Over the past few months, ServiceNet has been intensely preparing for the initiation of three newly awarded contracts through the Department of Mental Health. The new service, Community Based Flexible Supports, combines three former DMH contracts, one of which was Adult Residential Services known here as the Mental Health Residential and Recovery Services. ServiceNet had also provided the second, Rehabilitative Treatment in the Community, through Clinical Services, and through the award of the three new CBFS contracts, will also now provide Community Rehabilitative Support services that were provided in the past by another agency. Many staff and many hours of preparation had been involved in the writing of the three original proposals, and since the award of the contracts to ServiceNet in April, many long hours and the work of many staff have gone into preparing for July 1. ServiceNet is the sole provider of CBFS services in Hampshire and Franklin Counties, and the only agency in the entire state providing services to Transition Age Youth through a separate contract!
I am very happy to report that the incredible preparation performed by many staff across the agency has paid off with the successful initiation of CBFS services! The last couple of days has been extremely busy addressing the mental health and recovery needs of not only current ServiceNet individuals, but also the needs of many, many new individuals who were enrolled in CBFS services on July 1. I am also very happy to report that the majority of Residential Counselors working in MH Residential and Recovery services have now found comparable positions in the new CBFS services, and have new job titles of Wellness Specialist, Recovery Counselor, and Treatment Counselor in adult programs, and Transition Facilitator in the TAY program. This change in titles better reflects the work staff is doing each day to support persons served in their mental health recovery. I am also happy to report that progress is being made to finalize positions for the six remaining staff in need of a program assignment, and I am confident that in the next few days they will have clarification of their options. I commend all managers and staff for the collaborative effort undertaken to ensure that staff were actively involved in the process of matching their skill set with the newly created job titles. This great effort guaranteed that the transition to new services went smoothly and effectively for all individuals enrolled in CBFS services.
There is much work to be done in the months ahead initiating the exciting proposals made to DMH moving from a model of care to a Recovery model. The excitement on the part of staff and program participants alike about the future of services and the potential for real mental health recovery for each and every individual, confirms for me that we are moving in the right direction.
Mark Keller, LICSW
Vice President of Recovery Services