Office of Behavioral Health announces collaborative project to serve adolescents

After receiving 10 years of discretionary funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Office of Behavioral Health has allocated a portion of the federal substance abuse block grant funding for substance use screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) services for school-aged adolescents. The funding will be administered through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to CDPHE-funded school-based health centers (SBHC) around Colorado.

A primary objective of this effort is to institutionalize SBIRT as a standard of care into existing CDPHE-funded SBHCs voluntarily participating in this project. SBIRT is an evidence-based approach to the identification of risky substance use and provides intervention and referral to treatment to those at risk of developing substance use problems.  SBHCs are convenient medical clinics that offer health care to children and youth either in a school on or near school grounds. SBHCs have primary care providers such as doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as well as mental health providers.

This SBIRT project funding will support SBHCs across the state with:
  • Providing SBIRT universally and addressing student needs to reduce harms associated with alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, as well as commonly reported mental health concerns.
  • Reducing health disparities that impact youth substance misuse by applying Enhanced Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards.
  • Developing and implementing of SBIRT curricula, including training, technical assistance and evaluation components.

OBH will fund this project for the next four years, starting September 10, 2017, with $1,037,000 directed to the project this fiscal year.

A 13-15 member SBIRT Steering Committee will be assembled to inform a comprehensive, systems integration of SBIRT into school-based health centers.

To learn more about this interagency collaboration, SBHCs SBIRT, contact:

   Jodi Lockhart, Community Prevention Programs Manager
   Office of Behavioral Health | 303.866.7497

   Kristina Green, SBIRT Project Coordinator
   Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment | 303.692.6279