(PHOENIX – March 12, 2020) – Southwest Behavioral & Health Services (SB&H), an innovative leader in behavioral health, received a $524,659 grant from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The funds will be used to expand Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) services to Maricopa County’s criminal justice population, the fourth largest jail system in the nation.
The SAMHSA grant will enable SB&H to increase MAT access and other supportive services to individuals with Opioid Use Disorders (OUD) in the criminal justice system. The comprehensive program will include a full array of treatment including coordinated and integrated care, recovery support services, and prevention activities to increase the treatment rate of individuals with OUD encountering the criminal justice system. The program will serve 200 individuals with OUD annually and 600 people throughout the lifetime of the project.
“This SAMHSA grant paves the way in bringing valuable resources to a group of individuals who need easily accessible substance abuse and dependence treatment,” said Southwest Behavioral & Health Services CEO Steven Sheets. “This partnership will increase MAT services and enhance access to care. Our goal is to improve outcomes for individuals suffering from opioid use addiction and the systems trying to help them.”
The program is supported and has commitment from the presiding chief justice, the sheriff, chief probation officer of Maricopa County probation, and the medical director of the correctional health system along with community behavioral health providers. Using the Collective Impact Model, the partnership will work to build funding mechanisms and service delivery models to provide improved treatment and recovery support services that effectively treat individuals with OUD and facilitate long-term recovery.
Added Sheets, “Most U.S. correctional facilities do not initiate MAT services for incarcerated individuals or continue services upon their release from prison. Because of this, the highest rates of opioid overdose for individuals in the criminal justice population occur within weeks of being released from prison. We hope to change that.”
About Southwest Behavioral & Health Services
Incorporated in 1974 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Southwest Behavioral & Health Services provides services in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, rural Maricopa County, Gila, Mohave, Coconino, and Yavapai counties. Our Mission: “We inspire people to feel better and reach their potential. Through helping people discover their strengths, we improve our communities.” SB&H offers an array of programs to meet the unique needs of the communities we serve. These include outpatient mental health treatment and psychiatric services including medication monitoring; assistance for persons with addictions; intensive inpatient care for persons in crisis; residential housing, in-home and supported housing services; prevention services, community outreach and school-based counseling; services throughout the lifespan for members with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); and four opioid replacement clinics throughout the state that are working tirelessly to save lives and help alleviate the statewide crisis. More recently, integrated care and value based contracting have been initiated to offer a more flexible and culturally sensitive approach to clients served and resolve the historical challenges of fragmented care. For more information on SB&H, please visit www.sbhservices.org.