Benefits Access Project Helps Those With Disabilities

There are many individuals in our community who are disabled due to severe mental illness. Many of these individuals receive disability income from SSI or SSDI – but many do not. The very disability that qualifies them for these benefits prevents them from following through with the complicated and bureaucratic process of applying for services.

A number of agencies in the community have staff that can assist a client with this process. However, clients often don’t return for follow up appointments, or they start applications through more than one agency.

MHAP has received a grant from the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of this process. With this grant, MHAP has formed a collaborative of agencies called the Benefits Access Project (BAP). These agencies will use a shared database to track the process of client applications, reconnect clients with Case Managers at other agencies, and prevent duplicate applications that slow down the approval process. In addition, the Case Managers at each agency will be trained to submit more effective applications.

The goal of the grant is to increase the number of qualified disabled clients who are receiving SSI/SSDI/Medicaid benefits by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the process.

Criminal Justice Mental Health Data Linkage Initiative

In response to the tremendous growth of the inmate population in Hamilton County over the past decade, and the increase in arrest of adults with severe mental illness, the Hamilton County Criminal Justice (CJ) and Mental Health Systems (MH) have identified several problems related to the custody of mentally ill offenders, recidivism, co-occurring disorders, overuse of institutional resources, and ineffective information use.

In its continuing role as a collaborator as the front door for persons to access services through the Hamilton County Mental Health Services and Recovery Board (HCMHSRB), Mental Health Access Point (MHAP) has developed a shared electronic data infrastructure linking Hamilton County Jail to local Mental Health Case Management Agencies informing them daily of the detaining of their clients. The Criminal Justice – Mental health Data Linkage Electronic Program has been in place since December ’08.

Through effective collaboration from Pre-Trial Services, case managers are able to visit their clients at the Hamilton County Jail, provide assistance in the development of a plan for possible early release, diversion prior to sentencing, confirm medication regimen with the MH Unit, and assist their clients with court appearances, schedules, dispositions, and release, working alongside various divisions of the Justice Center (Public Defense Attorney, Mentally Disabled Offender Probation Unit, Court Services Municipal and Common Pleas, the Mental Health Unit, and Sheriff’s Records).

Central Clinic Winter Newsletter Now Online

The latest edition of the Central Clinic newsletter, Connections, is now available for download. Articles include a statement on the current economic crisis by CEO and President, Dr. Walter Smitson; volunteer opportunities; the Young Child Institute receiving the Mayerson Foundation Grant; and much more!

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or other compatible PDF viewer for this document. To download Reader, please click here.

Download: Central Clinic Connections Winter 08

Court Clinic AIW Program Wins SAMHSA

SAMHSA Announces First Science and Service Award Winners

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has selected 20 organizations to receive the agency’s inaugural Science and Service Awards. These awards recognize exemplary implementation of evidence-based interventions to prevent and treat mental illnesses and substance abuse.
The new annual awards program provides recognition to public sector organizations and community-based groups and coalitions that have worked to improve their communities and the lives of individuals by providing the best services possible.
“The success that these organizations have demonstrated and the positive impact that they’ve had on individuals and families is visible proof of the importance and direct benefit of using the latest strategies to prevent and treat mental illnesses and substance abuse in our communities,” said SAMHSA Administrator Terry Cline, Ph.D.
Four awardees were chosen in each of five categories: substance abuse prevention; treatment of substance abuse and recovery support services; mental health promotion; treatment of mental illness and recovery support services; and co-occurring disorders. 
The 20 awardees were selected based on independent reviews of 115 applications, as well as site visits. To be eligible for an award, an organization had to demonstrate successful implementation of a recognized evidence-based intervention, including interventions that have been published in the scientific literature and/or appear on a federal or state registry. Awards were made to the following organizations:
Central Clinic, Court Clinic, Cincinnati – received an award in the treatment of substance abuse and recovery support services category for implementing Helping Women Recover and Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment.

Treatment of Substance Abuse and Recovery Support Services Programs

Central Clinic/Court Clinic
Alternative Interventions for Women Program
Helping Women Recover & Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment
513-558-5808 (Central Clinic)
513-651-9300 (Alternative Interventions for Women)
A need was identified in Cincinnati, Ohio for sentencing alternatives for women, reduced recidivism, and decreases in jail overcrowding. A collaborative effort was formed to coordinate the criminal justice, mental health, and substance abuse systems to overcome system barriers and provide appropriate services for offenders. The Alternative Interventions for Women melds two evidence-based models – Helping Women Recover and Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment – to meet the unique needs of these female clients. A strong collaborative partnership is essential to the program’s success. An integral component of this collaborative model is monthly data analysis and outcome measurement to maximize quality assurance and solve problems. A process evaluation assesses client improvement and program effectiveness at fixed intervals throughout the project and client outcomes are assessed at the beginning and completion of program. Rates of client recidivism are tracked for a three-year period. Outcome data show reductions in symptoms, decreased substance abuse, decreased recidivism, improved family functioning, and reductions in the number of children needing out of home care.


You can read the entire press release at the following link: