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GA Discretionary Funding Fiscal Year 2021

Center: FG

Grantee: GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES (DBHDD)
Program: Emergency COVID-19
City: ATLANTA
State: GA
Grant Award Number: 1 H79 FG000694-01
Congressional District: 5
FY 2021 Funding: $2,859,649
Project Period: 2021/02/01 - 2022/05/31

Grantee: MOREHOUSE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Program: CoE-Behavioral Health Disparities
City: ATLANTA
State: GA
Grant Award Number: 5 H79 FG000591-02
Congressional District: 5
FY 2021 Funding: $700,000
Project Period: 2020/09/30 - 2025/09/29

Center: SM

Grantee: ADVANTAGE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SYSTEMS
Program: 2021 CCBHC Expansion Grants
City: ATHENS
State: GA
Grant Award Number: 1 H79 SM085172-01
Congressional District: 9
FY 2021 Funding: $2,000,000
Project Period: 2021/08/30 - 2023/08/29

Advantage Behavioral Health Systems' Certified Community Behavioral Health Center expansion effort seeks to directly address the unmet needs of residents in Athens-Clarke County. The population of focus will include individuals with isolated or co-occurring behavioral health disorders who are uninsured or underinsured or who lack the access to needed care. Athens-Clarke County is ranked as the 7th poorest county in Georgia with a 29.6% overall poverty rate. Individuals living without insurance account for 13.5% of the population, however, for those living in poverty, this rate jumps to 38%. Additionally, mental health disorders have been the second leading cause of death for county residents between 2013 and 2017. We intend to directly address the unmet need by accomplishing the following goals: Goal 1: Expand access to Advantage's existing behavioral health continuum of care through increased evening and weekend hours, increase referral and care coordination with local hospitals and criminal justice entities, and increased staffing in our outpatient programs Goal 2: Establish an integrated primary care program that includes co-located primary health screening and monitoring, health education, and vaccine administration while simultaneously expanding our coordinated care model through established referral relationships and care coordination activities Goal 3: Improve veteran engagement and experience of care by providing organization-wide training on military culture and implementing evidence-based practices tailored to veterans and their families Goal4: Establish a comprehensive trauma-informed care environment by providing staff training on trauma, integrating TIC practices into client-facing processes and procedures, and implementing trauma-focused treatments within Advantage's existing continuum of care Goal5: Elevate standards of care through implementation of an outcome-based treatment model that includes staff training on population health and outcomes management, use and integration of client-level outcome measures into ongoing treatment, establishing key treatment outcomes for clinical programs, and developing dashboards and analytics for ongoing tracking of performance indicators


Grantee: ADVANTAGE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SYSTEMS
Program: Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) Grant Program
City: ATHENS
State: GA
Grant Award Number: 1 H79 SM085499-01
Congressional District: 9
FY 2021 Funding: $2,975,621
Project Period: 2021/09/30 - 2023/09/29

Advantage Behavioral Health Systems intends to implement our enhancement and restoration initiative focusing on military veterans as well as civilian adults and youth with isolated or co-occurring behavioral health and substance use disorders. As the safety net provider for our service region that encompasses the 10 county region of Northeast Georgia, we specifically target individuals who are either uninsured or underinsured and who have very limited social support structures. In the midst of the pandemic of 2020 we have identified significant gaps in our regional social service infrastructure. To address these disparities we have identified a three pronged service approach supported by a focus on employee support and wellness and ongoing culturally appropriate and evidence-based training opportunities. More specifically, we intend to expand our telehealth services to support those within rural areas as well as those among our more vulnerable populations who benefit from being able to socially isolate to protect their health. We will also be expanding our peer supported recovery support programs as well as our overall outreach and community engagement activities to more demonstrably impact those in our region who are most in need. Lastly, we intend to enhance our partnerships with the local justice systems to improve our overall efforts to minimize the prevalence of individuals with mental illness an substance use disorders involved within the local justice system. To support these service enhancements we are proposing an expansion of employee support and wellness programs and agency wide expansion of evidence based and culturally competent training programs. Our proposed goals for this initiative are as follows: 1. Strengthen and expand telehealth infrastructure to allow hybrid in-person/telehealth programming and to allow signature capture technology. 2. Expand mental health resources for employees by increasing Employee Assistance Program (EAP) access and offering monthly wellness programming. 3. Expand training opportunities for direct-service staff in culturally equitable care, trauma-focused care, and behavioral health disparities 4. Implement peer-led individual and group services focused on the mental health impact of COVID-19 5. Expand existing services to frequent utilizers of community crisis services, especially police and emergency departments, to allow for peer-led case management, outreach, and coordination of care.


