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BestCare Treatment Services was recently awarded a grant worth $137,273 over two years by Oregon Health Services to support a critical position that will aid in providing behavioral health care to Jefferson Country’s veterans. BestCare — which is the contracted community mental health program for Jefferson County — will use the grant money to employ a full-time veterans’ behavioral health peer support specialist.
Once the full-time position is filled, the VBHPSS will provide peer mentor support to Jefferson County veterans receiving care through BestCare’s mental health program and/or through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, the veterans behavioral health peer support specialist will actively provide veterans outreach services, in part, by actively participating in veterans networking activities and working with the Jefferson County Veterans Services program.
“We are thrilled that we will be able to continue this program for the benefit of many of the 2,200 veterans who live in Jefferson County and the Warm Springs Indian Reservation,” said Rick Treleaven, Chief Executive Officer for BestCare Treatment Services. “Many veterans work best with other veterans who have gone through similar experiences and understand the needs that may be unique to veterans. Peer outreach and support services are a critical component to providing behavioral health services to the veterans in our community.”
The VBHPSS will enhance the ongoing efforts of BestCare Treatment Services-Jefferson County CMHP to support Jefferson County veterans. Those efforts include:
- For more than three years, BestCare Treatment Services-Jefferson County CMHP has provided free behavioral health services to veterans who do not qualify for Medicaid.
- For more than two years, BestCare’s Prevention Services has provided suicide prevention training to veteran programs.
- BestCare-Jefferson County CMHP seeks to hire veterans, whenever possible.
- BestCare has provided annual support to the Jefferson County Veterans Services Office annual toy drive for veterans and their families.
The Oregon Health Services grant will help extend and expand an existing program. In November 2018, BestCare Treatment Services-Jefferson County CMHP contracted with the Jefferson County Veterans Services program to provide part-time recovery mentor and peer support service to Jefferson County veterans.
“Peer support services for veterans were identified as a need in our community and the Jefferson County Veterans’ Service Office wanted a program that directly benefited local veterans,” said Laura Moore, Lead Veterans’ Service Officer. “Peer support services offer an additional lifeline to veterans that until recently was not available. And this expansion will reach more local veterans in our county, improving the quality of life for these veterans at risk.”
Click here to view the job listing for the veterans’ behavioral health peer support specialist.