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The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), collaborating with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) SOAR Technical Assistance Center, offers on-site technical assistance (TA) to communities interested in implementing or expanding the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) model, aiding individuals at risk of homelessness or returning from institutions in navigating complex benefits systems. The TA, likely occurring in May or June 2024, requires community coordination and commitment. You can also view the one-pager regarding SOAR outcomes and an overview. Providers interested in participating should complete this survey. For any questions, contact Lauren MacWithey.

If you have any further questions, please contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) has issued Licensing Alert 02-2024, effective immediately, to inform opioid treatment programs (OTP) about the recent final rule issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on February 2, 2024, concerning medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). RCPA issued an alert to its members on February 1 announcing the final rule.

This rule modifies and updates regulations pertaining to OTP accreditation, certification, and standards for the treatment of OUD. The most crucial aspects of SAMHSA’s final rule include the permanent adoption of COVID-19 era flexibilities, allowing patients to receive more take-home doses of methadone, which is proven to enhance treatment retention and reduce illicit opioid use. The update also permits the initiation of methadone and buprenorphine treatment via telehealth through OTPs and removes stringent admission criteria, thereby improving access to care for individuals in need.

DDAP is currently reviewing the final rule, set to take effect on April 2, 2024, with a compliance deadline of October 2, 2024, and plans to issue a follow-up Licensing Alert soon. For further information, contact the Bureau of Program Licensure.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will host a Region 3 virtual town hall, “Expanding the Behavioral Health Workforce: Common Elements Treatment Approach,” from 9:45 am – 12:00 pm on Tuesday, December 5, 2024. The purpose of the town hall is to share information and outcomes about an innovative solution to address workforce challenges with rural, veteran, Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), and international examples.

Information is now available about the event’s speakers, including the agenda. Interested participants can register online. For inquiries, contact Jean Bennett or Jeanne Tuono of SAMHSA.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released updated guidance on the CCBHC Quality Measurements. The guidance provides revisions regarding monitoring of the demonstration project programs:

Additionally, SAMHSA has released a series of webinars and PowerPoints aimed at providing technical assistance for CCBHC providers, listed below:

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp.

In 2008, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published the ACT Evidence-Based Practices KIT (hereinafter referred to as SAMHSA’s 2008 ACT Toolkit), a toolkit to help mental health agencies and teams implement ACT. The toolkit also includes information on fidelity: the extent to which an intervention is delivered as conceived. Both the toolkit and fidelity tools have received widespread use throughout the United States, and ACT principles remain consistent with the 2008 publication.

However, there is growing interest in extending ACT to certain populations and settings, including youth, justice-involved clients, immigrants and refugees, and rural communities. Driven by a need to deliver contextually responsive and culturally relevant services, these extensions often necessitate modifications, making it especially important to monitor fidelity. Research consistently demonstrates that higher fidelity to the ACT model produces better outcomes.

This follow-up and companion product Maintaining Fidelity to ACT: Current Issues and Innovations in Implementation reviews ACT principles, summarizes contemporary issues impacting ACT teams, and examines aspects of ACT implementation when extending the model to specific populations and settings. The goal of this guide is to ensure continued efficacy of ACT by reaffirming its principles while promoting awareness of new developments that providers may want to consider when implementing the model.

RCPA will be following up with the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) on the implementation and the integration of the new toolkit. If you have any questions, please contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), in partnership with Temple University Harrisburg, is hosting the 2023 Behavioral Health Crisis Planning Symposium from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Thursday, September 14 at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey. This event focuses on offering recovery-oriented support for individuals with behavioral health issues in community-based settings. The symposium aligns with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Guidelines for Behavioral Health Crisis Care and will showcase successful crisis approaches from other states, offering insights into SAMHSA’s vision for an accessible crisis care continuum. The symposium targets various stakeholders, including county leaders, service providers, advocates, law enforcement, and more. To register, visit this link.