Grantee: ALBANY AREA COMMUNITY SERVICE BOARD
Program: Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) Grant Program
City: ALBANY
State: GA
Grant Award Number: 1 H79 SM085554-01
Congressional District: 2
FY 2021 Funding: $2,500,000
Project Period: 2021/09/30 - 2023/09/29

Aspire Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (Aspire BHDD) is a public, nonprofit community service board providing person-centered mental health (MH), substance use disorder (SUD), developmental disability, and social services to citizens in 8 Southwest Georgia counties. We served over 11,000 individuals in 2019 and 2020 through 29 licensed outpatient and residential programs from 5 Outpatient & 2 Residential locations. Aspire is one of Georgia's 23 Community Service Boards (CSBs) providing safety net behavioral health and developmental disabilities services. Aspire is applying to seek the CMHC grant to support and restore the delivery of clinical services impacted by COVID-19. Southwestern Georgia continues to have an unmet need for severe mental illness (SMI), serious emotional disturbance (SED), and substance use disorder (SUD) services. Aspire provides a complete continuum of care, but current Medicaid reimbursement is insufficient to extend services to as many clients as could benefit. Funding will be used to: Increase outpatient service delivery and increase qualified staffing, while building IT capabilities and infrastructure to control cost, focus on increasing the use of evidence-based and trauma informed practices in our existing MH/SUD/DD services, expand the capacity of CMHC staff to address crisis and emergency response, improve resources to address mental health needs of CMHC staff, and provide diversion services to promote alternatives to hospitalization and incarceration. Diversion services will include a Co-Response Team located in Dougherty County. This county's poverty rate is 22.6%, higher than 148 of the 159 counties in Georgia. Albany, Dougherty County's largest city, ranked 486 in the 500 Cities project for chronic disease risk factors, health outcomes, and clinical prevention services. In Georgia, an individual with serious mental illness has a 1-5 chance of ending up in prison or hospital. We will combine Aspire's person-centered, trauma-informed, and recovery-oriented care services with our partners' strengths to provide expanded access to the full continuum of health services and supports. We will strengthen our health information systems, data collection, and reporting, support greater mobility for community-based staff, and promote interoperability to improve care coordination. Aspire has evolved over 30 years into the organization we are today, with experience in clinical care and program development, including robust policies and procedures around all required operational functions that allow us to continue to meet federal and state requirements while providing high-quality services.


Grantee: ALBANY STATE UNIVERSITY
Program: GLS Campus Suicide
City: ALBANY
State: GA
Grant Award Number: 5 H79 SM080401-03
Congressional District: 2
FY 2021 Funding: $101,945
Project Period: 2019/08/31 - 2022/08/30

We Are One Albany State University


Grantee: AUGUSTA UNIVERSITY
Program: National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative – Category III
City: AUGUSTA
State: GA
Grant Award Number: 1 H79 SM084946-01
Congressional District: 12
FY 2021 Funding: $398,114
Project Period: 2021/09/30 - 2026/09/29

