On the Path to Becoming a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic 

Becoming a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) allows SouthLight to expand on the great work we’ve done over the past 53 years, with a focus on increasing access to behavioral and physical health services for people in our community.

In July 2022, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) awarded SouthLight Healthcare a three-year grant to increase access to and improve the quality of behavioral health services in Wake County.

SouthLight was selected as one of five recipients across the state to become a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). This grant 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 insurance status.

The path to becoming a CCBHC requires SouthLight to provide, or contract to provide, a detailed set of services, and to comply with stringent CCBHC standards of care and practice. In addition, SouthLight is required to collect and report data in an effort to increase access and improve the quality of community-based mental health and substance use services.

Becoming a CCBHC will allow SouthLight to expand access to services such as same-day behavioral healthcare, mobile crisis services, treatment for opioid use disorder, primary care, community-based treatment, and care coordination.

Wake County is now the largest county by population in NC, and growing at a rate of over 60 people per day, with over 1 million residents.  SouthLight will become the first and only CCBHC in Wake County, and one of only 13 across the state.

I know that becoming a CCBHC will only allow SouthLight to serve more people, more efficiently, and with the compassion and person-centered approach that we bring to our work each day.

Kathryn Schley, CCBHC Senior Director 

Goals

Expand access to behavioral health care
Expand access to primary care services
Expand crisis services
Decrease barriers to care by addressing social determinants of health
Improve staff retention and staff experiences

What is a CCBHC?

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. 

CCBHC FAQ

+ What is a CCBHC? 

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. 

+ Why is SouthLight working to become a CCBHC?

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 CCBHC?

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

  • Staffing: A Staffing plan that includes ensuring licensing and training for staff to support service delivery 
  • Availability and Accessibility of Services:  Standards for timely access to services, outreach and engagement, crisis services, and accepting all people, regardless of ability to pay or residence 
  • Care Coordination: Creating treatment teams and care coordination agreements with other treatment providers to ensure communication and coordination of care 
  • Scope of Services: Provide, or partner to provide, 9 required services, and person-centered, family-centered, recovery-oriented care 
  • Quality and Other Reporting: 21 quality measures, including a quality improvement plan, and tracking program requirements 
  • Organizational Authority and Governance: Ensuring consumers are represented in governance and decision making 

+ What services are required as a CCBHC?

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: 

  • Crisis Services 
  • Treatment Planning 
  • Screening, Assessment, Diagnostic, and Risk Assessment 
  • Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Use Services 
  • Targeted Case Management 
  • Outpatient Primary Care Screening and Monitoring 
  • Community Based Mental Health Care for Veterans 
  • Peer, Family Support, and Counselor Services 
  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services 

+ How many CCBHCs are there?

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

+ As the CCBHC develops, will there be employment opportunities?

Yes, SouthLight will be offering many new positions in the coming months.  You can visit SouthLight’s career page for the latest listings.

+ If I want to be part of helping to bring to life the CCBHC, how do 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 schleyk@southlight.org  

+ If I want to make a donation to support the development of the CCBHC, 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 dempseyj@southlight.org  

+ If I would like to invite SouthLight to my organization to educate people about the services offered at the CCBHC, who should I contact?

Karen Cook oversees community engagement for the CCBHC.  She’d be happy to connect with you.  She can be reached at cookk@southlight.org  

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an emerging behavioral health crisis in our community, and as Wake County continues to grow, so does the need for expanded access to high quality behavioral healthcare. As a CCBHC, SouthLight will be better prepared to serve anyone who needs help and receive the high-quality care our community has come to expect from SouthLight.

Adam Hartzell, SouthLight CEO

CONTACT INFO

Program collaboration and volunteer opportunities:  Contact Kathryn Schley, Director of the CCBHC  schleyk@southlight.org 

Questions about donations, in-kind contributions or our wish list: Jim Dempsey at dempseyj@southlight.org  

Community Engagement: For community outreach and speaking or presentation opportunities, contact Karen Cook at  cookk@southlight.org