By David Slone
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) is providing new funding to help build and support projects across Indiana to improve mental health and recovery services for Hoosiers.
This includes funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act and the National Opioid Settlement, and totals more than $76 million, according to a news release from the DMHA.
Kosciusko County is receiving a $226,500 Opioid Settlement Match Grant to purchase a building to serve as a recovery resource center and safe space for individuals in recovery. In the grant application, the county also applied for some of those dollars to go toward counseling at the jail and for family and youth through the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiatives (JDAI), but the state did not allow counseling requests this round.
Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory is receiving a $376,231 Opioid Settlement Match Grant to support the CARES (Community Assistance Resources & Emergency Services) program, which employs a mental health professional to assist first responders when serving individuals with mental health and substance use needs. The CARES program also provides follow-up and referral services to community members who reach out directly for assistance, the release states.
The Otis R. Bowen Center for Human Services Inc., in Kosciusko, Huntington, Marshall, Whitley and Wabash counties, is receiving a $1,996,676.50 Crisis Receiving and Stabilization Services Grant. The funds will be used to establish a new, subacute Crisis Receiving and Stabilization Services Program to serve adults experiencing crisis in accordance with SAMHSA Best Practices while implementing a No Wrong Door philosophy, according to the release.
Kosciusko County Councilwoman Sue Ann Mitchell, who was instrumental in putting the application together for the grant, said, “The county opioid committee is excited to learn we have been given this grant. … We are very pleased that the county received this grant and the details are to be worked out.”
On CARES receiving the grant, Mayor Joe Thallemer said, “I’m obviously very excited about it and it will be put to good use for the CARES program.”
Chris Fancil, CARES director, said the grant is a “great opportunity for us to expand the hours we serve the community.” The funding will help CARES provide a better response, more education and provide follow-ups to overdoses.
“We’re excited about the opportunity,” he said, and the grant will allow for the hiring of one to two more people to better serve the community. “I think we’re going to put it to good use.”
DMHA is working with local units of government to promote innovative, community-driven responses to address substance use disorder issues, alongside grants to strengthen Indiana’s “No Wrong Door” approach to crisis care, the DMHA release states.
As part of the National Opioid Settlement, DMHA, in partnership with the Office of Gov. Eric J. Holcomb, is awarding a total of $19 million in one-time funding to support evidence-based prevention, treatment, recovery and harm reduction services, expand the behavioral health workforce and implement other services and initiatives across the state, to 30 local units of government, service providers and community organizations.
“While the state has a role to play in the fight against the drug epidemic, real change happens at the local level,” said Douglas Huntsinger, executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement for the state of Indiana. “Any time we have an opportunity to infuse more dollars into a community for the benefit of Hoosiers, we take advantage of it. These funds will go a long way toward building out the care continuum and improving outcomes for Hoosiers with substance use disorders and mental health needs.”
The state of Indiana is receiving approximately $507 million over an 18-year period as part of the National Opioid Settlement with distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen and manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its parent company Johnson & Johnson. DMHA has developed a framework for how the state plans to use its appropriation for abatement purposes.
DMHA received 78 proposals requesting a total of $93 million in response to the grant. Local units of government were required to provide match funds in order to qualify for funding. The services funded by these grants will reach Hoosiers in at least 28 counties.
A full list of Opioid Settlement Match Grant recipients can be found online at https://www.in.gov/fssa/files/Opioid-Match-Grant-Awardee-Overview.pdf.
Additionally, 15 community mental health centers across the state are receiving $57 million in Crisis Receiving and Stabilization Services grants. These grants will support the advancement of an integrated crisis response system that provides Hoosiers experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis someone to contact, someone to respond and a safe place for help. Crisis receiving and stabilization services function as part of the safe place for help pillar in Indiana’s Crisis Response Network and are an essential part in ensuring that all Hoosiers have a safe place to accept support and stabilize, regardless of clinical condition, in accordance with SAMHSA Best Practices, the release states.
“Crisis receiving and stabilization services are critical to providing crisis services,” said Jay Chaudhary, director of the DMHA. “Currently, too many Hoosiers experiencing a mental health crisis end up in emergency departments or county jails. These grants will help bridge gaps and offer a therapeutic and compassionate alternative pathway for individuals and communities in crisis.”
Details on all 15 projects funded by the Crisis Receiving and Stabilization Service grants can be found at https://www.in.gov/fssa/files/Crisis-Receiving-and-Stabilization-Services-Awardee-Overview.pdf.