6 May 2020
With the help of $4 million in federal funding, mental health services will be expanded and become more inclusive for Webster County residents, according to Aaron McHone, director of UnityPoint Health — Berryhill Center.
Berryhill has been awarded a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic grant by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The grant is worth $2 million annually for two years. It has the possibility for renewal after the initial grant duration.
The CCBHC program was created in 2016 in response to Section 223 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act to develop resources that provide accessible, comprehensive services to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis or substance use disorder regardless of their ability to pay.
McHone found out on April 27 that the grant would be awarded in Webster County. Ordinarily, the grant would not have been awarded until August. But the COVID-19 pandemic changed that.
“With the COVID pandemic and coordination with CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act), the government doubled the amount of awards nationwide that was to be released,” McHone said.
In Webster County, McHone said the grant isn’t just about Berryhill.
“It’s a lot more than Berryhill,” McHone said. “This is to establish Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic.”
That new distinction requires expanded care coordination with other health care providers, social service providers and law enforcement in the community. It has a focus on whole health and comprehensive access to a full range of medical, behavioral and supportive services, according to McHone.