Mental and Behavioral Health Capacity Project


The Mental and Behavioral Health Capacity Project (MBHCP) is implemented by a coalition of four academic institutions, including Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of South Alabama, and the University of West Florida. This $36 million project aims to:


  • Provide much needed mental and behavioral health care and longer-term capacity-building resources to improve the overall well-being of individuals, families, and communities in the targeted communities
  • Advance models of integrated mental and behavioral health care within FQHCs and coordinated care within public school systems
  • Together with other GRHOP partners, enhance the ability of community clinics to develop into high-quality “one-stop shops” that include integrated mental and behavioral health care
  • Provide supportive therapeutic and strength based mental and behavioral health services for children and families, including requested services within schools and communities
  • Provide additional training opportunities to facilitate community care providers access to and ability to deliver evidence-based practices
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Significant Accomplishments
The Mental and Behavioral Health Capacity project in Louisiana is led by Dr. Howard J. Osofsky and Dr. Joy D. Osofsky with the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. The most recent accomplishments of MBHCP-LA include:
  • MBHCP-LA provided over 12,043 MBH direct services (supplemental therapeutic services, strength based supportive services, brief interventions and evaluations, community outreach, including social media outreach, and consultations, trainings and workforce development) in the past quarter. Indirect services also play a significant role in sustainability efforts and the overall impact of MBHCP-LA. Examples include:
    • Continued progress has been made in contract development with the FQHCs and community clinics. These contracts mark the beginning of the MBHCP-LA scale down grant process and an important step toward sustainable behavioral health services.


    • MBHCP-LA has continued to provide services for addiction psychiatry via telepsychiatry, which increases the availability of addiction specialists while supporting patient privacy and treatment engagement. 


    • Clinical services for the MBHCP-LA Perinatal Maternal and Infant Health program began in the past quarter. The need for such a program was identified by LSUHSC faculty including psychiatry, psychology, obstetrics, and pediatrics, and clinic administrators. In addition, the UMC clinic serves many of the same women receiving primary health care at the rural clinics and the expanded services will allow for continuity of care.
    • MBHCP-LA and the Gulf States Health Policy Collaborative (GS-HPC) have initiated complementary activities which will strengthen the voice of local communities across a broad range of disaster and general health issues affecting the health and positive well-being of high-risk propulation throughout the Gulf States. Alignment with the initiatives are very encouraging as a contextual basis for long-term sustainability of MBHCP-LA activities.


    • MBHCP-LA has participated in the editorial process of the GRHOP special issue and collaborated with other GRHOP projects on three accepted articles. The special issue has already had the success of going to press ahead of schedule due to the dedication and collaboration of GRHOP members.   


Dr. Tim Rehner at the University of Southern Mississippi leads the Mental and Behavioral Health Capacity Project in Mississippi. Recent significant accomplishments include:
  • The Clinical Research Assistant (CRA) and Clinical Director have agreed to serve as secretary and vice chair for the Diabetes Coalition for the southern portion of Mississippi.  This will promote collaboration with local professionals and increase awareness of the need for the integration of behavioral health within medical settings.  
  • Ten Master of Social Work (MSW) student interns completed their internship and training in integrated behavioral health and graduated in May 2017. Twelve (12) MSW student interns were accepted into the M-IHDP for the Fall of 2017 and Spring of 2018.  
  • The Mississippi Integrated Health and Disaster Program (M-IHDP) social workers are collecting data on specific interventions provided to patients within the FQHC in an effort to link interventions to improvements in health outcomes.  This will guide future training and modifications to service delivery.  
  • The Program Director and the Clinical Director attended a training on “Simplified Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Chronic Pain” to inform work in the clinic. This information will be disseminated to the clinic staff in the summer of 2017.


  • M-IHDP clinicians were trained in Wraparound services, a strength-based, culturally relevant, personalized, community based, and family centered program used in child welfare. This training provided the M-IHDP clinical staff with the knowledge necessary to work effectively in this model.


  • As a continued part of the M-IHDP care coordination efforts, a plan has been put in place to allow Licensed Certified Social Workers (LCSWs) to serve as Care Coordinators for the FQHC in order to meet required quality measures of the agency.


  • M-IHDP staff have begun attending the FQHC’s new hire orientation. The orientation introduces the staff to the benefits and work requirements of the FQHC.  This is being done in anticipation of the retention of M-IHDP staff after the end of the grant period.


  • The Integrated Health Data Sharing Steering Committee's work continued to be strengthened. This activity is continuing to integrate behavioral health data into the state health information network.

The Mental and Behavioral Health Capacity Project in Alabama is led by Dr. Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling with the University of South Alabama. MBHCP-AL's recent accomplishments include:
  • Delivered quality services to over 2,796 individual patient encounters this quarter and conducted over 1,552 chart reviews.
  • Dr. John Friend (University of South Alabama Behavior Health Clinical Director) and Dr. Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling (Dr. L-R) conducted a five session Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) workshop for the Mobile Police Department’s Family Intervention Team (FIT). The FIT is a family assessment and referral team committed to improving the quality of life for juveniles and their families by providing prevention and intervention services which are supported by the judicial system and community leaders. The workshop consisted of four modules that introduces participants to CBT: (1) an overview of CBT and its core principles, rationale and conceptualization; (2) Cognitive Interventions; (3) Social and Problem Solving; and (4) Emotional Regulation. The final module focused on an overview of risk assessment and suicidal behavior.
  • The team completed two manuscripts for the GRHOP special issue. Both were accepted for publication during this quarter. 
  • Barbra Caddell (Behavioral Health Professional (BHP)) had 222 individual student encounters during this quarter. She co-led 5 psycho-educational groups.  The Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS) administration would like for these groups to continue in the next school year. The Attention Problems Presented in the Learning Environment (APPLE) team (also embedded into the MCPSS) was active all spring. Collaboration with the whole team is steadily increasing. Plans for the next school year are on-going and an evaluation of this past year’s activities is taking place.  


  • Dr. Beverly Thorn, a nationally known psychologist, conducted an all-day workshop on Chronic Pain intervention to MBH professionals. Many of MBHCP-AL's partner sent their MBH staff to the training. One partner has begun preparation to establish a chronic pain treatment group.


  • Two BHPs received training in pediatric health psychology, and will conduct a workshop in the next quarter. Dr. L-R is collaborating with Dr. Zlomke, a Child Clinical Psychologist, to establish a pediatric health psychology training group that will meet weekly in the fall. Dr. L-R and a BHP also received training in "Treating Insomnia in Children".


The Mental and Behavioral Health Capacity Project in Florida is led by Dr. Glenn Rohrer with the University of West Florida. MBHCP-FL's recent accomplishments include: 
  • The project has continued to put the majority of its efforts into engaging community partners for sustainability.


  • Work was continued at a local Assisted Living Facility to engage seniors through coloring and conversation.
  • One FQHC clinician and one staff member was sponsored to attend the National Council for Behavioral Health Annual Conference.
  • PanCare and Escambia Community Clinics continue to show commitment to integrating services within their respective clinics.


  • The project has continued to work closely with each of the FQHC's to provide assistance to further integrate mental and behavioral health services.