Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $286,021)
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 Young Women's Christian Association of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, MD (YWCA) is a nonprofit organization that operates the only comprehensive domestic violence shelter program and rape crisis center in Anne Arundel County. In addition to its shelter, the YWCA also operates: a civil legal assistance clinic; a 24-hour crisis hotline; an outpatient mental health clinic that offers individual, family, and group counseling services; financial literacy, job skills training, and professional mentoring services; and a 28-week abuser intervention program for individuals who have been identified as perpetrators of domestic violence. For this project, the YWCA has partnered with Anne Arundel Medical Group (AAMG), a private hospital located in Annapolis that provides psychiatric care, medication management, and outpatient mental health and substance abuse counseling services to Anne Arundel County residents who have a serious mental illness.
The YWCA and AAMG will use the funding from this award 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) hire a 1.0 FTE Crisis Counselor to provide case management and referrals to victims and conduct outreach to the community; (3) compensate a .25 FTE Behavorial Health Navigator at AAMG who will coordinate continuity of care for victims referred from YWCA; and (4) provide transportation assistance to victims to support their access to treatment.