On Wednesday, April 25, 2018, representatives from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration visited the Berks Counseling Center, one of seven jointly licensed Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) in the state. Below is a news release from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services that was issued following the visit:
Reading, PA Today, Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller and Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary Jennifer Smith visited Berks Counseling Center, one of seven jointly licensed Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) in the commonwealth.
As a CCBHC, Berks Counseling Center has added telepsychiatry to its practice offerings, walk-in access to services, bi-lingual staff, a linkage to community housing resources, transportation service, and provides extensive staff training to better serve clients. During the visit, the secretaries toured the facility, learned more about the clinic’s service offerings and met with individuals receiving care.
“We are continually striving to serve more Pennsylvanians in the community and to ensure each member of the commonwealth has access to high-quality care,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “At DHS we focus on coordination of care, and we believe that the CCBHCs are a vital component to ensuring Pennsylvania has the best behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment available.”
CCBHCs further the Wolf Administration’s goal of improving the delivery of care for behavioral health and substance use treatment in the communities where people live, providing Pennsylvanians with easier and more consistent access to the services they need.
“As we battle the opioid epidemic, we must ensure that Pennsylvanians have access to treatment options that meet their needs and can address the varying circumstances they face,” said DDAP Secretary Jennifer Smith. “The CCBHCs deliver high-quality treatment that takes a comprehensive, whole person approach when working with patients with behavioral health and substance use disorders. These programs are critical and we are very grateful for the support made possible in partnership with the federal government.”
In 2015, the commonwealth was awarded the CCBHC planning grant; a federal grant that encourages states to adopt innovative approaches to community-based behavioral health services. As part of the CCBHC initiative, the department designed a matrix outlining the combined set of mental health and substance use disorder regulations to coordinate and streamline the licensing process.
CCBHCs allow individuals to access a wide array of services at one location and remove the barriers that exist across physical and behavioral health systems. For the adults and children with serious mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders that will primarily be served by these community clinics, the increase in coordination and individualized care has the potential to greatly improve the quality of life for those served and their loved ones.
The Excellence in Mental Health Act established the CCBHCs to improve quality and use evidence-based practices in behavioral health.
The CCBHCs provide nine core services:
- Crisis services
- Targeted case management
- Outpatient mental health and substance abuse services
- Patient-centered treatment planning
- Screening, assessment, and diagnosis
- Psychiatric rehabilitation services
- Peer and family support
- Care for veterans and members of the military
- Outpatient primary care screening and monitoring.
For more information on the Planning Grants for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, visit www.samhsa.gov/grants/.
For more information about CCBHCs visit http://www.dhs.pa.gov/.
MEDIA CONTACT: Colin Day, 717.425.7606