Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare Awarded $4 million to Create Nassau County’s First CCBHC

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Yulee, Fla: Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare announced it was awarded $4 million in funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The purpose of this funding is to help to transform community behavioral health systems and provide comprehensive, coordinated health care by establishing a new CCBHC (Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics) clinic in Fernandina Beach. CCBHCs provide person- and family-centered integrated services. Through this 4-year grant, Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare will improve access to high quality community behavioral health services that incorporate primary health screening and monitoring for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI), substance use disorders (SUD), opioid use disorders (OUD) co-occurring disorders (COD), and youth with serious emotional disturbance (SED).

“This time last year, we were awarded SAMHSA’s CMHC grant,” said Laureen Pagel, CEO at Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare. “That initial round of funding enabled us to identify a new facility in Fernandina Beach, offer mobile behavioral health services, and provide over 25 new jobs to the residents of Nassau County. This second round of funding from SAMHSA will expand on this by increasing access to care with a particular focus on groups facing health disparities and living in low-income areas. We are delighted to be chosen for this opportunity and look forward to elevating our service offerings to the residents of Nassau County.”

– Laureen Pagel, CEO, Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare

The organization will establish the first CCBHC in Nassau County by accomplishing the following goals:

  1. Improve behavioral healthcare for individuals across the lifespan by increasing access and engagement with a trauma and culturally informed service model that incorporates a full continuum of services.
  2. Provide access to high-quality mental health and SUD services to the target population in Nassau County; with particular focus on groups facing health disparities.
  3. Create an Advisory Committee with a minimum of 51% persons in recovery to coordinate treatment/systems linkages, monitor project goals, objectives, and outcomes, and implement a collective impact initiative.
  4. Establish a positive recovery community in Northeast Florida that meaningfully involves consumers and family members in their own care and the broader governance of the community.
  5. Strengthen and sustain the infrastructure necessary to continue to uphold the CCBHC model beyond this period of grant funding.
  6. Develop a plan for staffing, training, and delivery of all required services, including care coordination, language accessibility, and use of evidence-based practices.

To stay up to date on this project and its implementation, please visit .

About Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare

Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare provides mental health and substance abuse treatment services to children, teens and adults in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. The non-profit agency serves more than 3,000 individuals each year and has been serving the region for more than 30 years. Starting Point is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). For more information, please visit


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