Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $350,000)
The primary aim of OVC's FY 2017 Vision 21 Integrated Services for Victims Program: Increasing Access to Mental Health Services for Victims of Crime (Vision 21 ISV Program) is to bridge the divide between crime victims, victim services providers, and mental health services providers so that communities are able to create a seamless network of services to assist crime victims to recover, heal, and thrive. The Vision 21 ISV Program includes five purpose areas. This project is funded under Purpose Area Purpose Area 2A: Increasing Access to Victim Services for Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Who Have a Serious Mental Illness (SMI). Awards funded under this program purpose area are intended to: (a) aid domestic violence and sexual assault services providers with properly identifying victims who have an SMI, referring them to mental health services treatment, and adapt their operational policies and procedures to ensure that victims with SMI have full and equal access to the services offered by their programs; and (b) assist mental health services providers with revising their intake/assessment procedures to include screening for domestic violence or sexual assault victimization, and referring clients to specialized domestic violence or sexual assault resources.
The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) is the State of Oklahoma's public mental health authority, administering a statewide network of community-based behavioral health and substance abuse services provider programs. ODMHSAS contracts with three privately-operated community-based mental health centers that serve Oklahoma City, OK. These clinics offer a variety of services for individuals who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness, including: individual and group therapy; case management; psychiatric rehabilitation; peer recovery support; wellness coaching and activities; medication management; a 24/7 crisis response; and behavioral health homes where individuals with a serious mental illness can receive integrated primary and mental health care. For this project, ODMHSAS has partnered with Paolomar, a public/private partnership comprised of 19 nonprofit and government agencies and organizations that provide co-located services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, child sexual abuse, elder abuse, and human trafficking, using the Family Justice Center program model.
Together, ODMHSAS and Paolomar will use the funding to: (1) complete a community needs assessment and strategic plan to address systemic and other barriers that prevent victims of domestic violence and sexual assault who have a mental illness from accessing the services and support they need; (2) increase the capacity of mental health clinicians from Palomar to treat victims who have a serious mental illness by training them on evidence based mental health interventions; (3) develop and implement a bi-directional screening protocol to ensure that victims are identified and referred to Palomar for services at the ODMHSAS supported community mental health clinics, and that practitioners at Palomar refer victims who have a serious mental illness to the ODMHSAS clinics; (4) hire a 1.0 FTE Clinical Manager to work on-site at Palomar and coordinate all project activities, including the needs assessment and strategic planning processes, developing screening and referral protocols, and ensuring continuity of care for clients referred from one partner to another, among other duties; and (5) provide direct financial assistance to victims who may need help with transportation, housing, food, clothing, and other emergency costs.