Centerstone trauma program accepting clients

Today (July 6) Governor Pritzker signed legislation that would continue a critical grant program that has expanded access to urgently needed mental health and substance use disorder treatment services in Southern Illinois. The program is known as the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (or CCBHC) program.

CCBHCs are designed to provide a comprehensive range of mental health and substance use disorder services to vulnerable individuals; with an emphasis on the provision of 24-hour crisis care, utilization of evidence-based practices, care coordination and integration with physical health care.

Currently five Illinois providers — Centerstone, Chestnut Health Systems, Egyptian Healthcare, Heritage Behavioral Health Center, and Robert Young Center — are recipients of federal grants designed to jumpstart the CCBHC program.  Initial evaluation outcomes of the CCBHC program that Centerstone has implemented have demonstrated a 50 percent decrease in homelessness and 60 percent decrease in emergency department use for the populations served through the program.

“Mental health and addiction services are urgently needed now more than ever as the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to place unique stressors on individuals and families,” stated John Markley, Regional Chief Executive Officer for Centerstone. “Fortunately, the CCBHC grant program has allowed us to expand our capacity to provide timely services — something that is critically needed in our more rural counties.”

Despite the immense success of this program, and growing demand for services, the grants are set to expire in 2022. That deadline is what prompted provider groups to engage the state in searching for solutions.

“Opioid deaths in Illinois increased 36.5% in the first five months of 2020,” said Anne Tyree, Regional Chief Operating Officer for Centerstone. “That’s why today’s announcement of the Governor signing the CCBHC legislation into law is such incredible news for the continued work of these programs and the people we serve every day.  It gives us more tools to ensure those in need, will get the help they need when they reach out.”

The legislation, SB 2294, that was signed into law today requires the state to develop a plan for the continuation of the CCBHC program by January 1, 2022.  The providers — who have already seen demonstrable results in their communities due to this program — plan to continue working with state lawmakers to ensure the CCBHC program is designed in a way that most effectively meets the growing need for mental health services. 

“Ultimately, CCBHCs will facilitate health care transformation for people in need of mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Around the nation, we’ve seen the states that have invested in this program have experienced demonstrable cost savings and positive clinical outcomes.  That’s a win, win for all stakeholders — but most critically, it’s a win for the Illinoisans who will now be able to access life-changing care because of this program and investment,” concluded Markley.

For more information on CCBHCs, please visit the CCBHC Success Center, here.