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Mosaic Monday: Meet Brooks Ross, Spurwink CCBHC Peer Specialist

By May 22, 2023Blog

Spurwink is a mosaic of individuals who comprise our vibrant and brilliant community — from generous corporate partners to individual donors, our hardworking and diligent staff to the people we are humbled to serve.

This week we are featuring Brooks Ross, Peer Specialist for Spurwink’s new Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC).

As a Peer Specialist, Brooks supports and advocates for program participants in their pursuit of their recovery goals and development of satisfying, hopeful and fulfilling lives. Working with peer professionals who have had similar experiences and are able to share their own story of struggle and success, can help bridge the gap in understanding between participants and providers. As Brooks shared, “I’ve struggled with Mental Health my whole life, so I know how important it is to have the CCBHC. Mental Health is something that a lot of people do not want to acknowledge. I believe that through the CCBHC, people will be more open to getting the help they need due to the fact that it’s regardless of your ability to pay. Medical debt can prevent a lot of people from getting the help they need.”

Spurwink’s CCBHC (Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic) specifically addresses the behavioral health disparities experienced by low-income individuals who lack access to care through the Veteran’s Administration due to their discharge status, homeless individuals, and asylum seekers, many of whom have complex needs requiring trauma-informed interventions and support. The CCBHC serves Cumberland County and is located in the Bayside neighborhood in downtown Portland.

Brooks believes that Spurwink provides a great service for the community because “we aren’t just focusing on one age group, or one population, because Mental Health affects everyone. I chose to work for the CCBHC (because) I believe in the mission, and I love how the CCBHC brings a lot of the other programs together and helps with the cost.”

In its first year, the CCBHC team has been working with the community, including local inpatient facilities, emergency departments, law enforcement, residential facilities, and crisis response to establish the clinic’s assessment and intake processes to get participants connected to needed services on admission and discharge, as well as raising awareness and providing targeted outreach to communities in need. Brooks shared that one of the most important things he wants everyone to know is that to receive services from the CCBHC, you don’t have to have a Mental Health diagnosis or a history of substance use. Brooks emphasized, “we want to help serve everyone.”

Thank you, Brooks, for all you do for our community by making Spurwink’s innovative and important programming a reality!