North Carolina Funder Highlights Our Durham Program

Joy Brunson NsubugaCardinal Innovations Healthcare recently highlighted the success of our Durham crisis to recovery program and its director Joy Brunson Nsubuga. It’s been an epic year for Joy co-leading the Seattle roll-out of our Crisis Tech 360 product with Arizona’s Sarah Blanka and now being featured in this Innovations Blog. I really enjoyed getting to know Joy better at the National Council conference and learned a lot about the team in Durham as she and Sarah demonstrated the new electronic bed board system over a dozen times. Each presentation contained another nuance about our focus on real-time data to improve access and recovery outcomes for those we serve.

The article described the improvements in access and care: “As part of Cardinal Innovation’s provider network, Recovery Innovations serves North Carolina residents from four offices with a unique service delivery model that highlights peer support as a demonstration that recovery from addiction or mental illness is possible. These peer support specialists makeup more than half of Recovery Innovations’ staff and share their own unique story of recovery to serve as a model for pursuing recovery and wellness.”

Joy’s reply: “Cardinal Innovations has been such a great funder to work with. I really value the positive relationship RI International has with them.”

Big thanks to Joy, Dr. Chuck Browning, Dr. Jerry Fishman and everyone who serves as part of our North Carolina operations, whether in the Crisis, Health, Recovery or Consulting service lines. You are making a difference, and it’s really great when the funder takes notice of the value.

Read more on the Cardinal Innovations website:

Ribbon Cutting Held for Riverside, CA Mental Health Urgent Care

Riverside, CA Mental Health Urgent Care Grand Opening

RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA, U.S., April 28, 2017 / — RI International CEO and President David Covington announced today that the ribbon cutting for the Mental Health Urgent Care located at 9890 County Farm Road in Riverside, CA, will be held on May 3rd at 10 am.
“We are grateful to the Riverside Board of Supervisors, the Riverside University System -Behavioral Health and the Riverside County Economic Development Agency for making this beautiful mental health facility possible. RI International’s aim is to ensure that every crisis facility we manage is inviting — resembling an upscale home rather than an institution – and serves as a healing space. In this facility, staff and guests will not be separated by Plexiglas fish tank walls, and our engaging teams will focus on helping every person we serve return to a life of meaning and purpose in their communities.”

Read the full press release here.

David Covington Announced as the President-Elect for AAS Board

AAS Header

The results are in! We are pleased to announce the newly elected AAS Board Members as follows:

  • President-Elect: David Covington, MBA, LPC
  • Secretary: Jonathan Singer, PhD
  • Clinical Division Chair: Melinda Moore, PhD
  • Research Division Chair: Jie Zhang, PhD

Other recent members appointed to the AAS Executive Committee include Bart Andrews, PhD and April Foreman, PhD.

We extend our congratulations to the winners, and our appreciation to all candidates for their willingness to serve.

A special thanks to Past-President Bill Schmitz, PsyD and his committee for their time and effort.

Suicidology at 50

Elected Board Members will begin their duties at the 50th annual Conference in Phoenix, AZ. For more information, please click on the banner above.

#RecoveryNow Annual Leadership Retreat 2016

RI International’s Board, Executive Team and RSAs from across the US met for RI’s Annual Leadership Retreat #RecoveryNow

New 24/7 Mental Health Urgent Care Funded by Riverside University Health Services Opening in Palm Springs Announced November 23rd

“Huge Opportunity to meet Community’s Overall Behavioral Healthcare Needs,” According to Riverside County Chief of Staff Michelle DeArmond

Left to right, RI International CEO, David Covington, Palm Springs Mayor, Robert Moon, Michelle DeArmond, Chief of Staff for Riverside Co. Board Supervisor John J. Benoit, Steve Steinberg, director of RUHS Behavioral Health.

Left to right, RI International CEO, David Covington, Palm Springs Mayor, Robert Moon, Michelle DeArmond, Chief of Staff for Riverside Co. Board Supervisor John J. Benoit, Steve Steinberg, director of RUHS Behavioral Health.

Palm Springs, CA, November 23, 2016 — County officials and Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon today announced the grand opening of RI’s 24-hour mental health urgent care facility, in Palm Springs, California, located at 2500 N. Palm Canyon Dr.

“This is a huge opportunity for us to take one more piece of the overall behavioral health need, and give people access to these services for our community as a whole,” said Michelle DeArmond, Chief of Staff for Riverside Co. Board Supervisor John J. Benoit. DeArmond added that the facility provides more community services, in a more targeted and cost-effective way. “This is one opportunity where people who are in crisis, but don’t necessarily need to take up law enforcement time or use a hospital bed, can go in and receive support from people who are specialized in dealing specifically with mental health crisis.”

24-7 Mental Health Urgent Care Facility, located at 2500 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite A-4, Palm Springs, CA.

24-7 Mental Health Urgent Care Facility, located at 2500 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite A-4, Palm Springs, CA.

