New York Congressman Brian Higgins (District 26) announced a federal grant totaling $5 million awarded to BestSelf Behavioral Health. The grant, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and awarded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will provide funding to enhance services for adults and children in need of mental health care. Overall, the project will serve 550 individuals per year with serious emotional disturbance (SED), serious mental illness (SMI), as well as those with co-occurring disorder living in Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties.
The grant provides funding for BestSelf’s Community Mental Health Centers program, which aims to enhance outpatient services with a particular focus on developing a gender-affirming care pathway and an enhanced eating disorder treatment program. Additionally, through this program the BestSelf children’s clinic support team and the adult mobile mental health team will provide mobile, flexible, and adaptable support to the clinical team, assisting with intake, follow-up, and client reengagement.
The program is guided by several specific goals aimed at improving the reach of their programs and services. The goals include enhancing support for individuals with serious emotional disturbance (SED), serious mental illness (SMI), and co-occurring disorder (SED and SMI combined with addiction), developing, and implementing a comprehensive virtual care platform, providing staff training, and training members of the trauma Informed treatment advisory committee to provide crisis intervention for agency teams and departments who experience loss or crisis.
The SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services awards grants through the Community Mental Health Grant program enabling community mental health centers to support and restore clinical services that were impacted by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and effectively address the needs of individuals with SMI, SED, and COD. SAMHSA recognizes the great need for this funding, because during COVID-19 community mental health centers were not able to meet the needs of many individuals with behavioral health challenges, especially within minority populations and underserved communities.
BestSelf Behavioral Health provides a wide range of programs and services to the Western New York Community, including mobile mental health and addiction services, education and vocational supports, homeless outreach and housing, community, and school-based programs, as well as mental health and child protective professionals for children.
This was reported by New York Congressman Brian Higgins on November 20, 2021.