Florida Behavioral Health Association Newsletter: December 2019

Message From the President

By Melanie Brown-Woofter, FBHA President/CEO

Melanie Brown-Woofter,
President and CEO, FBHA

As 2019 draws to a close we near the end of another decade, a decade in which mental health and substance use disorders have become part of worldwide conversations. We have witnessed prominent political figures and celebrities speak openly about their private battles while others have served as spokespeople for those who cannot speak for themselves. Policy makers are finally acknowledging the importance of our industry and it is due to the work that you and your teams do everyday.

We want to thank each of you for that work, and for the sacrifices you make to help others move from addiction to recovery, and from crisis to stability. Our world is a better place because of you.

May you all find peace, joy, and happiness this season and throughout the coming year.

As always, we welcome your feedback on this newsletter and all our communications. Contact Melanie at Melanie@fccmh.org

ICYMI – In Case You Missed It

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics Set to Expand to More States

From the National Council for Behavioral Health

Leaders of the US Senate Finance Committee reached an agreement in early December on a 2-year extension that more than doubles the current number of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Medicaid programs by adding 11 additional states. This agreement was announced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), the two lead negotiators on a year-end package of health care bills.

While this is an exciting development, there is still work ahead before this legislative package becomes law. The package must still be voted on by both the House and Senate before going to President Trump for his signature.

The National Council thanks its dedicated advocates for their work in building nationwide support for CCBHCs. Your voices have been heard!

Read the Statement from National Council President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia.

Ravaged by Opioid Deaths and HIV, Broward Approves Needle Exchange. Miami is the Model.

By Ben Conarck, Miami Herald

Sterile Needles, UM Program
Photo: Emily Michot, Miami Herald

In the text of the ordinance authorizing a needle exchange in Broward County, commissioners ticked off a list of alarming public health statistics: 1,642 opioid overdoses in 2017, more than 21,000 people living with HIV, 387 heroin- and fentanyl-related deaths in 2018.

Needle exchanges are designed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases among drug users by providing clean syringes and help reverse opioid overdoses by distributing naloxone directly to people who use drugs, as well as offering them access to other services like testing for hepatitis.

After a three-year test run, Miami’s exchange, the first in the state of Florida and run by the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine’s harm reduction research group, has become the gold standard.

Read More

A Community of Practice on Smoking Cessation in St. Augustine

By Melissa Knabe, Associate Director FSU-AHEC

The Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program at Florida State University College of Medicine (FSU COM) (a part of Tobacco Free Florida) in collaboration with the National Council for Behavioral Health and Smoking Cessation Leadership Center is convening a Community of Practice to assist behavioral health organizations to adopt tobacco-free policies and incorporate treatment for tobacco use disorder along with other behavioral health services. 

Communities of practice provide continuous learning by fostering the development of newer or deeper levels of knowledge that result from regular interaction and activities with particpants who share a common interest. Members learn from their participation in the activities and discussions and are encouraged to apply their new knowledge to their own work and drive more impact.

Get Event Details

FCC Advances Plans for 988, a National Suicide-Prevention Hotline

By Taylor Telford, The Washington Post, December 13

The Federal Communications Commission is moving forward with plans to make 988 the nation’s suicide prevention hotline in the face of a mental health pandemic that claims more than 130 Americans each day.

The agency says three digits will be simpler to remember in times of crisis, as 988 echoes the national 911 emergency hotline. “We believe that this three-digit number dedicated for this purpose will help ease access to crisis services, it will reduce the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health conditions, and ultimately it will save lives,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Thursday during the commission’s open December meeting.

The proposal is now open for public comment before the agency begins the rulemaking process. Currently, the proposal calls for carriers to implement 988 within 18 months. The decision comes as the United States grapples with a spike in suicides, even as rates are on the decline in other parts of the world. The suicide rate hasn’t been this high since World War II, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Read More

Member News, Awards, and Recognitions

Kimberly McGrath, of Citrus Health Network, Heals Trafficked Children

By Tina Rosenberg, New York Times

Kimberly McGrath at Citrus Health Network. Photo: Maria Alejandra Cardona for The New York Times

“Now we know they really are just extremely traumatized youth.”

What happens to a child who is exploited commercially for sex?

Kimberly McGrath is changing the answer to that question. Historically, trafficked children have been arrested for solicitation and sent to juvenile court.

Today, all children sold for sex are, by definition, trafficked. Yet some are still arrested. Most are sent to group homes. “The core understanding was that these were defiant, rebellious youth who would rebel in a family,” Dr. McGrath said.

In 2013, Florida officials asked Dr. McGrath, who coordinates foster care services at the Citrus Health Network in South Florida, to come up with a different response. She started from the premise that these children were not defiant criminals. A vast majority had been abused, which made them more susceptible to the manipulations of traffickers. And they had never gotten help to recover from that abuse.

