$6.5 million in grants awarded to support children’s mental health across Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee (Washington) – The McNabb Center is one of ten programs across the state to receive a $6.5 million share of funding from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS). The funds will be used to expand child and youth mental health services.

Each beneficiary developed unique proposals specific to the needs within their communities. The groups worked with groups including local education authorities to design proposals focused on early intervention services for children from birth to age 8 years.

Since early childhood is a critical period for determining a person’s mental health for life, TDMHSAS says the funding will allow for expanded training, training and counseling in early childhood mental health, as well as capacity development and awareness building.

“Tennessee is a state blessed with a variety of resources and challenges when it comes to children’s mental health. That is why we took a bottom-up approach to this funding opportunity to empower the amazing mental health providers we work with to design approaches to address the larger needs they see in the communities they serve,” said Mary Williams, Delegated TDMHSAS, LCSW. “We are very grateful to Governor Bill Lee for his vision in budgeting this funding and for members of the General Assembly for their investment in the mental health of our state’s most precious resource.”

$6.5 million was divided into the department’s seven planning areas based on the number of children and youth living in each area. Selected programs include:

  • East Tennessee: McNabb . Center
    • $1.1 million – Create three crisis response teams that will partner with schools, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, and detention centers to improve outcomes from a child mental health crisis
  • Northeast Tennessee: Frontier Health
    • $424,000 – Expand school services through the School Behavioral Health Communication Program and Project BASIC, enhancing crisis care with additional master’s-level therapist
  • Southeast Tennessee and the Cumberland Plateau: Voluntary Behavioral Health
    • $900,000 – Expand school services through the School Behavioral Health Communication Program and Project BASIC.
  • Davidson County: TN . Voices
    • $623,000 – Expanded Child Care Consulting with two new early childhood specialists and two family support specialists
  • Middle Tennessee:
    • Voluntary Behavioral Health, $594,000 – Expand school services through the School-Based Behavioral Health Communication Program and the BASIC Project.
    • Prevention Coalition for Success, $200,000 – Incorporating a Family Support Specialist into the Family Preservation Initiative to work with youth and families in the juvenile court system
    • Youth Villages, $426 000 – Create an enhanced crisis coordination team with five focal points to assist in child and youth mental health crisis situations
    • TN Voices, $609,000 – Expanded Child Care Consulting with five new early childhood specialists and five family support specialists and added a new behavioral health liaison at the school
  • West Tennessee: Trails
    • $500,000 – Expands monitoring and counseling services currently provided at 20 Head Start centers, seven emergency departments, and other locations throughout the district, adding a school behavioral health liaison and four project coordinators to work with community agencies to provide initial assessment, Department of Cases, consulting services
  • Shelby County: TN . Voices
    • $1 Million – Childcare counseling expanded with three early childhood specialist positions and three family support specialists

For additional details about TDMHSAS services available for children and young adults, visit TN.gov/behavioral-health/children.

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