WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, along with Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, today announced that Thrive Behavioral Health, Inc. and Newport Mental Health have been awarded $8 million in federal grant funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services. All four members of Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation advocated for this federal funding earlier this year in a joint letter to SAMHSA.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked unprecedented fear and anxiety making this a crucial time to expand access to substance use and mental health support for Rhode Islanders,” said the members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation in a joint statement. “While necessary to keep communities safe, social distancing and quarantining have left many feeling isolated and made it more challenging to access important mental health services. These critical funds will enable proven local mental health organizations to reach and help people most in need during this crisis.”

The grants will increase access to and improve the quality of community mental health and substance use disorder treatment services in Rhode Island by expanding Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs). The mission of CCBHCs is to provide person- and family-centered integrated services and in so doing, improve the quality of life of communities.

“Thrive Behavioral Health, Newport Mental Health and their Horizon Healthcare Partner Community Care Alliance hold the distinction of being the only three Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics in Rhode Island,” stated CEO Daniel Kubas-Meyer. “This means that our clients receive the highest quality of care that incorporates proven and effective models of treatment.”

Thrive and Newport Mental Health have been awarded $4 million each over two years, and will serve as the leads on the grants. Jamie Lehane, CEO of Newport Mental Health said, “The award of these grants could not have come at a better time as the long lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mental health is just starting to be felt. We’re thinking outside of the box and challenging the whole system to move quickly with us to address what has been growing mental health crisis in our state.”

Both Newport Mental Health and Thrive will extend this funding to Community Care Alliance, and CODAC Behavioral Healthcare so that Rhode Island residents will have easy access to treatment throughout the Ocean State.

At 24%, Rhode Island has the highest level of mental illness among adults nationally, and 34% of children who needed mental health treatment or counseling in the past 12 months did not receive the care they required. The CCBHC expansion grant program provides Rhode Islanders with access to services including 24/7 crisis intervention services for individuals with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders including opioid use disorders; children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance; and individuals with co-occurring mental and substance disorders.

Over the two-year grant period, the funding will enable the state’s community mental health centers and their partners to expand evidence-based behavioral health practices to over 10,000 adults, children and families throughout Rhode Island who currently do not have access to services.