Children's Mental Health
The Children’s Mental Health Program is a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that is youth-guided and family-driven to produce individualized, evidence-based, culturally and linguistically competent outcomes that improve the lives of children and their families.
This program provides funding for in-home and community based outpatient services, crisis services and residential treatment (including psychiatric residential treatment facilities, Therapeutic Foster Care and Therapeutic Group Homes provided through joint Medicaid and Mental Health Program contracts with behavioral health managed entities and providers. The program also provides coordination and management of the Juvenile Incompetent to Proceed (JITP) program. The system requires that services are individualized, culturally competent, integrated, and coordinated. The aim is to provide a smooth transition, from children’s mental health to the adult mental health system for continued age-appropriate services and supports. These services are designed to build resilience and to prevent, severity, duration and disabling aspects of children’s mental and emotional disorders.
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Child Welfare Integration
Parental substance abuse is a major contributing factor in cases of child abuse and neglect and is one of the major reasons for out of home placements. In FY 2010-2011, 56% of the child abuse allegations that were verified had indications of parental substance abuse disorders. During this same time frame, 60% of out of home placements were due to parental substance use disorders. There were also twice as many children with parents with substance use disorders in care for more than 9 months than for children with parents without indications of substance abuse.
Between FY 2006-2007 and FY 2010-2011, the number of adults involved in the child welfare system due to prescription drug problems increased from 991 to 3,495 - a 253% increase. Their inability to access treatment prolongs the time to re-unification for the family and causes numerous complications meeting the expectations of their case plans.
Traditionally, when child protective investigators suspect substance use or mental health disorders, they refer the parent to a substance abuse or mental health treatment program for an assessment and subsequent treatment. This practice has proven in Florida and nationally to be less than effective. Many parents do not make or keep appointments for their assessment and subsequent treatment. Because of a low percentage in engagement rates; the Department of Children and Families created a Statewide Substance Abuse Call Center Initiative. In October of 2013, SEFBN in partnership with the Department, our own SAMH Providers and the lead Community Based Care Agencies in Circuit 15 and 19 and created our own substance abuse call center pilot program. To date, the call center program has scheduled over 2,000 appointments for assessments and has offered parents access to assessment services in a more efficient manner as parents are given an appointment within 5 days of their first contact to the call center.
Prevention Services are proactive processes which utilize strategies designed to reduce problems related to mental health and substance abuse. The measures seek to empower individuals and organizations to meet the challenges and transitions of life, by creating and reinforcing healthy behaviors and lifestyles and reducing the risks of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use… and their related issues. These strategies / measures strive to reduce individual, family, and environmental risk factors, increase resilience and enhance protective factors. The programs are evidence-based and seek to accomplish measurable outcomes. This is achieved through the cultivation of individual and community wellness via an individually focused, team or collaborative approach. The strategies’ goals are to alter and impede factors that support the development of substance abuse and mental health problems; and seeks to increase public awareness of healthy options, through information, education, and alternative-focused activities. .
SEFBHN funds programs are implemented in the five counties: Palm Beach, Indian River, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Martin counties, and address both Children and Adult Mental Health and Substance Abuse concerns. Adult services are provided in selected locations within selected communities. Prevention Services for children and families are often provided in public schools and, also, within the community.
Florida LINC Project
Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network is pleased to announce the partnership with The Florida Linking Individuals Needing Care (FL LINC) Project. A collaborative SAMHSA Garrett Lee Smith Act State Grant with the Florida Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention, Florida Council for Community Mental Health, the University of South Florida and the University of Central Florida. The FL LINC Project which is a 5 year grant the ME received in order to decrease suicide rates and attempts through awareness and education, support, partnership with providers in the community, and advocacy.
The Florida Linking Individuals Needing Care (Florida LINC) Project is a partnership between the Florida Office of Suicide Prevention (SOSP), the Florida Council for Community Mental Health and the University of South Florida (USF) to innovatively enhance services to reach at-risk priority populations and ensure that young people receive needed services. The Inter-Agency Dissemination and Collaborative Network, the state suicide prevention infrastructure, will partner with up to three competitively selected applicant behavioral health regional coordinating service entities and utilize a sustainable mentorship model to continue to enhance, expand, and implement culturally sensitive, evidence-based (EBP) suicide prevention and early intervention strategies. Partnering entities will be selected based on need; prior suicide prevention experience; organizational capacity; established interagency partnerships and referral networks; community and stakeholder buy-in; and commitment to evaluation.
The goals/measurable objectives are to (a) continue to enhance the SOSP by cultivating sustainable partnerships; (b) expand the number of culturally competent trainers; (c) increase the quantity/quality of adult prevention gatekeepers; (d) utilize innovative training to increase: (i) the number of community and school personnel trained to manage crises associated with suicide, (ii) the number of youths/family members taught coping and support skills to prevent the development of suicide risk, and (iii) the quantity/quality of care coordinators able to link and track at-risk youths to cross-system, wrap around services; (e) increase distribution of prevention materials; (f) increase family involvement; (g) increase the number of at-risk youth identified by gatekeeper activities; (h) improve the quantity/quality of professional assessments of at-risk youth especially in high risk settings; and, (i) increase the number of referrals and successful, sustainable treatment, recovery, and support linkages for at-risk youth. Over 5 years, the project will prevent suicide morbidity and mortality by (1) conducting EBP training of adults [Question, Persuade, Refer, with 6,000 adults trained]; (2) training 300 mental health professionals [QPR’s Suicide Risk Assessment and Management training] and 465 care coordinators [Linking Individuals Needing Care] with EBP/evidence-informed (EIP) programs; (3) providing skills training to 220 students [Penn Resiliency Program] and 720 family members [It’s Time to Talk about It Family Training] with EBP/EIP programs; (4) disseminating suicide prevention materials [16,000 National Lifeline materials and It’s Time to Talk about it Family Guides distributed]; and (5) training 450 school/community personnel with an EIP program [Pillars of Postvention for Suicide Events].
Prevention efforts will target specific service sectors and at-risk youth (10-24): young adults not in school, youths involved with juvenile justice and foster care, military families, survivors of suicide attempts and loss, LGBTQ youth, AI/AN and Latino youths, and substance abuse, mental health, primary care, emergency department, and inpatient psychiatric settings. Independent quality assurance and evaluation efforts will be conducted by USF.