“Our goal is to provide timely support before a situation becomes so volatile that people are involuntarily held in hospital emergency rooms,” said Steve Steinberg, director of Riverside University Health System (RUHS) Behavioral Health. “We are providing an environment and a level of services that engage people in their recovery.”

“One of the reasons our crisis services are rapidly expanding is because we’ve developed what we call the living room approach,” said RI International CEO and President David Covington. “The Palm Springs facility is our fourth added this year, bringing our total to 14 crisis facilities in five states across the U.S.,” said Covington.  “We marry clinical excellence with peer support, and work to make our facilities feel more like a comfortable living room or resort, rather than an institution. Our staff is not separated from guests by Plexiglas. We do this to help lessen stigma and provide healing spaces, welcoming environments conducive to de-escalation and recovery,” added Covington.

The 24/7 Mental Health Urgent Care is for adults voluntarily seeking assistance.  Services include assessments, medication management and psychiatric support. During their stay, guests will participate in the development of individualized care plans that include recovery education, peer-to-peer support, mental health services, nutritional counseling and coordination and referral to community-based services.

The facility is funded by Riverside County through RUHS and operated by RI International.

ABOUT RI INTERNATIONAL: Headquartered in Phoenix, RI International is one of the nation’s leading crisis services mental health providers. Founded as a non-profit in 1990, the Company is in Delaware, Arizona, California, North Carolina, Washington State and New Zealand, has been accredited by Joint Commission since 1992 and has certified more than 7,000 peers around the world since 2000.

New Crisis Center Funded by Delaware Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) Opening Announced August 2ND

Delaware Governor Jack Markell said new facility part of state’s efforts to revolutionize Mental Health Services

Newark, DE, July 28, 2016 — Delaware Governor Jack Markell said the new Recovery Response Center (RRC) is the latest accomplishment in his state’s effort to build more robust mental health services. Markell will be joined by State Auditor, Tom Wagner, State Insurance Commissioner, Karen Weldin Stewart, DSAMH Director, Michael Barbieri, and additional elected officials from the region for the grand opening of the facility located at 659 East Chestnut Hill Road, Newark, Delaware, on Tuesday, August 2nd from 1 – 4 pm.

Ri Crisis' RRC

RI Crisis’ RRC, located at 659 East Chestnut Hill Road, Newark, DE.

“This new facility demonstrates the commitment we have made in Delaware to create a robust community-based mental health system,” Markell said. “Individuals experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis need immediate and appropriate evaluation and care. The Recovery Response Center in Newark provides that important first step in getting people in crisis the care they deserve.”

DSAMH Director Michael Barbieri said the crisis staff is broad-based and specifically trained. “Delaware residents in crisis will be met by trained clinicians and peers with lived experience. Under the medical leadership of onsite psychiatric providers, these staff will work quickly to help people rest and de-escalate and take the first steps towards recovery.”

RI International CEO David Covington said the Newark location is the Company’s second crisis center to be opened in the state of Delaware, with a similar program in Ellendale since 2012. “Our Delaware locations will serve thousands of individuals in psychiatric distress each year, with a Living Room model designed to maximize successful return to the community, and defer hundreds of unnecessary visits to hospital emergency departments.”

Steven R. Fasick added, “I’m proud to serve on the board of directors of RI International. There’s a great need for our crisis to recovery services in the Wilmington area, in Delaware, and across the U.S.”

Download Full Press Release (Right click and select Save As)

RI International employee introduces RISE program in addressing mental health and addiction treatment in Malibu, CA

RI International employee Gordon Durich, a Recovery Specialist with our RISE program in Oxnard, California was published in the February/March issue of the Malibu Chronicle, a publication with 100,000 local readers of the print publication, and world-wide online circulation. Gordon’s article includes a quote from RI International CEO David Covington, and features several mental health and addiction treatment centers in the Malibu area, including RI’s RISE program in which Gordon serves.  Click to read the article on

Aspen Fellow: Shannon Jaccard in Inaugural Health Innovators Class

shannon jaccardFrom success to significance. The Aspen Global Leadership Network was launched with the Henry Crown Fellowship Program in 1997, designed to mentor the next generation of community-spirited leaders to make a greater mark.

The network is comprised of more than 2,100 fellows, who were chosen because of a track record of success, their entrepreneurial mindset, their focus on integrity and high-impact and their willingness to engage in a lifelong partnership with other leaders. Candidates must be between the ages of 35 and 48, and at a career inflection point, ready to consider their next level of contribution. 

Aspen fellows include top leaders of Fortune 500 companies, including in 2015 the President of #27, Boeing, and a General Manager of #8, General Electric. However, the goal is a rich mosaic that includes different sectors and backgrounds. For example, the 2014 class included Grammy-award winning rapper and record producer Lupe Fiasco (his stage name).

In July, the Aspen Institute introduced its first health innovators class, and selected 20 leaders, including National Alliance on Mental Illness San Diego’s CEO Shannon Jaccard. Members of the inaugural class also include Johnson and Johnson’s VP of Global Health Policy and the Department of Homeland Security’s Senior Medical Advisor. There are 11 MD’s in the group, and other sectors represented include pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, health care venture capital, and veterans’ health.

