FAQ’s on Becoming a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic

Certification will Expand Access to Behavioral Health Care in Wake County

Becoming a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic is a game-changer for SouthLight. This grant from the NC Department of Health and Human Services will allow SouthLight to expand access to comprehensive mental health and substance use services to individuals and families in our community, regardless of ability to pay or place of residence. 

So what exactly why is SouthLight working to become a CCHBC, what services are provided and how does this benefit our community? Here are some frequently asked questions to get a better understanding and find out how you can get involved.

SouthLight will become the first and only CCBHC in Wake County, and one of only 13 across the state.  

SouthLight CCBHC
CCBHC services


What is a CCHBC?

A Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, CCBHC, is a model of care designed to ensure people have access to comprehensive, coordinated behavioral health care. CCBHCs must serve anyone who requests mental health or substance use treatment, regardless of their ability to pay or place or residence. 

How is a CCBHC different than other behavioral health clinics?

CCBHCs are required to meet a set of standards for the services they provide, and getting people into care quickly is a priority. CCBHCs are also required to provide a comprehensive continuum of services and must provide care coordination to help people get all the services they need. 

What is an easy way to describe what it means to become a CCBHC?

SouthLight is on the path to becoming a CCBHC, and we have one year to meet all the compliance requirements. A CCBHC is a certification, a model of care or treatment philosophy, that will recognize SouthLight as meeting a set of standards to improve access to coordinated behavioral healthcare in Wake County. 

What is SouthLight working on to become a CCHBC?

SouthLight applied for a grant from the NC Department of Health and Human Services to become a CCBHC, and was one of five organizations across the state selected and awarded the grant. The grant provides funding to allow us to expand to meet the requirements, and helps to off-set financial losses due to low reimbursement rates for many of the services provided.  

SouthLight already provides many of the required services, and becoming a CCBHC will highlight and recognize the great work we do every day.  

How will becoming a CCBHC help SouthLight better serve our community?

Becoming a CCBHC will allow SouthLight to expand access to behavioral health care, primary care services, and crisis services, to better address social determinants of health for the people we serve, and to improve staff retention and our staff experiences at SouthLight.  

What criteria has to be met to become a CCHBC?

There are 6 criteria areas that establish a basic level of service that all CCBHCs must meet. The 6 areas of compliance include: 

What services are required as a CCHBC?

There are 9 required services. CCBHCs have the option to provide the service themselves, or through formal partnerships with other community organizations called Designated Collaborating Organizations (DCO). The 9 required services include: 

How many CCHBC’s are there?

Currently, there are less than 500 CCBHCs in the US, 9 established CCBHC’s in NC, and 4 additional organizations (including SouthLight) in NC that are working towards becoming a CCBHC.  SouthLight will be Wake County’s first and only CCBHC. 

How can I get connected on program collaboration or volunteer opportunities?

Kathryn Schley is the Director of the CCBHC.  She’d be happy to connect with you.  She can be reached at

If I want to make a donation to support the development of the CCHBC, how can I contribute?

Financial donations can be made by going to the SouthLight donate now page.

Or, for in-kind contributions or questions about donations and our SouthLight wish list, please reach out to Jim Dempsey at

If I want to invite SouthLight to present to my organization to educate people about substance use and mental health services, who should I contact?

Karen Cook oversees community engagement for the CCBHC.  She can be reached at