RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The state health department’s Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services will direct $4.4 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to fund 15 mobile units that will treat people struggling with substance use disorders, according to NCDHHS.
The mobile units will provide screening, assessment, treatment, primary care, and recovery support services.
“Like the rest of the country, North Carolina has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chief Deputy Secretary for Health Kody H. Kinsley. “Meeting people where they are, especially in our rural communities, is a key priority and critical to responding to this crisis.”
The funds were dispersed among three Locally Managed Entities/Managed Care Organizations interested in using mobile care units in underserved communities.
Eastpointe received $2,500,000 and purchased six RVs that will be used to offer peer support, access to evidence-based therapies, case management to address social determinants of health, and to distribute naloxone to help prevent overdose deaths.
“Eastpointe is thrilled to have the opportunity to expand access to these evidence-based services,” said Eastpointe CEO Sarah Stroud. “This investment is another example of our dedication to helping deliver community-based care to every corner of our 10 counties.”
Partners Health Management received $515,000 and purchased two mobile Community Response Units. One unit will be used by Phoenix Counseling Center and be dispatched with local law enforcement negotiating teams to provide behavioral health assistance during emergencies. The other Crisis Response Unit will be supported by Catawba Valley Behavioral Healthcare to provide crisis intervention and other health-related services.
“Each person and each community is unique and we know the most effective care is delivered locally,” said Rhett Melton, CEO with Partners Health Management. “We are privileged to have the opportunity to partner with Phoenix and CVBH to meet our members and families where they are and offer the highest quality care in the communities we serve.”
Trillium Health Resources received $1,420,000 and purchased seven mobile units. Partnering with Monarch, RHA Health Services and Port Health, they will provide substance use services and other healthcare needs.
“This pandemic has provided physical evidence to the disparities experienced by people of color and rural residents in our health care system,” said Cindy Ehlers, Executive Vice President with Trillium. “If provider locations are not accessible or available, people often miss basic treatment or procedures for preventable conditions. Trillium is excited to work with these providers to meet our communities where they live to help ease access and improve their well-being.”
Some mobile units are currently operational and all will be in service by Spring 2022.