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Veterans Recovery Resources, an organization that offers substance abuse and mental health treatment for veterans, first responders and their families, received a two-year $14 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It will use the funds to adopt the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) model for care.
Jeremy Fletcher, VRR’s director of community integration, said the grant will cover the cost of providing the services necessary for the organization to receive the CCBHC classification. The model focuses on creating a community that supports veterans as they go through their recovery process.

“Prior to receiving the grant funding, we were probably at about 85% of those services,” Fletcher said. “The good news is that this will enable us to hire a lot more staff and be able to expand what we’re currently doing. There is one particular area that this will allow us to help address some of the unmet needs within children and adolescents with social emotional disturbances as well. This is an area that we have not been involved heavily in that this grant will enable us to be a part of.”

Fletcher said the grant will allow VRR to function as a kind of “one-stop shop” for patients. The grant will allow them to hire another primary care provider as well as a psychiatrist, which will allow them to manage the medications of their patients to a much greater degree.

“We do a lot of care coordination currently,” he said. “And with this grant, it’ll allow us to do medication management as well as behavioral counseling within our clinic itself. We still offer physical therapy and occupational therapy services, but this will expand our ability to do that.”

By providing so many services themselves, it allows VRR to take the burden of coordinating the appropriate care off of the family’s shoulders. This generally improves patient outcomes as well, as providers are able to effectively communicate with each other. However, this is not the extent of VRR’s services.

“The real niche that we’re trying to build here, over the long haul, is actually an unmet need for residential and withdrawal management,” Fletcher said.

When people are at the end of their rope and reaching out for help, there are no residential places available to them in the area. The closest, Fletcher said, is just south of Birmingham.

Last December, VRR broke ground on a renovation project to create an inpatient residential and detox facility. The 18,000 square foot facility will have beds for clinically monitored detoxification, 16 beds for residential treatment and 20 beds for short-term care for veterans who are transitioning from homelessness.

Fletcher said VRR’s goal is for renovations on the facility to be completed by Veteran’s Day in 2022.

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