CCBHC Celebrates Second Anniversary Delivering Whole-Person Centered Care

Part of the CCBHC team met to provide updates on services and includes, left to right: Gregory Crawford, targeted case manager; Debra Miller, nurse case manager; and Andrea Merriman, family partner.

Part of the CCBHC team met to provide updates on services and includes, left to right: Gregory Crawford, targeted case manager; Debra Miller, nurse case manager; and Andrea Merriman, family partner.

The Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Director of Integrated Care Monique Lucas, BSN, RN, CCM, CCCTM, describes the first two years of delivering life-changing mental health and substance use disorder services as to “embarking on a journey.”

Statistics indicate that since its inception in 2018 and through September 2020, over 2,000 individuals received hope – and have come along on the CCBHC’s journey.

The CCBHC model is designed to provide a whole-person, comprehensive range of mental health and substance use disorder services to vulnerable individuals. There is an emphasis on providing 24-hour crisis care, evidence-based practices (which is integrating medically researched evidence with individual patient needs), care coordination and physical health care.

Continued Federal Funding Provides Hope

This past fall, Monarch’s CCBHC, located in Stanly County, completed its two-year, $3.2 million federal grant through the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Despite the beginning of a global pandemic this past spring, Monarch’s CCBHC received good news as an additional $3.9 million grant was awarded to continue expanding essential services for individuals with serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Funding, which will continue into 2022, was provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CCBHC team’s journey is just beginning. For the next two years the focus will be on mental health and addiction treatment access; opioid crisis service expansion; primary care health screenings; expanded behavioral health support for veterans; and collaboration among community care partners.

Orchestrating Coordinated Care

Lucas is proud of what her team has achieved. Programs such as Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) which provides injections for individuals with substance use disorders, a family partner program, and a peer support program for the rapid opioid overdose team have had an impact within the community.

“Our clinical practice expanded the use of standardized screening tools and integrated a new approach to providing care for people with co-occurring disorders which is a substance use disorder with a diagnosed mental health disorder,” she explained.

Lucas commented that the work of the team’s targeted case managers and care coordinators have orchestrated the frontlines of connecting services to people in need, in collaboration with key members of the CCBHC team. “They have helped connect people to housing, food and utility resources . . . These teams worked closely with therapists, physicians and case workers to provide a more encompassing approach to coordination of care,” she explained.

What does CCBHC success look like?

Care Coordinator Hannah Bundy, BA, QP, explained that success looks different for each person that the CCBHC supports. As a care coordinator, Bundy assists therapists and medical providers in making sure that the needs of people supported are being met: “Many of the people we support see engaging in services as a huge success. Other people we support have clear goal set for themselves, so being able to understand what is important to each person we support is vital in providing relevant services for them.”

Care Coordinator Chris McLamb, BS, QP, said success from his perspective is when “a person receives care, support and services from the CCBHC and you help them be the most healthy, happy and fruitful version of themselves to function daily.”

Targeted Case Manager Brittany Cowan, MA, LCAS-A, helps people in the MAT program stay connected with their medication management schedule, therapy and community resources, while working alongside the nursing and peer support staff to ensure program expectations are met support is coordinated. “I am happy for them and it makes me feel good to have played a part in helping them obtain something they worked so hard to accomplish,” she said.

McLamb serves as one of the care coordinator links to community resources: “I have worked with several people we support to get them connected to needed services to have better qualities of life since the inception of the CCBHC grant. I feel privileged to be able to see them prosper in their day-to-day lives in a healthier manner with the needed support.”

The COVID-19 Effect

A global pandemic halfway through the second year of the initial grant forced staff and programs to adapt, transitioning from face-to-face services to virtual delivery wherever possible. “This posed many challenges but through it all the Monarch teams pushed through and provided much needed care and support for the communities we serve,” Lucas reported.

Face masks and social distancing became standard for Monarch teams who continued serving people who continued to need services during the pandemic. “Many people in our community were impacted by COVID-19 from a financial, or employment perspective. Our teams helped to connect members with unemployment benefits food resources and community funding sources,” Lucas shared.

Key Programs Will Be Focus

Lucas said she and the CCBHC team are looking forward to what they can accomplish in the coming two years. “We are going to focus on building a peer recovery center, launching an intensive substance abuse outpatient treatment program, the introduction of the occupational therapy program and a peer bridger program to support individuals following a psychiatric hospital stay,” she outlined.

Cowan finds her front-row seat to view whole-person care fulfilling: “People we support are able to be connected with a physician, therapist, case manager and peer . . . It is wonderful to see a person supported successful in achieving their goals and receiving all the services they need to heal in one location. I have even had individuals say, ‘I am glad I don’t have to go here for one thing and then somewhere else.’”

Other Monarch CCBHC features:
CCBHC Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services Will Expand Thanks to $3.9M Federal Grant
CCBHC Outreach Program Offers Assistance to Veterans 
Monarch COVID-19 Frontline Hero: CCBHC Nurse Case Manager Debra Miller
Innovative, Community-focused CCBHC Making an Impact
Mark Wetherby Credits Monarch for Assisting Him on His Road to Wellness
Monarch Incorporates Occupational Therapy Services in Mental Health Treatment
Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Celebrates Reaching First Year Goals