National Council for Mental Wellbeing

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The National Council, with support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, developed a two-year learning community, the Reducing Adolescent Substance Abuse Initiative (RASAI), that took place from Oct. 1, 2014 – Sept. 30, 2016. The goal was to help providers systematically implement a Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) protocol to address substance use among adolescents ages 15 to 22 receiving services for an emotional disturbance or psychiatric disorder.



Project Overview

Participating sites, both within states and across the country, engaged in peer-to-peer learning with access to expert one-on-one consultation with change coaches and clinical experts. They also analyzed client data as part of rapid cycle change plans. Subsequent to the two-year learning community, sites accessed follow-up support and report data for a six-month period.

The RASAI project provided technical assistance and training to the participating sites in the following areas:

  • SBIRT process.
  • Rapid cycle change plans.
  • Workflows for the screening to treatment process.
  • Brief interventions/motivational interviewing.
  • Consultation and data reporting.
  • Development of referral partnerships.
  • Billing for and financing of SBIRT.
  • General billing, coding and documentation issues.

Initiative Objectives
The primary objective of this two-year multistate initiative was to assist organizations in developing the following strategies:

  • Implement SBIRT screening and brief intervention practices.
  • Promote the use of Medicaid and other financing avenues to pay for SBIRT services.
  • Allow the development of comprehensive monitoring and evaluations of learning community participants.
  • Sustain project implementation and successes following the conclusion of the learning community.
  • Facilitate the dissemination of project findings and materials to the broader health community.

Selected Participants

California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies (State Lead)

  • Bill Wilson Center
  • Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services
  • Hillsides
  • Pacific Clinics
  • Turning Point of Central California, Inc.

Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council (State Lead)

  • Community Reach Center
  • Jefferson Center for Mental Health
  • Mental Health Center of Denver
  • San Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group
  • Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas, Inc. (State Lead)
  • Central Kansas Mental Health Center
  • Compass Behavioral Health
  • Elizabeth Layton Center, Inc.
  • Four County Mental Health Center
  • South Central Mental Health Counseling Center
  • The Center for Counseling and Consultation
  • New York State Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (State Lead)
  • Astor Services for Children and Families
  • Child and Adolescent Treatment Services
  • Hillside Children’s Center
  • ICL
  • Northeast Parent and Child Society
  • Rhode Island Council of Community Mental Health Organizations, Inc. (State Lead)
  • Gateway Healthcare, Inc.
  • The Providence Center
  • Newport County Community Mental Health Center

Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations (State Lead)

  • Alliance Healthcare Services
  • Carey Counseling Center, Inc.
  • Frontier Health
  • Helen Ross McNabb Center


If you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact Stephanie Swanson at



The National Council for Mental Wellbeing is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 3,000 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 1.5 million Americans have been trained.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $92 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2013. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.4 billion. For more information, please visit