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Behavioral health providers are increasing services and creating jobs

Some local nonprofit agencies are expanding their workforce as part of a new behavioral health program. A main goal of the program is to increase access to outpatient services. 

It will soon be easier to get treatment for a range of mental health and/or chemical dependency issues. Three local providers have been designated Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics including Spectrum Health and Human Services. It's President and CEO Bruce Nisbet says, one of the major changes is services can be provided outside of licensed clinics.

"So our clinicians and other staff can go to homes, they can go to anyplace in the community where an individual is, and provide outpatient behavioral health services."

Nisbet says, the two year federal demonstration project also provides additional resources for people.

"Peer support, case management, 24/7 crisis support, and a number of other resources that don't currently get supported within outpatient behavioral health clinics."
Nisbet says, Spectrum is creating a network of more than 100 local organizations where services will be available including schools and hospitals. The program starts July first.  And by year's end, he says, Spectrum plans to hire more than 50 staff.

"And those include case managers, licensed therapists, family support specialists, licensed practical nurses, psychiatric nurse practitioners, registered nurses and support staff," Nisbet said.  

And another 100 jobs is expected to be created by the other local providers - Mid-Erie Treatment and Counseling Services and Lake Shore Behavioral Health.