The Centers receives $9 million in grants

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 444 views 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded The Centers $5 million, to be distributed over two years, through its Community Mental Health Center Grant Program. It’s the second multi-million dollar award announced by Little Rock-based The Centers in the month of October.

The purpose of the $5 million SAMHSA grant is to support Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) and help restore the delivery of clinical services that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant is focused on serving individuals with serious emotional disturbance (SED), serious mental illness (SMI) and individuals with SMI or SED and substance use disorders whose needs have not been met during the pandemic.

“The Centers is very pleased to have been awarded SAMHSA grant dollars that will help us improve care delivery to underserved communities within our CMHC region,” said Melissa Dawson, CEO of The Centers. “This award will help us proactively reach out to and reengage those that had difficulty accessing mental health and other wrap-around services during COVID-19 or have developed new needs due to the pandemic.”

The Centers is the Region VI CMHC, which serves Pulaski County residents south of the river, and provides low-income, uninsured, or underinsured individuals with a wide spectrum of mental health services.

Specifically, funding will allow The Centers to improve CMHC care delivery through the hiring of additional staff trained in trauma-informed screening, assessment, diagnosis and person-centered treatment, allow for additional and on-going evidence-based practice training and increase the availability and capacity of timely access to behavioral healthcare by deploying community-based outreach efforts

In a separate grant, SAMHSA awarded a $4 million grant to The Centers, which serves as Arkansas’s Region VI Community Mental Health Center, allowing them to now implement the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic model for care delivery.

With this new funding, The Centers will expand services to the community and be a “one-stop-shop” for mental health, substance use treatment and primary care services.

“The CCBHC model means access to around the clock crisis care,” said Dawson. “Adopting this model means we can provide care coordination with hospitals, law enforcement and schools, and ensure individuals have access to high-quality services, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help stop the overdose crisis, among other new and improved capabilities.”

Across the country, the CCBHC model has dramatically increased access to whole-person care which considers all aspects of a person’s health, including their physical, mental and behavioral health, as well as their socioeconomic status, housing situation, and other social determinants which can exacerbate health issues.

The award will allow The Centers to invest in a mobile RV that will deliver community-based mental health treatment to individuals in Pulaski County, in addition to expanding on-campus services.