ICL Awarded $2.2M Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Grant

At ICL, In The Media

Grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to Support Behavioral Health Services in Brooklyn. Expansion and enhancement of integrated, whole-health care, with a focus on the Latinx population in the neighborhoods surrounding ICL’s East New York Health Hub.

(New York, N.Y.)—Today, the Institute for Community Living (ICL), a premier innovator of whole health care that serves more than 12,000 New Yorkers each year, announced it has been awarded a $2.2M Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Only 100 grants were awarded nationally, including 10 in New York State. The grant will support ICL’s work providing behavioral health services in East New York, Brownsville, Cypress Hills, Ocean Hill, and Bedford-Stuyvesant, which are all communities with disproportionately poor health outcomes among residents. The award will allow ICL to expand and enhance services for children, adolescents, and their families through a Whole Family Health Model, with a focus on meeting the unique needs of the substantially underserved monolingual Spanish-speaking population as well as veterans.

The grant will enable ICL to hire bilingual outreach and engagement specialists, family peer support partners, social workers, a care coordinator, a veteran specialist, and an employment specialist. Under the ICL Whole Family Health Model, an interdisciplinary, bilingual care team will work with clients and their families to complete a comprehensive assessment and develop care plans for each family member and the family unit. The grant will fund services to 1,000 children, adults, and veterans over the course of two years.

“The pandemic has created a mental health crisis throughout our society, but distressed communities with high rates of violence, unemployment, and poverty, were struggling long before the pandemic,” said David Woodlock, President & CEO of ICL. “We thank SAMHSA for this generous grant that will allow us to build on the work being done at our East New York Health Hub and better deliver services that meet the diverse needs of the Latinx community and veterans in eastern Brooklyn. We can help individuals, families, and communities get better by improving access to behavioral health treatment and working to address issues that we know have a profound impact on health, like economic and housing instability, food insecurity, and institutional racism.”

“For decades, systemic inequalities, including a lack of access to health care services, have left underserved and communities of color especially vulnerable to mental health issues,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY).
“The COVID-19 crisis has further exacerbated the need for mental health care as the devastation of the virus and it’s economic toll continue to leave many more struggling.

That is why it is so critical that at the federal level, we have allocated $2.2 million in grant funding to ICL, so they can continue to provide and expand culturally sensitive behavioral health services to high-need areas including Cypress Hills and East New York in my district. As New York begins to reopen, we must recognize and address the collective and individual trauma of the pandemic with meaningful and community-based services such as those provided by ICL.”

ICL opened its East New York Health Hub in October 2018. The 40,000-square-foot, $30 million health and community center on the border of East New York and Brownsville takes a holistic approach to tackling long-standing health disparities in communities that are home to large Latinx, African American, and Caribbean populations. The neighborhoods surrounding the Hub have some of the highest rates of poverty, food insecurity, and violence in New York City. This has led to poor health outcomes including high rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, substance misuse, and behavioral health-related hospitalizations. Latinx families in particular experience significant barriers to behavioral health care. Studies show that they are less likely to receive treatment for depression, anxiety, and other behavioral health issues than white families.

The Hub offers programs and services to address both the socio-economic and clinical determinants of health. Individuals and families have access to a full array of services, including primary care—through a Federally Qualified Community Health Center operated by the Community Healthcare Network—mental health care, care coordination, housing services, nutritional support, job placement, youth and parent advocacy (including school support), and recovery. This approach, which addresses both physical and mental health and social determinants of health like housing, employment, and healthy food access makes the East New York Health Hub a national model for integrated primary and behavioral health care.

Each year ICL works with New Yorkers struggling with mental illness, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities to be better, feel better, and live better. In the past year, ICL clients saw a 59 percent reduction in emergency room visits and an 83 percent reduction in hospitalizations for mental health reasons.

The organization provides life-saving mental health and substance abuse services; care coordination; and temporary shelter and long-term housing for low-income, underserved, and homeless individuals and families in New York City. ICL supports people by providing trauma-informed, recovery-oriented, person-centered, integrated physical and behavioral health care.

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