$5 Million Grant Awarded to MHA for Behavioral Health Mobile Units and In-Community Care

MHA is pleased to announce an award of $5 million over two years from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide neighborhood-based, in-home and in-community services for underserved individuals in Rockland and Westchester counties through the addition of two customized behavioral health mobile units. 

With these innovative vehicles, MHA will deliver high-quality, evidence-based care to populations in need – bringing support directly to previously unreached communities and individuals. Recognizing common barriers to care, MHA will reach those who have limited means of transportation, are unable to access telehealth services due to lack of internet or cellular service, speak a language other than English or lack access to insurance. Specific populations served by this new initiative will include individuals adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, low-income communities, and communities impacted by racial bias and social injustices. 

“This substantial federal grant is an extraordinary opportunity to reach those in our community who have been left behind or shut out of traditional behavioral health services and models of care. We are thrilled to have this valuable funding to accelerate our work in reducing barriers to care for specific populations, including young children, families, those experiencing Co-Occurring Disorders and individuals and communities whose access to support has been limited, disrupted or otherwise unattainable due to racial and social injustices,” said MHA Chief Executive Officer Charlotte Östman, LCSW-R. “At MHA, we don’t steer our services using a standardized road map to recovery; we recognize the inherent strengths and personal goals of each individual and family engaged in our care. With these new services – referred to as our Driving Towards Resilience Project – we are eager to strengthen our ability to hand the keys to building resilience to each person we serve.”

The customized behavioral health mobile units will be equipped with two therapy rooms and a modified “Living Room” concept to support de-escalation of crises and reduce the use of emergency room visits to address behavioral health issues. The units will be staffed by licensed clinicians and peer specialists; staff and clients will also have access to telehealth technology to access psychiatry and other services.

In-person family and individual therapy will include strategies such as Functional Family Therapy (FFT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Seeking Safety for suicide prevention. Services provided in the mobile unit will include family and individual therapy, substance use disorder treatment and telehealth services, and in-home FFT will also be provided. Through the creation of these mobile and in-home services, MHA will be able to serve an additional 500 unduplicated individuals per year, including the enrollment of 400 individuals into behavioral health care services and providing FFT in the community for 100 individuals per year. 

“Since our incorporation in 1946, MHA has remained true in our commitment to our community: to identify gaps in care, create innovative services, implement new evidence-based models of care, and to deliver them where, when and how they can best benefit each individual,” said Chief Operating Officer Stacey Roberts, LCSW. “As we recognize our 75th anniversary milestone this year, we celebrate our rich history and look to the future, which now includes the exciting addition of three behavioral health mobile units. We are thrilled that with this award, our community-based work will truly hit the road and support individuals in their own journeys toward resilience.”