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FYI Plus receives ‘transformative’ financial grant


Families and Youth Innovations Plus (FYI+) of Las Cruces has received a nearly $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) “to transition into New Mexico’s first certified community behavioral health clinic (CCBHC), FYI+ said in a news release.

“In 2021, our team reimagined, recharged and rebranded our agency as FYI+,” CEO Brian Kavanaugh said. “Today, we accept this transformative award from SAMHSA that will strengthen our responsive, collaborative efforts and impact by increasing access to and availability of a comprehensive range of quality behavioral health and community-based services in our region, which it wholeheartedly deserves.”

Kavanaugh said the grant will mean eight-10 new hires at the onset, and that number could double or triple “as the model is built over the coming year and beyond,” he said.

The central operation of CCBHC will be housed at FYI+’s main office at 1320 S. Solano Drive, Kavanaugh said.

FYI+ received SAMHSA funding for its grant submission “Advancing Care in Southern New Mexico through CCBHC Implementation,” which indicated that one-third of the region’s residents need mental health services, and 30 percent of those residing in colonias identify a need for mental health support, FYI+ said, citing a New Mexico State University Center for Community Analysis September 2020 report.

“This funding, combined with our dedicated team, has the potential to shift the trajectory of mental and behavioral health outcomes in our region,” said FYI+ Chief Operating Officer Jolene Martinez. “Through a collaborative effort with Incite Network, our team was able to develop a strategy and narrative which compelled SAMHSA to validate our community’s needs and provide resources to change its course.”

“Knowing that we played a role in FYI+’s growth and the region’s increased capacity for behavioral health support is why we do what we do,” said Janet Mendoza, a senior strategist for the Incite Network, which has offices in Las Cruces and El Paso and helps health and human services organizations and others with strategic planning, program design and fund development, according to www.incite-network.com.)

FYI+ said the grant is “strongly supported” by New Mexico Human Services Department’s Behavioral Health Services Division (BHSD) Director Neal A. Bowen.

In a region known for its health disparities, these funds will assist FYI+ (guided by CCBHC certification criteria) to elevate the community’s behavioral health systems through planning for, developing and implementing a CCBHC; providing a comprehensive range of outreach, screening, assessment, treatment, care coordination and recovery supports; and supporting recovery from mental illness and/or substance use disorders by providing access to high-quality mental health and SUD services, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay, FYI+ said.

“The CCBHC model is considered as the ‘gold standard’ of delivery system transformation, according to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing,” Kavanaugh said. “The award from SAMSHA was simply not possible without the countless contributions and the high level of passion, commitment and dedication the FYI+ team has provided to our community throughout the years.

“The CCBHC model reinforces and accelerates our drive to continuously strengthen the care continuum, focus heavily on person- and family-centered integrated services and collaborative efforts across sectors and organizations, and to not only expand the number and variety of services available, but to make certain the services that are available are provided in a timely manner,” he said.

“Additionally, the CCBHC model allows for FYI+ to build a comprehensive delivery system of care in a financially sustainable manner, which will enhance our ability to recruit, retain and train and develop a strong workforce,” he said. “Building out the CCBHC model at FYI+ will bring more opportunity for all of us to better understand, influence and change social inequities in health care and related support services and serve our community better.”

“We were awarded this grant because our application demonstrated the highest levels of readiness and capacity to participate in the CCBHC certification process,” Kavanaugh said. “The award does not instantaneously make us a CCBHC; what it does is provide us the funding and technical assistance from SAMSHA and the state to work towards certification and ultimately become a ‘certified community behavioral health clinic.’"

FYI+ offers a wide range of community-based services to children, young adults and families, including its summer food program, therapy programs, housing and shelter resources and child well-being supports. The nonprofit began service in 1977.

For more information, contact Martinez at jmartinez@fyinm.org. Call FYI+ at 575-522-4004.

Visit https://fyiplusnm.org/.

Families and Youth Innovations Plus