Adult & Child Health Gears up for Year Two of Kendrick Foundation Grant Funded Program Supporting Morgan County Schools

Adult & Child Health (A&C) is excited to announce a successful start to the second year of their partnership with Kendrick Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports education and initiatives that improve the health and well-being of Morgan County residents. Kendrick Foundation awarded A&C over $540,000 of grant funding this year as part of a three-year commitment to support school-based and school-linked mental health services for Morgan County school-aged youth.

During the first year of the program, A&C served nearly 200 students across Mooresville, Martinsville, and Monrovia school districts. With those students enrolled in services, A&C provided over 1,400 individual therapy sessions, 160 group therapy sessions, and completed 34 assessments with students experiencing a mental health crisis. Additionally, A&C provided teacher support through professional development, education, and group therapy services for interested staff. Beyond the school setting, A&C staff worked with more than 40 families of enrolled students as a link to clinical services and family therapy sessions.

The partnership with Kendrick Foundation began its second year this July and has continued to be a well-received collaboration across the county. The impact to students, teachers, and families has improved school operations. “This has been a positive collaboration with A&C staff. The staff work to meet the needs of the whole child and desire to be part of the school team. The work done in the Positive Approach to Student Success (PASS) program and support has been very beneficial to this student group. We’re excited about the continued services and future opportunities for this program in Mooresville Schools,” said Windy McGowen, Mooresville County School District.

The year-two initiatives for Adult & Child Health will include an increase in community outreach, caregiver support and training, teacher support and training, building connections across Morgan County, increased mental health awareness education, and continued service provision for more youth and families across Morgan County.

“We have developed such a solid infrastructure across the county and are so excited to continue to offer mental health training and support, increase collaboration in each district, and thrilled to partner with others in the community to increase connection. We believe we can build on last year’s success to have an even better school year,” said Elizabeth Stirn, LCSW, Assistant Director of School-based Services.


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 Cate Porter, Marketing & Communication Manager, at 317-882-5122.

Governor Holcomb

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

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,
Tina Serrano- 317-882-5122,
Kelby Gaw-317-496-7193,

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.

Adult & Child Health Receives Kendrick Foundation Grant to Support Morgan County School Mental Health

Adult & Child Health (A&C) was awarded grant funding from the Kendrick Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization that supports education and initiatives that improve the health and well-being of Morgan County residents. A&C was one of two nonprofit agencies awarded through the Kendrick Foundation’s $540,000 initiative to provide mental health services, supports, and resources to students in Morgan County schools during the current academic year. This grant is part of a three-year commitment from the Kendrick Foundation to strengthen school-based and school-linked mental health services for Morgan County school-age youth.  

A&C currently provides behavioral health services to over 130 schools in Central Indiana. Since 2013, A&C has partnered with Morgan County public schools to reduce at-risk behaviors through prevention and intervention programs. Funding from the Kendrick Foundation will support additional mental health services at Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation, Metropolitan School District of Martinsville, and Monroe-Gregg School District. Students will be invited to participate in voluntary supportive services consisting of individual counseling, family therapy, and case management.

“We are incredibly excited to improve access to our services across Morgan County over the next 3 years. I am thankful to have the opportunity to partner with the Kendrick Foundation and offer expanded services to students in each district,” said Elizabeth Stirn, MSW, LCSW, Assistant Director of School-Based Services at A&C. “This initiative is a true testament to the hard work, dedication, and passion that our school leaders, teachers, and providers have put into serving school-age youth and families.”

A&C’s school-based mental health program is a voluntary service approved through caregiver consent and delivered by mental health professionals. The program will help students by placing staff in schools who are trained to support and assist students experiencing behavioral and mental health issues, delayed development, and/or other life stressors that interfere with their ability to learn.

Schools are a natural setting to promote youth mental health and increase access to family-centered resources. Early treatment for mental health can be effective and result in helping young people stay in school and on track to achieving their life goals. Untreated or inadequately treated mental illness can affect academic achievement and lead to higher rates of school dropout, unemployment, substance use, arrest, incarceration, and early death. The partnership between A&C, Kendrick Foundation, and Morgan County schools will facilitate access to needed services, reduce barriers, and increase positive outcomes for students and families.

