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$4 million federal grant to aid opioid treatment and expand behavioral health care services
Hartford Courant - 12/4/2018
Dec. 04--A $4 million federal grant has made "CT First," an initiative designed to enhance and expand behavioral mental health services and provide treatment for opioid addictions, a reality.
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, joined Heather Gates, president and CEO of CHR, at the company's Enfield headquarters Monday to announce the receipt of the two-year grant.
Courtney said CHR's receipt of the grant after competing with agencies from around the country should make state residents proud.
"Given the fact that this is a national crisis, there was tremendous competition," Courtney said.
Funding for the grant, which will enable CHR to become a certified community behavioral health clinic by the end of January 2019, will be used to:
* Expand 24/7 access to mobile crisis programs for children and adults by hiring overnight staff.
* Introduce primary care screenings for clients in CHR's Enfield office and maintaining wellness programs in Bloomfield and Manchester offices with a goal of measuring success with the help of new clinical staff and IT infrastructure updates.
* Implement a smoking cessation program for clients.
* Expand open access for people with substance abuse disorders -- including opioids -- so they can access treatment sooner.
* Increase the use of recovery coaches and peers to help facilitate rapid implementation of treatment.
* Launch a formal agreement to liaison with the Veterans Administration and other veterans groups in the region.
Suffield Police Capt. Chris McKee, said his department and others have been working with CHR staff to train officers in crisis intervention , which seeks to de-escalate situations involving police officers and people who are undergoing a mental health emergency.
McKee said the funding will help Suffield and other communities address suicide prevention and opioid addictions because officers will be able to get people the help they need more quickly.
"Families have sought us out asking for resources, that has been the question," McKee said. "This answers that question."
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