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Riverside Community Care Welcomes SAMHSA Grant to Expand Access to Care

Norwood and Milford Communities Will Benefit from Extra Supports for Mental Health and Substance Use

DEDHAM, MA – Riverside Community Care, a leader in behavioral healthcare and human services, is pleased to have been awarded a $1.5M grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Riverside will use the grant to focus on enhancing capacity within outpatient services to meet surging community demand for behavioral healthcare exacerbated by the pandemic.

Since the onset of the pandemic, over 1/3 of all Americans have reported new or worsening mental health problems. In some segments of the population – notably teens and young adults – the rates are even higher. Opioid overdoses have also risen in Massachusetts, with a 5% increase in 2020 – 102 more fatalities than in 2019 (source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health).

While Riverside quickly pivoted to telehealth during the pandemic and provided 10,000 more therapy and medication management appointments in the first year of the pandemic as compared to the previous year, the demand for behavioral healthcare remains so high that additional supports remain critically needed. With the new funding, Riverside will be able to extend access to at least 600 additional people with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders. Funds will be used to hire more clinical and medical staff in the high-demand Norwood and Milford areas of Massachusetts and to expand hours at the Riverside Outpatient Centers in order to serve more people at times that are convenient for them.

Therapists will use evidence-based and brief-treatment therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to address issues like mild-to-moderate depression and anxiety, which will enable additional clinicians to work for longer terms with more serious mental health conditions.  Additionally, nurses and medical assistants will join Riverside teams to increase urgent-access care and medication-assisted treatment, to help mitigate the burgeoning opioid addiction crisis. Technology will receive a boost too, with a platform to securely share records in real-time with labs and hospitals.

With the help of the SAMHSA grant, Riverside will work to close the widening gap between available therapy options and the growing number of people who are reaching out for behavioral healthcare.

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