BayCare Behavioral Health Receives $1.75 Million Grant to Grow New Program for Pinellas County Veterans|
CLEARWATER, FL – Sept. 24, 2010 – This week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded BayCare Behavioral Health with a $1.75 million grant to launch the Veteran and Inebriate Program (VIP).
This new program, which provides services for homeless Pinellas County veterans and chronic inebriates with behavioral health disorders, will expand and strengthen treatment resources for 420 individuals and further demonstrates BayCare Behavioral Health’s commitment to serving veterans and their families.
Working in partnership with the Homeless Emergency Project, Inc. (HEP), one of the largest providers of homeless services and HUD-funded Permanent Supportive Housing sites in Pinellas County, BayCare will receive $350,000 per year for five years to provide screening, assessment and treatment services to veterans in their various housing programs.
BayCare Behavioral Health VIP Goals
According to John Sheehan, vice president of BayCare Behavioral Health, “Our initial goal with the VIP program is to prevent and reduce homelessness by addressing the needs of veterans and inebriates through an integrated system of care. Our end goal is to improve the quality of life for persons with serious mental illness or co-occurring disorders.”
In 2008, the National Alliance to End Homelessness ranked Florida as third in the nation for the number of homeless veterans living in the state (50,000). In addition, the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs reports that about one-third of the state’s adult homeless population consists of veterans.
With such figures in mind, primary service objectives for the VIP program include case management, supported employment and housing services, daily living skills, psychosocial rehabilitation, self-help programs, transportation and parenting. In addition, program goals include on-site mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, crisis counseling, medication management and motivational interventions.
BayCare Behavioral Health Veteran Services
As an organization, BayCare Behavioral Health has been working to meet the mental health needs of the Tampa Bay Area for more than 30 years.
In addition to the VIP program designed specifically to help veterans, BayCare Behavioral Health also operates the Veterans Initiative, which provides clinical, recovery and support services to veterans and their families. This initiative includes 20 no-fee patient slots at BayCare Behavioral Health facilities in Pasco County, and the program has been continuously full since its initiation in 2008.
Also, as part of the Veterans Initiative, BayCare Behavioral Health’s Veteran Family and Support Network offers emotional support and assistance to past and present service personnel and their families who are dealing with the effects of deployment and issues involving re-integration. The network hosts free weekly support groups to provide emotional support and assistance to all veterans and their families.
Help Support BayCare Behavioral Health’s Veteran Support Programs
To help raise money for the Veterans Initiative, BayCare Behavioral Health will host the 7th Annual Rockin’ Recovery on Saturday, September 25th at 6:00 p.m. at Higgins Hall in Tampa (5221 N. Himes Ave.). Rockin’ Recovery features a reception, silent auction and concert. Darryl Strawberry, the former New York Yankees baseball great, will be the keynote speaker and will discuss his personal journey through recovery.
Rockin’ Recovery tickets are $25 per person and may be purchased in advance by calling 727-253-4052 or online at www.SJHFoundation.org under the events tab. Tickets will also be sold at the door.
Also in support of Recovery Month, the Tampa Bay Rays are offering $20 tickets to the September 26th baseball game against the Seattle Mariners. For more information or to purchase tickets to the game, call BayCare Health System at 727-253-4052.
About BayCare Health System
BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient’s lifetime. With more than 195 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need.
BayCare’s family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, St. Joseph’s Women’s, and South Florida Baptist. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at www.BayCare.org.
Contact: Stephanie Sampiere, Communications Manager