Message from our CEO and Board President
A community provides support. It is a foundation that holds you up and keeps you steady when circumstances are challenging.
For many, it may look like a patchwork of family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues. A community can also consist of a network of providers, dedicated to well-being and supporting recovery through collaboration and person-centered care. As a federally designated Certified Community Behavioral Health Center, we provide a community of care: providers delivering integrated and enhanced services to those who need it the most.
In the face of social distancing, isolation and the many types of loss that began to impact our community in the spring of 2020, we got creative. We saw the opportunity for transformation and created innovative ways to stay connected to each other, building and nurturing our MHA family and making sure we strengthened our resilience in our personal lives.
We also redefined community for our clients. We cultivated human connections by expanding our existing TeleHealth platform, and staff across the entire agency were able to quickly pivot their service delivery to this model. When our virtual doors opened on Monday, March 16th, we were ready, and in the months that followed, more than 90 percent of our services were delivered remotely.
We learned so much during this time, and we became stronger together while staying apart.
More than ever, we are grateful that you are part of our community. Our supporters are the foundation that our work is built upon... a foundation that provides support and strength when circumstances are challenging. Thank you for being an integral part of our community and for believing that #MentalHealthMatters
Charlotte Östman, LCSW-R
Chief Executive Officer
CERTIFIED COMMUNITY BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CENTER (CCBHC) IN ACTION
MHA is a federally designated Certified Community Behavioral Health Center, delivering integrated care regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. In 2019, we received a nearly $4 million SAMHSA grant to launch our CCBHC work; a year later, our hard work paid off and we were honored with an additional expansion grant of $4 million. In the summer of 2020, we were selected for the esteemed National Council For Behavioral Health 2020-2021 CCBHC Mentorship program. As a mentor, MHA will support new established CCBHC as they navigate and implement best practices.
Our Community of Care delivers integrated services from clinicians, medical staff, care managers, peer and family specialists and employment specialists. We also proudly serve those who have served our country – and their families.
Vic* was engaged in services at an MHA clinic and also seeing a primary care physician for buprenorphine to address his opioid use disorder. When his physician no longer accepted his insurance, Vic could no longer afford the treatment or medication he desperately needed. Need for care was critical: in the past, Vic had relapsed on opiates and fentanyl after breaks in care. His MHA clinician connected him to a CASAC at our clinic, who worked in conjunction with our Medical Director to facilitate the continuation of his medication. A Care Manager on his team assisted Vic with the Medicaid application so that he could access a range of needed services and supports, and his Employment Specialist worked with him to explore vocational options related to his Bachelor’s degree. Vic continued to work with his CASAC and primary clinician, and explored his continued use of marijuana and how it related to his depression and anxiety. With their support, he has been able to achieve abstinence from marijuana, leading to an improvement in his mood and motivation to work. Vic now attends AA meetings daily, remains abstinent from drug use, and is building a strong sober support system. Vic is also actively seeking employment and exploring higher education options.
WE'VE EXPANDED ROCKLAND COUNTY SERVICES
In the fall of 2019, MHA expanded its mental health clinical services in Rockland County and opened the doors to a new clinic in Upper Nyack, our first standalone New York State Office of Mental Health Article 31 clinic in Rockland. Our increased capacity has eliminated waitlists for individuals of all ages, including children as young as three -- especially vital after closings of county mental health clinics. In addition to our Upper Nyack clinic, we offer mobile services and school-based services. Notable partnerships include The Partnership for Safe Youth, Hilltop Elementary School in Haverstraw, and the Nyack Prenatal Center.
WE TRANSFORMED OUR
BRICK-AND-MORTAR FOOD PANTRY INTO A MOBILE SERVICE
Immediately following the temporary closure of MHA’s Sterling Community Center and its brick and mortar food pantry due to the pandemic, MHA staff pivoted and created a mobile service to deliver food and essential items to individuals in need. MHA’s mobile pantry delivers more than just food and essentials: it delivers care and connection. Certified Peer Support Specialists use deliveries to check in with individuals, model the reality of recovery and provide connections to additional supports and services, including MHA’s Employment Services for those with vocational needs.
WE LAUNCHED OUR COMMUNITY CONNECTION LINE
Originally created as a resource for those experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation due to the pandemic, MHA’s Community Connection Support Line is available all members of the community. In challenging times, we all need someone to whom we can talk. Someone we can share a meaningful reflection with. Or even someone who we’ve never met, but through connection can help provide a welcome reprieve from our worries and our stress. MHA’s free telephone support is here to meet those needs. Credentialed MHA staff can be reached Monday through Friday during normal business hours at 914-219-4232.
WE HOSTED VIRTUAL
We have remained connected with our community throughout our series of virtual community conversations which are open to everyone at no cost. The topics we covered included screen time for children, navigating grief of lost experiences, promoting post-traumatic growth and fostering resilience. Stay tuned and follow us on social media for more information on our upcoming community conversations.