The Division of Behavioral Health seeks to improve the quality of life for Arkansans by providing a comprehensive, recovery-based and consumer-driven behavioral health system of care utilizing evidence-based or promising practices which include trauma-informed care concepts in all areas. We value the strengths and assets of consumers and their families and believe these should be recognized and utilized as an integral part of treatment.
501(c)(3) that depends on memberships, grants, and donations to fund its work.
Arkansas Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council (AMHPAC) was established to monitor, review and evaluate the distribution and adequacy of mental health services in Arkansas. The Council is composed of advocates, providers, consumers, family members and representatives of state and private agencies who advise the Division of Behavioral Health, state legislature, and governor. Members are responsible for the oversight of a multi-million dollar mental health block grant.
The Adult Services Section is responsible for ensuring that outpatient mental health services are available to all residents of the State of Arkansas who are 18 years of age and older.
This section develops contracts with community providers and monitors those providers for compliance with nationally accepted standards for the delivery of services. This section also sets standards for and certifies organizations as being eligible to be providers of Medicaid-funded rehabilitation services for persons with mental illness. This section is also responsible for the development and management of various grants, quality assurance activities, and specialized programs.
NAMI Arkansas is a non-profit, grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons with severe mental illness, their families, and their communities. Formerly known as Arkansas Alliance for the Mentally Ill (AAMI), NAMI Arkansas operates a statewide organization and coordinates a network of affiliates, support groups and field services throughout the state. It offers support, education, and advocacy services. NAMI Arkansas is a 501(c)(3) that depends on memberships, grants, and donations to fund its work.
Arkansas Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council (AMHPAC) was established to monitor, review and evaluate the distribution and adequacy of mental health services in Arkansas. The Council is composed of advocates, providers, consumers, family members and representatives of state and private agencies who advise the Division, state legislature, and governor. Members are responsible for the oversight of a multi-million dollar mental health block grant. AMHPAC promotes a strong community based system of care for families with adults and children who have serious mental illnesses or emotional problems.
Financial support for the behavioral health system comes from a variety of funding sources including Arkansas state general revenue, federal grants, Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance.
Single Point of Entry (SPOE): Created by Act 861 of 1989. Each CMHC has a contractual obligation to perform initial SPOE screenings for individuals who live in their respective catchment areas to determine if the individual meets the criteria for admission to inpatient programs of the State Mental Health System , to determine if appropriate alternatives to inpatient treatment are clinically appropriate and available, and arrange for the provision of alternative outpatient services if inpatient or crisis residential services are not recommended.
Local Acute Care: The Division of Behavioral Health provides funding for the purchase of local acute care (psychiatric) beds for Arkansas adults who have no other funding source to pay for a psychiatric crisis situation. The funds are distributed through the community mental health centers and are based on population data. Community mental health centers utilize clinical criteria to determine the least restrictive safe alternative available and refer to inpatient psychiatric hospitals when needed. This funding allows individuals to be treated in local communities rather than in a centralized location.
Specialized Treatment Services: Many community providers have staff specially trained in working with specific populations, i.e. veterans, transgender, anger management, PTSD, domestic violence, women’s issues. You may contact your local provider to see if any specialized services are offered.
Policy and Certification of RSPMI Providers (public and private): The Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS) maintains the current RSPMI Certification Policy which includes compliance and outcome monitoring of providers. Rehabilitative Services for Persons with Mental Illness (RSPMI) are limited to DBHS certified providers who offer core mental health services for the treatment and prevention of mental disorders. DBHS manages the application process and compliance standards for all RSPMI and LMHP providers. This is to assure that care and services comply with applicable laws, which require, among other things, that all care reimbursed by the Arkansas Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid) must be provided efficiently, economically, only when medically necessary, and is of a quality that meets professionally recognized standards of health care.
RSPMI: A DBHS certified RSPMI provider is a public or private service agency that meets DBHS RSPMI Policy standards, offers a full array of outpatient treatment services, and is eligible to bill the Arkansas Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid) for reimbursable services. The agency must follow an application process and become certified as an RSPMI provider by the Division of Behavioral Health Services prior to applying for Medicaid provider enrollment.
LMHP: Individual mental health professionals in private practice in Arkansas may apply to become a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP). A DBHS certified LMHP provides outpatient mental health services for the Arkansas Medicaid population under the age of 21, and is eligible to bill the Arkansas Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid) for reimbursable services. The applicant must apply and become certified as an LMHP provider by the Division of Behavioral Health Services prior to applying for Medicaid provider enrollment.
Research & Training: Through the Arkansas Research and Training Institute DBHS collaborates with community providers and various training schools to promote the use of state-of-the-art practices. The Institute has consultation teams available to assist providers with innovative treatment approaches particularly in the area of services for persons with a mental illness and a substance abuse disorder.
Grant administration: The Division of Behavioral Health has responsibility for making application for federal grant funds (Mental Health Block Grant, etc.) on a routine, and as appropriate basis. As grant notifications are provided, staff evaluates to determine if the program meets state needs and if sufficient resources are available to write and administer the grant.
Conditional Release (Act 911): DBHS works closely with judicial and provider groups to assure treatment and monitoring of individuals acquitted of legal charges due to a severe mental illness.
Disaster Services: The Division provides assistance and consultation to local providers in the event of a disaster. If a Presidential Disaster Declaration is received by the State, and the Division determines that the behavioral health needs of the disaster victims are beyond the capacity of State and local resources, the Division may choose to apply for a Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program grant available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Services most frequently funded include individual and group crisis counseling, education services, and referrals.
Homelessness: Housing status is routinely assessed on entry into the public mental health system. Some providers directly provide housing resources, while some facilitate efforts with other entities. Some providers aggressively seek to obtain housing options for their clients through HUD housing programs.
PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness): The division is the recipient of a $300,000 grant to provide services to persons with a serious mental illness and/or have a co-occurring substance use disorder who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery) is a federal technical assistance initiative designed to help states and communities increase access to disability benefits for qualified persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, especially those who have a mental illness and/or co-occurring substance use disorder. The Division provides free training and technical assistance to providers in SSA disability programs and benefits, interviewing, engaging the client, the application process, etc. and serves as liaison with the Social Security Administration and Disability Determination Services. Obtaining SSI and SSDI can be critical in preventing and ending homelessness, providing access to treatment, services, and promoting recovery.
Behavioral Health Institute: Each year the Mental Health Council of Arkansas sponsors this conference which serves as the principal training venue for most behavioral health practitioners, at both the professional and paraprofessional level, in the State. The Institute provides knowledge on evidence-based practices and policy issues. Special emphasis is placed on training in the latest innovations pertaining to behavioral healthcare delivery, to consider new treatment and service management technologies, and to enhance skills at each level of care within the system for effective and culturally competent diagnostic and treatment interventions for all populations. The Division is a sponsor and DBHS staff participate on the planning committee.
Consumer Councils: Designed in order that consumers may develop a strong and unified voice to influence and improve State policy decisions, further develop the consumer-led initiatives, impact local service development, and forge productive alliances with community resources. A more informed and involved consumer group leads to a more responsive and relevant behavioral health system.
Psychiatric Advanced Directives: A Psychiatric Advance Directive, or PAD, is a legal document created by a competent person. The purpose of the document is to allow the person to appoint an agent and give instructions to that agent for future decisions about mental health treatment. The document is used when the person who created the document experiences acute episodes of psychiatric illness and becomes unable to make or communicate decisions about treatment.