DMHAS: OOC Messages 11.16.07

Message from the Office Of the Commissioner
November 16,2007
   {Sabrina Trocchi}  
Sabrina Trocchi, Executive Assistant

Supplementing State Resources and Services Through Federal Funds


The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) has excelled in the area of supplementing state resources and services to support the implementation of innovative enhancements to Connecticut’s behavioral health system. Most recently these efforts have resulted in over $15.6 million in new federal funding. These funds, as revenue enhancements which cannot be used to supplant state funds, enable the Department to increase its prevention and treatment capacity, enhance recovery-oriented services, and address the needs of individuals with behavioral health disorders, without tapping into finite state resources. These new grants, detailed below, offer DMHAS the opportunity to introduce research and development options to dramatically move our system and services to promote and achieve a value-driven, culturally responsive, and recovery-oriented system of care.


  • $14.5 Million to Support Clinical Treatment and Recovery Services for People with Substance Use Issues. The Federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) awarded DMHAS a $14.5 million, 3-year grant to increase statewide access to clinical substance abuse treatment and recovery services. The Connecticut Access to Recovery (ATR) Program expands the state’s continuum of clinical treatment to include Buprenorphine (a medication used to treat heroin addiction and non-prescription use of painkillers), enhanced intensive outpatient for people with co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders, clinical recovery check-ups, and recovery support services, including case management, housing, employment, transportation, and peer- and faith-based supports.

    The ATR Program is a private-public partnership among the Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), Correction (DOC), Children and Families (DCF), and the Judicial Branch—Court Support Services Division (CSSD), and community clinical, faith, and peer-based service providers.  
  • $672,000 to Further Reduce Use of Restraint and Seclusion. The federal Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) awarded DMHAS a $642,000, 3-year grant to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to continue reducing use of restraint and seclusion among young adults, 18 to 25 years old, with serious mental illnesses. The initiative will focus on two DMHAS-operated inpatient facilities–Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, and Cedarcrest Hospital in Newington. Funding available through this grant will help devise, assess, and refine these interventions and continue DMHAS’ well-established trend toward reduced use of seclusion and restraint. While the grant focuses on interventions for young adults, lessons learned will be applicable to other age groups.

    During the past several years, DMHAS has extraordinarily low levels of use of restraint and seclusion. The Alternative to Restraint and Seclusion State Incentive Grant offers additional resources to support development of strategies that will continue this trend, while promoting the Department’s vision of establishing a recovery-oriented system of care 
  • $500,000 to Continue Emphasis on Person-Centered Planning for People with Mental Illness. The federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services awarded DMHAS a $500,000, 3-year grant for training and technical assistance in support of statewide implementation of person-centered planning (PCP) for people with psychiatric disorders. PCP empowers people with these conditions to become actively involved in decision making about the specific services and supports to be used in meeting their unique needs. 

    The grant will enable DMHAS to develop capacity for person-centered planning in local mental health authorities (LMHAs) throughout Connecticut. Training and technical assistance will be used to assist the LMHAs with implementation of the program. In addition, the following components will enhance the effort: a) development of a web-based person-centered care planning tool, b) creation of a web-based comprehensive directory of community-based resources, and c) mentoring services provided by people with psychiatric disabilities who are specially trained to offer peer supports designed to maximize an individual’s self-direction and participation in community life. Research studies have shown the peer support component helps promote recovery among people with psychiatric disabilities.

    Thanks to the Department of Social Services (DSS) for their support of this initiative.  

Comments are welcome at

Content Last Modified on 11/16/2007 3:41:53 PM