Frontier Health, a mental health services provider in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia, has been awarded a two-year, $4 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The annual grant is funded from the $4.5 billion allocated to SAMHSA from the COVID-19 relief package passed in December 2020. Frontier Health is one of 134 clinics across the country to receive this grant.
“Expanding behavioral health care in rural communities is crucial to the health and well-being of our citizens,” said Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger. “I want to congratulate Frontier Health on their Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help expand and improve care for those suffering from mental illness, substance abuse and co-occurring conditions. This is great news for folks here in our community.”
The grant will allow Frontier Health to expand and improve community health care for those individuals with serious mental illness, co-occurring disorders, substance use disorders, and children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance through comprehensive mental health and substance use treatment by meeting the criteria of a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC).
“Through this funding, we will not only work to expand services but also expand our capacity to apply evidence-based practices to the treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders and co-occurring conditions,” said Kristie Hammonds, president and CEO of Frontier. “A key component of this is advancing the integration of mental and physical health care through partnerships with our primary care partners. Our goal is to facilitate whole-person wellness and recovery.”
The CCBHC model supports multiple pathways for individuals to recover from substance use disorders and mental health issues and embraces a recovery-oriented philosophy by requiring Frontier Health team members to work in an integrated way, enacting a harm-reduction model. To provide effective support for recovery, CCBHC’s implement medication-assisted recovery with counseling and care coordination services for individuals with mental and substance abuse illnesses.
“Lack of coordinated, whole-person care leaves those needing behavioral health services at increased risk of mortality, suicide, substance abuse, hospitalizations, incarcerations and homelessness,” Dr. Allen Musil, medical director for Frontier Health said. “With this grant, we aim to reduce these disparities in working in coordination with our multiple dedicated community partners across the region we serve. Services will be wellness-focused and recovery-oriented as we help people and families get the treatment and care they need.”