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WNC regional mental health facility awarded portion of $20 million grant funding

More people in North Carolina will have better access to both the behavioral health and physical health care services they need through several behavioral health clinics across the state, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced this week.

 The NCDHHS Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services is awarding $20 million in funding to five Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) to expand access to evidence-based, integrated behavioral and physical health care in their communities. This marks the first time NCDHHS is funding this program, making the award the first of its kind.

For Western North Carolina, Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) was selected as one of the five organizations to receive funding. MAHEC is the region’s only Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic and provides an array of mental health services. 

MAHEC was established in 1974 to improve training and retention of healthcare professionals across Western North Carolina (WNC). We are dedicated to excellence in clinical care, health professions education, and innovative practices that can be replicated nationally.

Located in Asheville, MAHEC serves North Carolina’s 16 westernmost counties. We are the largest of the nine-state AHECs that address national and state concerns with the supply, retention, and quality of health professionals, especially in rural areas of the state.

 CCBHCs provide comprehensive, integrated services that support individuals with Serious Mental Illness (SMI), Severe Emotional Disturbance (SED) and co-occurring SMI or SED and Substance Use Disorder. Services include:

24/7 crisis intervention services

Outreach, screening and assessment

Person-centered treatment planning

Evidence-based treatment and recovery supports

Integrated behavioral and physical health care

Care coordination with primary care providers, hospitals and other medical providers

Connections with other providers and public service systems

“This investment will give our communities better access to critical health services,” said NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “Expanding integrated care to individuals and families, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay, is not only the right thing to do but also a smart investment in the overall health of North Carolinians.”

Awards have been made to community behavioral health provider organizations in Asheville, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville and Raleigh to serve those cities and surrounding areas:

Anuvia Prevention & Recovery Center (Charlotte)

B&D Integrated Health Services (Durham)

Cumberland County Community Mental Health Center (Fayetteville)

Mountain Area Health Education Center (Asheville)

Southlight Healthcare (Raleigh)

“This program embodies the principle of whole-person care,” said DMH/DD/SAS Director, Deepa Avula. “Additionally, the CCBHC model is widely recognized as key to advancing health in an easy, accessible manner.”

 The CCBHC grant awards will fund the expansion of existing CCBHC programs and the development of new programs. The funds were made available through the American Rescue Plan Act 2021, via the Mental Health Block Grant through the NCDHHS DMH/DD/SAS.

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