Vinfen is a dynamic, innovative mental health and human services organization serving numerous Massachusetts communities. Using Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) grant funds, Vinfen will expand its Lowell area services by: 1) expanding urgent mental health outpatient and crisis intervention services for existing and new clients with serious mental illness (SMI) and co-occurring disorder (COD); 2) improving capacity and uptake of video-based telehealth services for existing clients with SMI who have functional limitations; 3) creating new specialized outpatient mental health and case management services for justice involved individuals with SMI, SED or COD; services will be provided in a youth development organization that primarily served gang-involved youth, and “behind the walls” of correctional facilities. With CMHC funds, Vinfen will serve 200 unduplicated persons each year for a total of 400 unduplicated persons over two years.
The 2019 Greater Lowell Community Health Needs Assessment identified mental health issues as the top community need and mental health services as the second largest resource gap. The Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office Restoration Committee report (April 2020) found the Lowell Region as “a high-need area with fewer available [mental health] resources,” “linguistic and cultural barriers to accessing behavioral health services,” and “insufficient number of crisis services.” The report also concludes that Lowell is among the top ten communities in Massachusetts for receiving people released from correctional facilities. The urban center is the city of Lowell that comprises 40% of the area population and has higher unemployment, COVID-19 infections and opioid incidents than the statewide average.
Vinfen will conduct all CMHC required activities. Specifically, using CMHC funds, Vinfen will expand use of video-telehealth among existing clients with SMI by identifying and resolving technology access and literacy issues. Vinfen will train CMHC staff on the strategies of trauma-informed care and increase staff cultural and linguistic capacities. Vinfen will implement a Critical Incident Team to support staff and clients following a traumatic event and will also expand Urgent Outpatient services for new and existing clients with SMI and COD.
Vinfen will collect NOMS for unduplicated clients meeting enrollment criteria at required intervals. Clinicians and community-based staff will conduct intakes and reassessments. The data specialist will enter data into SPARS. Evaluation advisors will review performance data quarterly to assess progress on CMHC performance measures, NOMS follow-up rates, and progress toward objectives. Evaluation Advisors will also review and analyze other project data on a monthly basis, meet with the team to assess progress and identify challenges needing to be addressed, complete required progress reports, and assess progress on identified BH disparities