The Yakima Herald: Washington’s Community behavioral health funding system is long overdue for an upgrade

By Jodi Daly and Tom Sebastian

Our community behavioral health organizations deliver life-saving mental health and substance abuse services to thousands of individuals and families across Washington state. However, we’re also facing financial and operational challenges keeping up with escalating demand for behavioral health services, especially as we confront the devastating realities of the fentanyl crisis.

Fortunately, there are solutions that are transforming behavioral health care accessibility here in Central Washington and hold promise for our region and communities statewide.

In January, Comprehensive Healthcare received a pivotal $4 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to expand services to more than 5,000 community members in Yakima County.

Through the grant, Comprehensive Healthcare intends to increase access to primary health care, expedite substance use disorder (SUD) services to clients and local homeless populations experiencing drug addiction, and implement staff training to serve marginalized people from diverse backgrounds.

This will build on the success we’ve seen with a CCBHC pilot already underway in Walla Walla County, which enabled our team at Comprehensive Healthcare to dramatically reduce wait times for initial screenings from 41 days to just two, and support same-day access to care, among other transformative improvements.

While these advances are making an impact in our local communities and the lives of those we serve, we’re encouraging Washington state leaders to think even bigger, and implement the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) model statewide.

Read the full article here.

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