RI International CEO & President David Covington Appointed to National Department of Health & Human Services Committee

WASHINGTON D.C., US, August 29, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — RI International CEO and President David W. Covington, LPC, MBA, will participate in the inaugural meeting of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) on Thursday, August 31, 2017. David was selected as one of 14 targeted appointments to serve alongside leaders from 10 federal agencies (representing a leading research, advocacy, or service organization for adults with a serious mental illness). The Department of Health & Human Services formally announced the non-federal members on August 16, 2017.

The ISMICC is focused on the heart of the matter; on the outcomes experienced by those with serious mental illnesses. It’s time for us to begin taking strong actions to achieve measured success.
– David W. Covington

Read the full article here.

RI CEO and President David Covington featured on New Zealand Zero Suicide News Program

David Covington interviewed by Ryan Bridge about Zero Suicides goal

Is suicide preventable? Or is it inevitable? If somebody’s suffering reaches a no-turning back stage, can they be turned back?

Ryan Bridge speaks to world-renowned Suicide expert David Covington,  who founded the Zero Suicide initiative.

Listen to the interview here:

http://www.radiolive.co.nz/home/audio/2017/07/aiming-for-a-goal-of-zero-suicides.html

Opioid Crisis Hits Wilmington Area Hard; Lack of Public Resources Hinders Response

This is an abridged version of the original article. Click here to read the full article.

North Carolina’s place in the national opioid crisis is nothing new here – and the news that Wilmington is the top city in the nation for opioid abuse doesn’t surprise people.

These days, from well-to-do Market Street lined with live elms to the dilapidated and garbage strewn Houston Moore and Hillcrest housing projects, addiction is uniting the city. Acknowledging that has been a long time coming.

Joe Stanley Wellness City

Joe Stanley has been clean for 13 years and now helps others at Wellness City. (Photo: Joe Killian)

“There’s been a bad drug problem here for a lot of years,” says Joe Stanley. “But people are just beginning to really pay attention to it because you’re seeing that other demographic affected – middle class white people, rich people, people who are into prescribed pills and don’t start out with heroin. Now they’re seeing it can happen to anybody. Addiction can come for anyone.”

Stanley knows. He’s been clean for 13 years and now works as a peer support specialist, helping other addicts at the Wellness City recovery center on South 17th Street. But he spent decades abusing drugs – mostly crack – in Wilmington.

Most people working with addicts here agree – when the bodies were mostly black and being found in flop houses or behind gas stations, there was a lot less attention to the epidemic. But in the decade between 2005 and 2015 opioid-related deaths jumped from 26 to 45 in New Hanover County. That’s nearly as many as in Guilford County, whose population is more than twice as large.

But New Hanover County is 81 percent white. Its median income is just over $50,000 a year – higher than much larger Guilford. So not all of those struggling with and dying from addiction are, as so many people here say carefully, “who you’d think.”

Kris Ludacher, director of the Wellness City.

Kris Ludacher, director of the Wellness City. (Photo: Joe Killian)

Kris Ludacher is the director of the Wellness City – a no-cost, peer-support recovery operation that opened just last year. The group held 125 sessions – they don’t like to call them “classes” – last month for people struggling with addiction, mental health problems and both.

But before he was running the Wellness City, he spent eight years with a mobile crisis unit here. Even eight years ago about two-thirds of the calls were for substance abuse – and the number of opioid overdose calls were on the climb. Ludacher said he noticed a related trend.

“It used to be that you’d get an overdose call and it would be in a Chick-fil-A bathroom,” Ludacher said. “But then you started getting those calls and they were at half-million dollar yachts.”

Government services in New Hanover County are doing their best to combat the epidemic – but the need is great and the resources sorely lacking.

The county recently produced a series of public service announcement videos on various angles of the epidemic. But the piece of the story that is often overlooked is the impact on the families and children of those struggling with addiction here.

Mary Beth Rubright is Child Protective Services Chief with the Department of Social Services in New Hanover County. Her department has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic here, experiencing a 93 percent increase in the number of children who need foster homes in the four-year period between 2012 and 2016.

Add to that the sharp spike in child deaths related to opioid addicted parents –  in car crashes, parents who roll over on children who sleep with them, severe neglect and suicide.

“The numbers are scary,” Rubright said.

There are now nearly 500 children in foster care in New Hanover, a number approaching that of some of the state’s largest counties.

Medicaid expansion would be a godsend to some people trying to get on and stay on a real recovery path, Davis said. That’s a call many lawmakers in Raleigh have been sounding for years, but the GOP majority is not yet on board.

In the meantime, those on the ground agree a serious commitment of resources to combat the epidemic is needed.

Wanda Marino, assistant director for Social Work Services in New Hanover, said the first step is acknowledging the problem – something New Hanover is doing, but many communities are not.

“And we need more resources, more staff who receive substance abuse training, more resources to hold on to good staff so that we aren’t having to replace them and they aren’t chasing their tails,” Marino said. “We have a great staff here. They work hard and they are trained. But we just need more of them. I think that’s the case in a lot of places.”

Read the Full Article Here

Trillium Aims To Provide Health Services

Kris Ludacer Wilmington Program Director

Kris Ludacer is program director of Wilmington Wellness City, a partnership between Trillium Health Resources and RI International that is fully funded by Trillium and housed at 1960 S. 17th St. (Photo by Chris Brehmer)

Wilmington Wellness City, a partnership between Trillium and RI International that is fully funded by Trillium, celebrated a grand opening in January at 1960 S. 17th St. in Wilmington, a much larger location from the previous one-room space the program operated out of at The Harrelson Center downtown.

Getting more people who are recovering from addiction or mental illnesses to use the service means getting the word out about Wilmington’s location, said Kris Ludacer, program director of Wilmington Wellness City.

That also means “having people stop by to see the facility and just kind of take a tour. One of the things I think people aren’t realizing is we don’t infringe on anyone else’s services. We are an additional support, and we’re free to anybody over the age of 18. It doesn’t matter what insurance you have; it doesn’t matter what level of service you’re getting from another provider,” Ludacer said.

Potential funding cuts from the state could affect Wellness City locations, including in Wilmington, New Bern and Greenville, officials said.

Ludacer said one of the main impacts could be an overflow of people who need the free help because they can’t pay for other sources, although he said the Wilmington Wellness City would try to accommodate everyone.

Read the Full Article Here

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: https://www.cardinalinnovations.org/docs/innovations-stories-joy-brunson-nsubuga-20170328.pdf

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 /EINPresswire.com/ — 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.
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“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.”

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