TDMHSAS Awards $6.5 Million in Grants to Support Children’s Mental Health Across the State

Nashville, Tennessee – The Tennessee Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) has selected a total of ten programs across the state to receive $6.5 million in new funding to expand child and youth mental health services. New government funding was budgeted by Governor Bill Lee and allocated by the Tennessee General Assembly in the TDMHSAS budget for the state’s fiscal year 2022.

In the department’s announcement of funding, grant recipients were directed to collaborate with community stakeholders including local education authorities and other partners to design proposals that would have the greatest impact and meet outstanding needs. The selected proposals increase school services and respond to the growing need for emergency psychological services for children and youth.

The grantees also designed proposals focused on early intervention services for children from birth to age 8. Infancy and early childhood is a critical period for determining mental health for a person’s life, and the funding will allow expansion of early childhood mental health training, mentoring and counseling, 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.”

Funding available under this declaration has been proportionally divided among the Department’s seven planning areas based on the number of children and youth living in each area. Programs selected under this announcement of funding include:

  • District 1 Northeast Tennessee: Frontier Health, $424,000 — Expand school services through the School-Based Behavioral Health Communication Program and the BASIC Project, enhancing crisis care with additional master’s-level therapist
  • District 2 East Tennessee: The 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
  • District 3 Southeast Tennessee and the Cumberland Plateau: Voluntary Behavioral Health, $900,000—Extension of school-based services through the School-Based Behavioral Health Communication Program and the BASIC Project.
  • District 4 Davidson County: TN Voices, $623,000 – Expanding Child Care Consulting with two new early childhood specialists and two family support specialists
  • District 5 Central 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
  • District 6 West Tennessee: Pathways, $500,000 – Expands monitoring and counseling services currently offered at 20 Head Start centers, seven emergency departments, and other locations throughout the district, with the addition of one new health liaison at the school and four project coordinators to work with Community agencies to provide initial assessment, case management, and counseling services
  • District 7 Shelby County: TN Voices, $1M – Expanded Child Care Consulting with three early childhood specialist positions and three family support specialists

For additional details about available TDMHSAS services for children and young adults, please visit our website at this link: TN.gov/behavioral-health/children

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