The legislative Committee on Health and Human Services recently received a November update about pilot programs developed from the Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use.

Dr. Jason Vogler, Director of The Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services outlined with greater specificity how the funds will be allocated.

The 2016-17 state budget provided $20 million to fund these pilot programs.  The funding is woefully inadequate to fully fund the recommendations of the task force and virtually none of the funds are allocated to assist adult criminal justice initiatives. The application for participation in the pilot programs was only open to LME/MCOs.  However, once granted, the LME/MCOs will subcontract with local service providers.

The programs on the verge of being implemented are:

  • Child Tiered Case Management Pilot. Case managers will work closely with juvenile justice and child welfare offices to provide assessments, develop person-centered plans of care, and link children/youth and their families to other recovery supports. This approach can assist with preventing youth from moving deeper into the justice system. Application period closed Nov. 14.
  • Comprehensive Case Management for Adults with Mental Health Treatment Needs and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Needs (AMH/ASU). A community-based behavioral health provider would provide around the clock coverage in the hospital Emergency Department (ED) to ensure individuals discharged would be immediately linked to community supports – preventing or shortening future ED visits. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Nov. 23, 2016.
  • Facility-Based Crisis Services for Children and Adolescents. Community-based, non-hospital residential setting facilities are specialized and cost-effective alternatives for individuals in crisis who need short-term intensive evaluate.

You can read more on the pilot programs and the role local service providers may play.   If a pilot is located in your area, you’ll want to know about it.