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Holcomb Signs Bill to Boost Hoosier Mental Health Treatment Programs

Today Governor Eric Holcomb signed legislation into law HEA 1222 that would continue a critical grant program that has expanded access to urgently needed mental health and substance use disorder treatment services across the state of IN. The program is known as the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (or CCBHC) program.

CCBHCs like Aspire Indiana Health 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.

In Indiana, there are currently 18 CCBHC grantees throughout the state that are recipients of federal grants designed to jumpstart the CCBHC program. Initial evaluation outcomes from Centerstone’s CCBHC program have shown a 73% reduction of depression and a 93% reduction of clients hospitalized for mental health reasons. Now, HEA 1222 will build upon these successes.

“Around the state our community providers have seen demand for services skyrocket” said Zoe Frantz, chief executive officer for the Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers. “That’s why today’s announcement of Gov. Holcomb signing the CCBHC legislation into law is such incredible news for the continued work of these programs and the people they serve every day. Ultimately, this program gives providers more tools to ensure those in need will get the help they need when they reach out.”

According to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, CCBHCs have played a transformative role in addressing workforce shortages, creating a more integrated care delivery system, and ensuring providers meet quality metrics. Providers advocating for HEA 1222 see the legislation as an opportunity to provide better access and higher quality care through the state.

“Nationwide, 2020 was the deadliest year on record for fatal overdoses. Drug overdose deaths continue to be on the rise according to a report released in January by the CDC. In Indiana our numbers reported this past year rose by 23.4%, higher than the national increase of 15.9%.” said Barbara Scott, President & CEO of Aspire Indiana Health. “On one hand we have this urgent, growing need for services – on the other hand we have less workforce to meet that demand.

“Programs such as CCBHCs give community behavioral health agencies more tools to successfully recruit and retain additional staff members as well as resources to ensure that consumers have access to critical, evidence-based services.”

“The legislation, HEA 1222, that was signed into law today requires the state to develop a plan for the expansion of the CCBHC program by November 1, 2022. The behavioral health community has already seen demonstrable results from the CCBHC program and looks forward to supporting the Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) in developing a statewide infrastructure that meets the growing need for mental health services in Indiana,” said Steve McCaffrey, CEO of Mental Health America of Indiana. “We’re grateful for the leadership of Rep Cindy Ziemke, Rep Ann Vermilion, Sen. Mike Crider and the other members of the Indiana General Assembly, Department of Mental Health and Addiction, and Governor Holcomb for the passage of this critical mental health legislation.”

For more information on CCBHCs, please visit the CCBHC Success Center at https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/ccbhc-success-center/ccbhcta-overview/. Aspire Indiana Health is a fully integrated nonprofit health system serving central Indiana that addresses behavioral health, primary medical care, substance use disorders, infectious diseases, deaf services, veteran programs, abused/neglected children and social determinants of health such as housing and employment. Aspire is supported by a strong network of community organizations, state/federal entities and generous benefactors. Those interested in partnering with Aspire in making health and well-being a reality in central Indiana are encouraged to contact us at: info@aspireindi​ana.org.