in federal funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). $4 million will be awarded over a span of 4 years for the advancement of services as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic. One of only 12 selected, BHSN will also receive a total of $3 million from the Innovative Community Crisis Response Partnership award. 

CCBHC Funding 

In 2020, BHSN received $5 million over a two-year period from the  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a federal agency working to improve substance abuse and mental health treatment services in the United States, to establish a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). CCBHCs are organizations specifically designed to provide a range of substance use and mental health services, particularly for individuals who have the most complex needs. The CCBHC model allows for all providers involved in a person’s healthcare to communicate, collaborate and share relevant information to create and provide an informed plan of care. 

CCBHC’s are responsible for either directly providing or contracting specific behavioral services, including: 

  • 24/7/365 crisis services to help people stabilize in the most clinically appropriate, least restrictive, least traumatizing setting. 
  • Immediate screening and risk assessment for mental health, addictions and basic primary care needs. 
  • Ensuring easy access to care with reduced wait times so those who need services can receive them when they need them, regardless of ability to pay or location of residence.  
  • Tailored care for active duty military and veterans to ensure they receive the unique health support essential to their treatment.  
  • Expanded care coordination with other health care providers, social service providers and law enforcement, with a focus on whole health and comprehensive access to a full range of medical, behavioral and supportive services.  
  • Commitment to peers and family, recognizing that their involvement is essential for recovery and should be fully integrated into care.

Since receiving the initial CCBHC designation in 2020, BHSN has added and expanded existing supports and services with the aim of expanding access to comprehensive mental health and substance abuse care across the region, including: 

  • Implementation of a whole-person care model, a holistic approach to treatment that considers all aspects of a person’s health. This includes physical, mental, and behavioral health as well as social determinants of health such as the individual’s socioeconomic status and housing situation, and more, which can exacerbate health issues. 
  • Development of full care-coordination program, aimed at helping clients navigate behavioral healthcare, physical care, social services, and other supports within the community to achieve full wellness. 
  • Addition of 30 new positions in the Plattsburgh region directly related to service expansion supported by CCBHC funding. 
  • Increased number of clients served by 40% at the Morrisonville Clinic  

An expansion of the initial CCBHC funding, the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics Improvement and Advancement Grant will provide $4 million in support over the next four years to continue building new and strengthening existing programs and services as a CCBHC.  

Crisis Program Expansion 

As the leading provider of mobile crisis services across several northern NY counties, BHSN has also seen a significant expansion of the Mobile Crisis Program. Currently offering 24/7/365 mobile crisis services in Clinton County, BHSN will continue its expansion of crisis services with support of the $3 million Innovative Community Crisis Response Partnership Award.  

With limited resources and increasing need in crisis services across northern New York, the new award is designed to strengthen partnerships with local law enforcement, who often times respond to crisis calls. Funding from Innovative Crisis Community Response Partnership Award allows BHSN to enhance and expand capacity of existing mobile crisis teams aimed at supporting local law enforcement and emergency rooms. Expansion of the program will reach into Warren and Washington counties, where BHSN currently serves the community through the Center for Well-Being and Center for Recovery.  

Through these innovative partnerships, we can ensure those with non-life-threatening crisis needs receive the appropriate level of care in a caring, accessible, and supportive environment, while decreasing ER usage, as seen by the 94% in ER diversions since 2020. 

 “Funding from each of these grants will be instrumental in enhancing and strengthening BHSN’s existing service delivery system and developing greater access to quality care and treatment options.” said Mark Lukens, President/CEO of BHSN, “We believe that everyone deserves high-quality care, regardless of their situation. These grants will allow us to continue to build on our mission to strengthen our communities through better access to care and transformative services. I also am pleased to see that regional partners, Citizen Advocates and St. Joseph’s Addiction & Recovery Centers, have also received CCBHC Improvement and Advancement funding.”