The "Serving Underserved Populations in Rural Settings: Targeting Treatment and Adolescent Resilience Together" (SUPRSTART) Project will bring evidence-based mental health services to seven rural, underserved Georgia counties by training therapists in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and telehealth provision. It will expand child maltreatment (CM) prevention awareness by training 760 community leaders in two evidence-informed programs. CM is associated with an increased risk of deleterious outcomes such as post-traumatic stress, major depression, substance use, and revictimization. It is critically important that abused children have access to evidence-based treatment. Yet, families in the seven target counties must travel in excess of 27 miles to obtain services. SUPRSTART will bring telehealth TF-CBT services to youth victims ages 3-18 years in Burke County, and the Toombs Circuit, circumventing major geographic barriers to care. Among youth seeking services in the region, more than 60% are under 12 years of age, and almost 70% identify as female. Fifty percent of youth are African American. Importantly, the increased recognition of CM impact on health has led to state-level efforts enforcing evidence-informed prevention training among adults in close contact with youth to improve recognition of CM occurrences in community settings. However, less than 5% of adults in the rural Georgia Counties are trained to date. SUPRSTART will address CM service gaps in Burke County and the Toombs Circuit by 1) expanding the network of trained therapists in telehealth TF-CBT, TF-CBT for commercially sexually exploited youth, and treatment for youth victims struggling with suicidal ideation; 2) creating a sustainable telehealth delivery model using local Georgia Family Connection Partnership county offices, and 3) expanding the dissemination of the evidence-informed Stewards of Children and Connections Matter CM prevention curricula to pediatric residents at the Medical College of Georgia, and community leaders across the seven counties. These goals will be met under the guidance of an Advisory Committee comprised of local and national experts. In Years 1 and 2, we will train two cohorts of 15 community therapists each in TF_CBT, and telehealth delivery. In Year 3, these cohorts will receive advanced training, TF-CBT+, to address complex trauma among sexually exploited youth. Additionally, therapists will receive training in a trauma-informed self-harm risk reduction model (SAFETY-A) in Years' 2 and 3. We anticipate an annual increase in youth to be served via SUPRSTART: Year 1 n=20, Year 2 n=30, Year 3 n=40, Year 4 n=50, Year 5 n=60, for a total of 200 youth. Each year, at least 12 pediatric residents (total 60) and 20 community leaders per county (total 700) will receive prevention training. The Advisory Committee will perform continuous program evaluation across implementation and service delivery goals to ensure seamless telehealth treatment provision in these rural regions, and positive health outcomes among youth.


Grantee: BERRY COLLEGE
Program: Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Campus Suicide Prevention Grant
City: MOUNT BERRY
State: GA
Grant Award Number: 1 H79 SM084085-01
Congressional District: 14
FY 2021 Funding: $101,997
Project Period: 2021/09/30 - 2024/09/29

The Vikings Campus Suicide Prevention project at Berry College will bolster and expand current mental health infrastructure, outreach, education, and training. Targeted activities will reduce the consequences of serious mental illness, substance use, suicidal behavior/injury, and school failure for students. The project will significantly enhance education and outreach to cohorts of first-year students as well as male athletes, scholarship, and minority students. The 2020-2021 student body at Berry consists of 2,006 undergraduate and 119 graduate students with 100% being between the ages of 17-24 who are mostly from Georgia and nearby states. The racial and ethnic makeup of the student body is 78% Caucasian, 7% Black or African American, 7% Hispanic (of any race), 2% Asian/Pacific Islander, 4% two or more races, 1% international students, 1% unknown, and < 1% American Indian or Alaska Native with 61% female and 39% male. Berry's counseling center serves at least 18% of the student body each year and the demographics are reflective of the total student body. Berry experienced its first student suicide in over five years in January of 2021 and in the past five years has had four suicide attempts, two substance use overdoses, nine documented ER visits, 25 reports of self-harm, and 15 hospitalizations. Of those who sought services in 2019-2020, 50/307 (16%) already had a significant history of mental health issues and 64% met screening criteria for a clinical level of symptoms intake. The goals of the project are to 1) increase the capacity of the Berry community to recognize and respond to students at risk of self-harm and 2) create a comprehensive infrastructure to reduce or eliminate symptoms associated with mental illness and self-harm. A critical objective of the project is the formation of a Mental Health Committee (MHC), which will be made up of key faculty/staff, student leaders, and stakeholders representing all target populations. The MHC will oversee: the addition of the counseling center phone number and national suicide prevention hotline to all first-year student ID's; expansion and promotion of student use of the Mind Wise screening tool; the development and delivery of student and faculty/staff education modules on mental health topics; the campus-wide expansion of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training; the delivery and analysis of the Healthy Minds Survey; outreach on how to access services to students/parents; and the increase of on-campus behavioral health clinician capacity to 1.4 FTE. The committee will also enhance and strengthen partnerships with Floyd Behavioral Health, Highland Rivers Health, and NAMI. The Berry counseling center will continue to provide direct counseling services, train peer educators, and facilitate referrals to Virtual Care Group (VCG) to ensure increased demand does not outpace capacity. The project will allow Berry to fully train 3-4 key staff as certified MHFA trainers and 200 staff/faculty/student leaders will be trained in MHFA. 1,785 students and 50 faculty will participate in education modules, the counseling center will provide therapy/counseling to over 300 students annually, and 300 students will register with the VCG.


