HCN News & Notes

ServiceNet Designated by SAMHSA as Certified Community Behavioral-health Clinic

NORTHAMPTON — ServiceNet’s outpatient clinics in Northampton and Greenfield are now offering a significantly increased range of services for adults with complex mental-health and substance-use challenges. These two sites were designated as certified community behavioral-health clinics (CCBHCs) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). As such, they are being funded to increase outpatient clients’ access to care, and to develop the supports they need to be successful in managing their health and recovery.

“For those who are living with a serious mental-health and/or substance-use disorder, the world can be a difficult place to navigate,” said Karen Franklin, ServiceNet’s vice president of Clinical Services. “From managing doctors’ appointments to completing paperwork, looking for work, dealing with money, and planning healthy meals, it’s not just a matter of deciding to do something and doing it. If people could, they would. Our job is to coach and support them as they gain or regain the life skills they need to move forward. And with this grant, we’re now able to do much more.”

Case management is a cornerstone of the CCBHC model, extending the clinics’ reach into the community. “When we’re sitting in the therapist’s chair, we have one view of a client’s life and experience,” said Ann Augustine, director of Outpatient Clinics for ServiceNet. “Our case managers/recovery navigators, together with their teams of peer counselors and recovery coaches, will help clients address aspects of life that happen in between visits. There are many adjustments people need to make during recovery, and knowing they have someone there throughout the week to help them clear the hurdles is so important.”

The CCBHC model has a strong emphasis on recovery from addiction, with services including screening for substance-use disorders, managing detoxification, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). “We have been ramping up our outpatient substance-use-disorder services for the past few years,” Franklin said, “and adding MAT will enable us to get more people into this potentially life-changing care.”