Mental Health Organizations and Providers Applaud Indiana Lawmakers and Governor for Enacting Critical Mental Health Legislation Amidst Growing Need for Services and Dire Workforce Shortages

Governor Holcomb

Today Governor 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 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 Indiana 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 sky rocket” said Zoe Frantz, CEO for the Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers. “That’s why today’s announcement, of Governor 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.”

Adult and Child Health (A&C) became a CCBHC in April of 2021 and, in the first 10 months, they’ve successfully supported 741 people in crisis through their CCBHC team.  In addition to their 24/7 crisis response team, A&C Health has worked very closely with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department to increase immediate access to mental health professionals to support police response to calls involving people in crisis.  The two entities have found synergy in developing tandem training and crisis response programming to better support the needs of Johnson County. Under the leadership of Sheriff Burgess and Deputy Jim Engmark, nearly 100 law enforcement personnel have been trained in the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programming, which is an innovative community-based approach to improve outcomes for people who experience mental illness when they have encounters with law enforcement.

“Our heightened partnership with A&C provides a beneficial impact for law enforcement and our ability to change the potential outcome for people we encounter who are experiencing a mental health-related crisis.  We’ve been able to deliver immediate support for Johnson County residents through A&C’s crisis teams and prevent unnecessary jail or ER placements,” said Deputy James Engmark of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

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.

Programs such as CCBHCs give community behavioral health agencies more tools 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, here.

Media Contacts
Zoe Frantz- 812-298-4533, zfrantz@indianacouncil.org
Tina Serrano- 317-882-5122, tserrano@adultandchild.org
Kelby Gaw-317-496-7193, kgaw@mhai.net

Adult & Child Health is an accredited nonprofit primary care, behavioral health, and social services provider with multiple locations in central Indiana. We strive for caring communities, where every child, adult and family have the opportunities they need to live healthy, happy, productive lives. For more information about Adult & Child Health programs, please contact Tina Serrano, Director of Strategic Initiatives, at 317-882-5122.

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