“When we invest in children’s mental health to make sure they can get the right care at the right time, we improve the lives of children, youth, and families — and our communities,” said Keylee Wright, M.A., Kendrick Foundation Executive Director. “As a result of this initiative, Morgan County residents will have greater access to mental health practitioners and services regardless of their ability to pay.” 

Adult & Child 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 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.  

Zero Suicide: A New Focus on Prevention

“[My client] is classified at A&C as a “high risk.” He’s expressed suicidal thoughts and suffers from traumatic brain injuries, debilitating spinal pain, and other serious conditions.”

“A client was initially seen for an intake by the Neighborhood Team, endorsing [suicidal] ideation without intent. The team worked collaboratively to develop a safety plan, CALM, and provided relevant psycho-educational materials in the respective language. The client left the appointment, but later felt triggered, and decided to return to A&C downtown clinic.”

These are quotes from employees of A&C. So many of us work with clients every day who have struggled with thoughts and plans of suicide. Unfortunately, this is common in the world of behavioral health. Mental illness is the driving force of almost every suicide, and any agency worth its salt is going to screen all clients for this risk. But is that enough? Indiana is far above the national average in suicide attempt and completion rates. It is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 15-34. The state has the nation’s highest rate of students who have contemplated suicide at 19% and the 2nd highest rate of attempts at 11%. With numbers like this, it feels crucial to take a look at our methods for detecting suicide risk and ask ourselves how we can do better.
Enter Zero Suicide. Developed by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, it’s a model of care meant to bolster the effectiveness of an agency’s suicide prevention plan. A&C was introduced to this model through a learning community where different organizations across the country share and discuss ways to improve practices. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) chose to fund Zero Suicide implementation for a few learning community participants, and A&C was selected. “It was a natural fit,” said Matt Oliver, A&C’s Chief Clinical and Informatics Officer and chair of the Zero Suicide Committee. He and the nine other members of the ZS Committee have now worked for over a year on implementation. While a year sounds like a long time, this effort is organization-wide, meaning that every one of the 700+ Adult & Child employees must be trained.
September has been the month of ZS training. Employees who work one-on-one with clients in the clinics, in therapy sessions, skills sessions, etc. have completed classroom trainings. Anyone working behind the scenes has taken an online training course. Staff members are trained to look for indicators of a potentially suicidal person and then taught what questions to ask to determine risk. “We don’t want people to slip through the cracks,” said Matt. If someone expresses suicidal intent, they are placed on the ZS Pathway, a process taught to direct care staff during classroom trainings. The Pathway is designed to fortify clients with several different levels of support including weekly check-ins from A&C’s Crisis Team, enrollment in therapy, and creation of a Safety Plan providing steps to take when experiencing suicidal thoughts. Even after clients improve and are removed from the Pathway, they are still working with primary care providers and receiving supplemental support from the Crisis team.
Equally important to adopting the Pathway model is shifting A&C culture around the topic of suicide prevention. Part of adopting ZS into an organization is for employees to understand that every suicide is preventable and that prevention is part of everyone’s job. Teaching staff how to detect and offer help to those struggling with suicidal thoughts is important to build up confidence around the topic. A staff confident in their prevention knowledge and plan of action is what success in ZS looks like.
With suicide being such a large problem in young people, A&C’s ZS push will involve more emphasis placed on detecting risk in youth. Some may think that talking to kids and teenagers about suicide will introduce them to the idea, but this is a myth. With the statistics that we have, it’s the reality of teenagers’ lives to experience thoughts of suicide. The majority already have passing thoughts about it from time to time. For many it’s not a serious issue, but for those who may be struggling, we never want to feel too squeamish to do a safety check-in.
Matt Oliver says he hopes this effort will make a dent in the Indiana statistics. “We’d like suicide to be a never event,” he said. After all of the training wraps up at the end of September, the official date Zero Suicide goes into practice is October 1st. After that, it is to remain an ongoing standard within the A&C culture. The ZS model is the first formal Pathway the organization has adopted, and its success is likely to set the stage for other formal Pathways in the future.

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