VIRGINIA — Range Mental Health Center was recently awarded a $2 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to work toward and apply to become a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC).

Over the next two years, RMHC will use grant awarded dollars to increase internal structure, staff and programming in order to provide better access to care, care coordination, evidence-based mental health services and/or substance use disorder services for persons who seek care.

“This is very exciting for RMHC and brings us into the next generation of providing care to meet our consumers needs with a person-centered approach,” said RMHC CEO Janis Allen.

The core components of services required to become a CCBHC are: Care Coordination, Peer Support, assessment/referral to indicated services including primary care, tracking of social determinants of health and continued reporting on quality measures for persons served to improve care provided and healthy outcomes for persons served.

“These services will be provided by staff from a person-centered lens to meet the need as an essential community provider for the communities RMHC serves,” said Allen. “In the end, it’s better service, better care and we’ll be better at what we do.”

Core services provided within the community served by a CCBHC are:

• Crisis mental health services including 24-hour mobile crisis teams, emergency crisis intervention and crisis stabilization

• Screening, assessment and diagnosis including risk management

• Patient-centered treatment planning

• Outpatient mental health and substance use services

• Primary care screening and monitoring

• Targeted case management

• Psychiatric rehabilitation services

• Peer support, counseling services, and family support services

• Services for members of the armed services and veterans

• Care coordination with other providers and systems (criminal justice, foster care, child welfare, education, primary care, hospitals, etc.)

A CCBHC must directly provide these services directly and/or a designated collaborating organization (DCO).

Due to these exciting changes, RMHC is seeking to increase its current workforce to meet programmatic, service delivery and licensing needs. Some of the positions that are key to moving this forward are:

• Medical Director

• Project Manager

• Care Coordinators

• Data Analysts

• IT support to build dashboards and create reports to reflect progress on quality data measures

• Support staff

• Licensed professionals for Substance Use Disorder and/or Mental Health

Becoming a CCBHC will require RMHC to add care coordinators across settings to partake in the intake process, monitor one’s services path and provide follow-up. Currently there is not a point of contact between when a person calls and when that person sees a clinician.

“The service outcomes for people is person-centered and family-centered, recovery-oriented, evidence-based and trauma-informed care, increased access to service delivery and primary care/behavioral health integration,” said Allen. “We will be looking at the whole person, see what the assessments says and start them on the right pathway with a reduced wait.”

This is applicable to both outpatient mental health services and substance use disorder services. Internally, RMHC’s workflow and service delivery will be affected.

“It will make it easier access and more comprehensive care for the person who is asking for help,” said Allen. “No one asking for help has an easy time asking for help, and when they do, to have to wait two months means they may go somewhere else.”

The new positions will allow RMHC to look at the overall picture, keep track of how requirements are being met and make changes from there.

“It’s about helping people navigate so it’s seamless for them to go from one service to the next to get their needs met,” said Allen. “It’s coordinated care across settings, offering a full spectrum of health services, including primary medical care, which is the wave of the future.”

Providing comprehensive, integrated behavioral health care services to help people reach and maintain productive, dignified lives has long been RMHC’s mission.

“This is directly connected to our motto of ‘people helping people,’” said Allen. “We’ll be ‘people helping people in a coordinated, integrated, person-center, increased assess kind of way.’”

The grant was awarded to RMHC in February when SAMHSA released grants to 134 clinics, enabling them to begin the process to become a CCBHC. The grants, which run through February 2023, are funded from the $4.5 billion allocated to SAMHSA as part of the COVID-19 relief package passed in December.

With the addition of this grant funding, there are now 340 CCBHCs across the country — nearly a 50% increase from just days prior to the grants release.

“Everyone who comes in the door wants to be better, feel better or live a different life. But they don’t have all the tools and they’re asking us for help,” said Allen. “We want to give them the tools and get them the help they need. We do not want to make them persons served by RMHC forever, unless that is required, but rather we want to give them the tools to keep moving forward on their own wellness journey and come back if they need to.”

RHMC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive, integrated behavioral healthcare services to Northern Minnesota residents therefore helping people reach and maintain productive and dignified lives. RMHC offers mental health and substance use disorder services in Virginia, Hibbing, Eveleth and Ely and will celebrate its 60th anniversary in May.

For more about RMHC, see www.rangementhealth.org or call 218-749-2881. Appointments can be made at the same number. For details on the CCBHC job positions and to apply, see www.rangementalhealth.org/careers.

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