Connections to Care (C2C): Evaluating an Initiative Integrating Mental Health Supports into Social Service Settings
Jan 19, 2017
The Connections to Care (C2C) program will reach up to 40,000 underserved New York City residents over five years by encouraging formal collaborations between community-based organizations (CBOs) and mental health providers. The RAND Corporation is evaluating the results of the C2C program. This brief research report presents preliminary findings from interviews with CBO leaders, focusing on their experiences launching C2C at their organizations.
The mental health system often does not reach all individuals who need mental health services. The Connections to Care (C2C) program, a $30 million public-private partnership under the federal Social Innovation Fund, with oversight from the C2C Collaborative, aims to address this problem by reaching up to 40,000 New Yorkers over five years by encouraging formal collaborations between community-based organizations (CBOs) and mental health providers (MHPs). In the C2C task-shifting model, mental health specialists equip non-specialist direct service staff at CBOs with the skills to deliver nonmedical mental health services while also facilitating referrals for more intensive care, if needed. By the end of the first year of C2C implementation, CBOs had contracted with MHPs, and together they developed operational plans, and delivered C2C services to over 4,000 CBO clients. The RAND Corporation is evaluating the results of the C2C program from three vantage points: the effect of C2C on participating clients, relative to a comparison group of New Yorkers not receiving C2C services (impact); the program's implementation across different CBOs; and the effects of the program on government and CBO spending. The purpose of this brief research report is to present preliminary key findings from interviews with CBO leadership, conducted between June and August of 2017, which focused on CBO leaders' experiences launching C2C at their organizations. We share these findings to support CBOs and additional stakeholders in decisionmaking for C2C during the implementation phase. Other findings from the evaluation will be released as data become available.