The Banyan Health Systems d/b/a Banyan Community Health Center, Inc. (Banyan) proposes the Banyan Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) Restoration Project (CRP), which responds to SAMHSA FOA No. SM-14-021: FY2021 Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) Grant Program. The population of focus (POF) for the CRP is the majority minority (Black and Latinx) population of the Broward and Miami-Dade Counties (MDC), who reside primarily in the Little Havana, Cutler Bay and Lauderdale Hills, the site of Banyan’s new state-of-the-art integrated behavioral health and primary care center, whose services will center on western Broward in which integrated services are largely unavailable. South Florida is well-known for its diverse population, but in Banyan’s primary service area, the population is as much as 79.4% Latinx and 16.3% Black. The communities served by Banyan struggle with overwhelming poverty (54.5% have incomes below the Federal Poverty Level); unemployment is rampant; 74.9% of adults have limited English proficiency; and 82.7% of low-income families are either unserved by a healthcare provider or declined care in the past year because they could not afford it. Environmental factors (i.e., crowded living conditions and substandard housing) combined with limited access to health and behavioral health care have created conditions in which serious emotional disturbance (SED) among children is rising and greater numbers of adults with SMI are going untreated. The Covid-19 pandemic has also increased the need for services to address the opioid epidemic, which barely slowed down in Broward and MDC--more individuals requiring treatment for co-occurring mental and substance use disorder (COD), but no increase in availability or access to these critical services. It will enable Banyan to rebalance/realign in-person vs. telehealth visits for patients with COD receiving residential drug-free treatment or outpatient MAT or long-acting injectable psychotropic medication, who require frequent monitoring.
The proposed CRP will support and restore clinical services for more than 4000 individuals and families with SED, SMI and COD (2500 in Y1 and 1500 in Y2) who are best served in a CMHC setting. It will enable Banyan to devote clinical services (e.g., psychiatry) to those in greatest need, and extend supportive services (e.g., Drop-In Center) to seven days/week. It will also provide support and training to reduce burn-out, improve job satisfaction and employee retention within Banyan. Banyan suffered the cataclysmic loss of more than $4 million in the past 15 months—nearly 12% of its $35 million total budget, less than half of which was recovered through the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan—but will still face painful cuts in staff and services without SAMHSA funding. Banyan—which received HRSA’s Gold Star for Integrated Behavioral Health Services in Primary Care in 2020—would also be forced to abandon much of the progress made on building integrated services over the past half decade. Though these grant funds will support only Banyan’s CMHC program, it will enable Banyan to restore the high-quality, comprehensive, fully-integrated behavioral health services for individuals with SED, SMI and COD in Broward and MDC.