At the end of 2022, FEMA ended the NY Project Hope initiative that BPC was honored to have been awarded and to have participated in for almost two years. We are so thankful to our BPC Project Hope staff who rose to the challenge of the pandemic and worked to identify those is need and to provide an impactful range of services through community engagement. As Project Hope came to a close, we encouraged OMH to provide a means to retain the infrastructure of the program and OMH subsequently developed a new Statewide program, Community Mental Health Promotion and Support (COMHPS) to address the ongoing mental health crises in our communities.
We are pleased to announce that NYS OMH has approved our budget and program submission and awarded BPC the opportunity to serve as a COMHPS provider in Queens to expand our outreach services with a shift from the COVID-19 pandemic to continued community engagement and treatment adjacent services to both support our communities and our existing patients. For context, The COMHPS program sits within OMH’s Office of Prevention and Health Initiatives.
In addition to a robust community outreach presence, we are excited to share that the COMHPS team will be working closely with the Clinical Department at BPC to provide support for our patients around issues related to food and job insecurity, education, health, and other stressors that may linger after a treatment session is complete. They will also be able to provide academic and vocational support as well as workshops promoting mental health awareness and various other topics including stress and time management, substance use, spirituality, and overall healthy living. The COMHPS team will provide temporary support and brief individual and group counseling to those with extended periods of time on our waiting or transfer lists.
Dr. Soon, who directs BPC’s Intake & Community Relations Department now also oversees our COMHPS program. The COMHPS team of seven is led by Damaris Brito and staffed by the following Outreach Workers: Nafiul Bhari, Max Bushman, Edward Callahan, Irma Ortiz, Remy Palmer, and Sandra Wong. Our COMHPS program is currently active and we encourage you to reach out with any questions you may have or any ways that you think BPC’s COMHPS team can help you meet the subclinical needs of your clients.