ICYMI: Mental health pilot program expands into Alamance and Caswell

Raleigh, NC

"DHHS understands the importance of an evidence-based support system to assist individuals going through critical transitions. This patient-centered approach increases the likelihood for successful transitions back to their communities."  
Courtney Cantrell, PhD, Director of  NC DHHS'  Division of MH/DD/SAS.
 

Mental health pilot program expands into Alamance and Caswell 
Max Garland
Burlington Times-News
July 7, 2015
http://www.thetimesnews.com/article/20150707/NEWS/150709198/15282/NEWS

The Critical Time Intervention pilot program, a part of North Carolina’s Crisis Solutions Initiative which assists adults with mental illnesses during transition periods, is planning for an expansion after receiving funding through a federal block grant, according to a Department of Health and Human Services press release.

Through the grant, four Local Management Entities and Managed Care Organizations received $365,000 for the 2015 and 2016 state fiscal years to fund selected services within the program.

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions will sustain and expand the Critical Time Intervention team in Alamance, Caswell and Person counties, helping fill the existing gaps in rural areas in the counties.

The program’s primary focus is to connect people affected by mental illness with the support of licensed clinicians and peer-support specialists during the transition from homelessness, prison or hospital care to housing or community-based services.

As a pilot program, Critical Time Intervention is not statewide. Instead, it is active in small areas throughout the state, including Alamance County.

“If you don’t pilot a program to start off and make it active in the whole state, you never know what could happen,” Courtney Cantrell, director of the DHHS’ Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, said. “If you start off with four areas of service, you can see if they’re being implemented in the right way, and keep adding stages to it.”

The other Local Management Entities and Managed Care Organizations to fund services are Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, CoastalCare and Partners Behavioral Health Management.

Alliance Behavioral Healthcare will focus on individuals being released from jail in Cumberland County. CoastalCare will help individuals frequently in crisis in emergency departments in New Hanover and Onslow counties. Partners Behavioral Health Management will focus on those with serious mental illnesses who have housing needs in Gaston County.

“DHHS understands the importance of an evidence-based support system to assist individuals going through critical transitions,” Cantrell said. “This patient-centered approach increases the likelihood for successful transitions back to their communities.”

For more coverage on Critical Time Intervention, please see:
http://www.ncdhhs.gov/news/press-releases/dhhs-piloting-behavioral-health-crisis-program
http://www.wect.com/story/29493803/new-mental-health-program-in-new-hanover-co
http://www.twcnews.com/nc/coastal/news/2015/07/8/grant-provides-assistance-to-mental-health-patients.html