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DHHS Receives $10 Million Grant to Promote Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care

Raleigh

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recently received a five-year, $10-million federal grant to improve the health and well-being of adults and children with challenging mental health issues who live in high need communities.

The grant, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will fund an integrated approach to primary and behavioral health care to improve the overall wellness and physical and behavioral health of: 

•    Adults with serious mental illness (SMI)
•    Children with serious emotional disturbance (SED)
•    Adults and children with substance use disorders (SUD) and/or co-occurring disorders (COD)

"The integration of behavioral health and primary care is a critical piece of our work to drive toward better health and focus on the whole person," said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. "This funding will help us do the hard work to improve delivery of care in a more integrated way and is aligned with other work underway around Medicaid Transformation."

The grant will be administered by DHHS and will serve an estimated 2,150 individuals, with an initial focus on families and individuals in two sites in the southeast coastal and western regions. Plans call for future expansion to communities in the state’s Piedmont and Sandhills areas. Goals include: 

•    Support prevention and wellness activities
•    Provide integrated and behavioral healthcare and retain participants in treatment
•    Provide recovery and support services to every participant
•    Establish a continuous quality improvement system that will assess project performance

The project objectives align with DHHS’ planned implementation of behavioral health homes and enables DHHS to implement components of the specialized behavioral health home model prior to launch of Tailored Plans.