August 16, 2019

Project HEAL Awarded $2.5 Million Grant from SAMHSA

A team with DFPM-RED, others at UAMS, and Better Community Development. (BCD) (sub-recipient) will lead Project HEAL to expand and enhance treatment and recovery support services among African American (AA) adult men and women who reside in the Pulaski County area and are involved in the criminal justice system, have a substance use disorder (SUD) particularly alcohol, marijuana, and/or opioid abuse, or co-occurring SUD/mental illness (COD), and are at high risk for HIV/Viral Hepatitis (VH) infection or transmission. The group plans to serve 1,200 individuals over the five-year project (240 individuals annually). A large proportion of persons served are expected to have some type of criminal justice involvement and underrepresented minorities. BCD, a three-decades-old program serves as a catalyst to constructively meet central AR’s urgent needs in SUD/COD treatment and HIV prevention, filling a service gap by establishing services beyond SUD/COD treatment to include a Community Health Worker (CHW) and HIV education/testing/stigma reduction for all enrollees of their program. The CHW will assist project enrollees with client-centered emotional, tangible, informational, and appraisal supports focused on recovery. The BCD team will refer clients to licensed treatment partners as needed for direct COD treatment services, including MAT, HIV, and Hepatitis services. Evidence-based interventions (in addition to MAT and CHW) will include Motivational Interviewing, Healthy Love, and Seeking Safety provided by BCD staff. Project HEAL will provide outreach and engagement services and assist enrollees with development of an individualized Recovery Plan. Project HEAL participants will have access to a full continuum of acceptable, effective, and individualized SUD/COD treatment including MAT and recovery support services including substance abuse peer counseling and support groups, housing for homeless and low income individuals and families, violence prevention, prevention of incarceration and community re-entry, and HIV prevention and service coordination. Lessons learned will be shared with providers and policy-makers.

Project HEAL is lead by DFPM-REDs Latunja Sockwell in partnership with Better Community Development.

The $2.5 million grant is funded by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)