Read More on Kimberly McGrath

Organizational Member Showcase: The Bougainvilla House

By Cici Kelly, CEO, The Bougainvilla House

When another healthcare organization, or another member, thinks of The Bougainvilla House what do you want them to visualize?

The Bougainvilla House is not your typical outpatient facility. When people come for a tour or for the first time they always say “wow this is not what I was expecting.” I always hesitate before saying “what were you expecting?” Our property is 5 houses that we have converted into administrative and clinical space. We are nestled in a neighborhood surrounded by lush landscaping. People are not aware that we are a therapy center; they think someone lives here, which we love. We decorate the property for every major holiday and it makes it feel very homey.
We want our clients to feel like they are at home when they come to see us. We deal with the most vulnerable population – our children and teens – and I believe that when kids feel relaxed and safe, they are more apt to open up and talk about things that are bothering them. We pride ourselves on doing right by the community. Our goal is not to be a fit for everyone but to focus on our niche areas and provide quality of care for those we do serve.

How has growth affected The Bougainvilla House over the years?

As a center that works with the adolescent and teen population, our growth has been slow and steady. It’s sad to say but until the shooting at Stoneman Douglas, parents really didn’t want to acknowledge that their child might be struggling with a mental health issue. Unfortunately the stigma that surrounds mental health and substance use is still very alive today. Over the past 3 years we have spent a great deal of time in schools educating students, teachers, parents and staff on issues in our community around mental health and substance use disorders. In Broward County, 1 in 5 children and adolescents have a diagnosable mental, emotional, or behavioral problem. Our mission is to try to reach and help educate as many people in our community as we can. By going into the school we reach a lot of kids at one time who then have at least a little knowledge and at least know where to go if they or someone they know needs help. We always post a slide with the phone numbers of all the relevant hotlines and tell the kids to take out their phones and take a picture of it so they have it with them at all times.

Read More about Bougainvilla House Programs and Mission

Grant and Funding Opportunities

HRSA Addiction Medicine Fellowship (AMF) Program Notice of Funding Opportunity

Letter of Intent Due: Monday, January 6, 2020; Application Deadline: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) plans to invest approximately $20 million through the AMF program to increase access to board certified addiction professionals who are practicing in underserved, community-based settings that integrate behavioral health with primary care services.

HRSA plans to fund an estimated 25 eligible grantees. AMF award recipients will receive up to $800,000 annually over a five-year period of performance to foster robust community-based clinical training of addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry physicians to provide opioid and other substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery services. Learn More About this Funding Opportunity

SAMHSA Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult and Family Treatment Drug Courts

Deadline: Tuesday, February 4, 2020

SAMHSA is accepting applications for Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult Treatment Drug Courts (ATDC), Adult Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts or Family Treatment Drug Courts (FTDC). The purpose of this program is to expand substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services in existing drug courts. The program recognizes the need for treatment instead of incarceration for individuals with SUDs.

SAMHSA plans to issue 25 grants of up to $400,000 per year for up to 5 years. Learn More About this Grant

Webinars and Workshops

Presented by DCF and the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association

Webinar: Discharge Planning, Aftercare, and Recovery Supports

This webinar will support providers to be able to describe key elements of continuing recovery planning, contextualize the role of Recovery Coaches in discharge planning and aftercare services, identify trauma-informed discharge practices and aftercare services for individuals living with behavioral health disorders, survivors of domestic violence and other trauma, and introduce the evidence-supported intervention Recovery Management Checkups (RMC) as a core component of aftercare services. more

Register Here for Discharge Planning, Aftercare, and Recovery Supports

When:Thursday, January 16, 2020
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where:United States
Presenter:Gabriela Zapata-Alma LCSW CADC
Contact:Marc Weeks
(850) 878-2196

Events and Meetings

Community of Practice: Smoking Cessation

FSU Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program

January 23-24, 2020
St. Augustine, FL

Get Event Details Here

2020 Florida Taking Action for Suicide Prevention 5th Annual Conference

February 25–26, 2020
Tallahassee, FL

Download the flyer for the event here
Read more about the conference here

NATCon 2020

APRIL 5–7, 2020
Austin, TX

Register for the event here
Read more about the conference here

Strategic Board/Planning Meeting 2020

May 11-13, St. Augustine, Florida

Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort

300 A1A Beach Boulevard | St Augustine, Florida, 32080

Administrators Forum 2020

2020 Administrators Forum

May 20 and 21

Florida Mall Hotel and Conference Center

1500 Sand Lake Road | Orlando, FL 32809

Florida Behavioral Health Conference 2020

Save the Dates! August 19-21, 2020

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane | Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 597-3600