Grantee: CARINGWORKS, INC
Program: Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) Grant Program
City: DECATUR
State: GA
Grant Award Number: 1 H79 SM085647-01
Congressional District: 4
FY 2021 Funding: $494,670
Project Period: 2021/09/30 - 2023/09/29

The COVID-19pandemic has revealed and exacerbated existing disparities in health outcomes and access to healthcare for people of color. The Kaiser Family Foundation Report (February 2021) asserts that although many Americans have reported negative impacts on mental health and well-being during the pandemic, Blacks and Hispanics have been more likely than Whites to report symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder. The US Census Bureau (2019) reports that 15.5% of Georgians have no health insurance. Other Georgians have inadequate health coverage with severe limitations regarding mental health treatment. The pandemic increased the need for mental health services in a community with a dearth of options. CaringWorks' Access Wellness project increases access and improves the quality of treatment for eligible uninsured and underinsured individuals who present with a serious mental illness (SMI), serious emotional disturbance (SED), or co-occurring disorder (COD). The target geographical area is Georgia's Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton, and Rockdale counties whose uninsured and underinsured populations are disproportionately Black and Hispanic. Eligible adults will likely include veterans, custodial mothers, deaf and hard of hearing individuals (DHH), returning citizens, individuals living with HIV/AIDS, and LGBTQIA persons. Utilizing this grant, CaringWorks will serve a minimum of 100 unduplicated individuals in each of two grant years for a total of at least 200 served. The number of clients was determined by 1) the need in the catchment area and 2) agency capacity. Access Wellness will utilize community-based partnerships, social media, and referral networks to reach eligible persons. The project will provide trauma informed screening, assessment, diagnosis, patient-centered treatment planning, and treatment. It will facilitate access to ancillary services to assist clients in applying for Medicaid, Medicare, or other relevant health benefits. Access Wellness will also provide staff training, expand the use of HIPAA-compliant telehealth services, and offer opportunities and resources to address the mental health needs of staff. Expected results include stronger community partnerships, knowledgeable and effective staff, efficient and ethical use of telehealth, increased access to mental health services for eligible clients, and improved health outcomes. Based on the agency's experience, the annual cost per client ($5,000) is reasonable considering the services and support they will receive. The overall goal of the project is to increase access to clinical and community-based services for low-income, uninsured/underinsured individuals with behavioral health conditions. Using an external evaluator, Access Wellness will measure four specific goals: 1) Increase access to behavioral health and related services for a minimum of 200 under- or uninsured individuals with SED, SMI, or COD, 2) Maintain and/or enhance staffs' ability to provide evidence-based mental health practices and activities, 3) Improve clients' behavioral health status by providing comprehensive treatment and recovery services to a minimum of 200 clients, and 4) Improve staff capacity to engage in self-care by providing opportunities and resources to address the mental health needs of CMHC staff.


Grantee: CARINGWORKS, INC
Program: Treatment for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness
City: DECATUR
State: GA
Grant Award Number: 5 H79 SM080640-03
Congressional District: 4
FY 2021 Funding: $499,530
Project Period: 2018/11/30 - 2023/11/29

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