Over the next two years Shannon will participate in over a month of focused teamwork on leadership development, core values and action planning. Each fellow develops a stretch plan that includes a proposal for a community initiative that will create a lasting legacy. The Aspen Institute fully intends to impact the US healthcare ecosystem through the efforts of these accomplished leaders.

Shannon recently described to me the energizing and fast-paced first week experience, with 15 hour work days (7 am to 10 pm). Cell phones are left at the entrance, and the visioning begins immediately. Moderated leadership discussions catapult ideas from pre-homework readings, including The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas and Martin Luther King’s Letters from a Birmingham Jail.

The focus is on action. What do you need? And, the global network of leaders will help you. We can make it happen!

Shannon already has a resume of significant accomplishment and vision for the future. NAMI San Diego’s innovative programming and tech café have been nationally recognized. In addition to her CEO role and serving on the boards of directors for both RI International and Meeting Place Clubhouse, Shannon founded Compeer San Diego, a nonprofit organization to provide friendship and support to individuals with a mental illness.

With both an MBA and an intensely personal commitment to advocacy for persons with mental illness, it will be exciting to learn what develops next from the inspiration, connections and support the Aspen Health Innovators Fellowship offers. Stay tuned. I’m confident the world will be a better place because of these leaders’ deliberate efforts and impact.

About NAMI San Diego:  An affiliate of NAMI California and the national grass roots, non-profit founded in 1979 by family members, NAMI San Diego is the community’s voice on mental illness. Its threefold mission is to support, educate and advocate. They offer a Helpline, support groups, educational meetings, newsletters, a lending library and classes at various locations throughout the county to end the stigma associated with mental illness.

“Recovery Innovations” is now “RI International”

RI InternationalWe’ve recently launched a new website, and with it we are introducing a new brand name and will now be known as RI International. We are also highlighting our businesses with four distinct unit brands(Crisis, Health, Recovery and Consulting), and we hope you will explore the content on links for each of these RI International businesses. We’ve undergone an amazing transformation over the past year and now we’re excited to share our new name and identity, which, while retaining some original brand elements, also highlights our areas of significant growth.

In spite of the change to our brand, we wanted to ensure simplicity in our business interactions, so please note the following:

  • Our new brand identities are D/B/As; and our legal names remain Recovery Innovations, Inc. and Recovery Opportunity Center, LLC.
  • All contracts remain in effect with no modifications required.

These changes better reflect our strategic vision, key areas of emphasis, and our international presence. We’re growing to serve you (and our participants) better, by expanding our programs and services in four key business units.                                                                              .
RI CrisisCrisis is our fastest growing area with new programs in Arizona, California, Delaware, North Carolina and Washington State. We’re also enhancing technologies and service lines within our existing array of Recovery Response Centers (Crisis Stabilization Programs), Evaluation & Treatment (Involuntary & Court-ordered Treatment), and Crisis Respites. And, we’re adding capacity through partnerships for “Air Traffic Control” equipped crisis and access call centers, electronic crisis bed inventory systems, community-based mobile crisis teams and high-tech dispatch.

RI HealthHealth is an emerging business that we are implementing first in Arizona through a partnership with primary care. It facilitates individual and group counseling, co-occurring substance abuse programming and illness management and recovery groups. In addition, we provide transitional and permanent supported housing options. We’re in the process of adding clinical, medical, and routine primary care services, creating fully-integrated health homes. These well-rounded services further strengthen our ability to support individuals at risk of suicide, co-occurring substance use disorder, and serious medical conditions including diabetes, COPD and heart disease.
.RI RecoveryRecovery offers peer support services in multiple locations in five states and New Zealand, providing individual and group peer support and recovery education programs. We’re currently expanding our Peer Bridger/Navigator opportunities to ensure successful community transition of our participants after hospitalization or incarceration. We’re also placing an emphasis on measurably demonstrating both the recovery and cost-savings benefits of these programs.

RI ConsultingConsulting provides consulting and training services around the globe. Subject Matter Experts from throughout the organization provide consultation regarding key programs including; next-generation crisis services (including the “Air Traffic Control” functionality and technologies referenced above), transition management, integrated outpatient and peer support, managing a peer workforce, Zero Suicide programming, health and wellness, co-Occurring SUD and BH leadership.

RI Consulting’s Peer/Recovery Support Certification is the most transferrable in the world. In addition to providing consulting and training in nearly every state, we’ve provided services in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Tokyo and throughout the United Kingdom.

Our recent Zero Suicide in Healthcare summit in partnership with IIMHL was the second international gathering of its kind, and it included participation from 13 countries (Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, N. Ireland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the US).

RI before and after branding

Thank you for your continued partnership and support in our shared and very worthwhile endeavor of empowering others in their efforts toward a healthier life in community.

RI International CEO & President delivers Zero Suicide message to Washington State’s Summit of Hope

Click to redirect to The Oregonian article:

Zero suicide? Summit of Hope aims to start dialogue about taboo subject

By Nuran Alteir, The Oregonian/Oregon Live