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FY 2013 Grant Request for Applications (RFA)

Safe Schools/Healthy Students State Planning, Local Education Agency, and Local Community Cooperative Agreements
(Short Title: SS/HS State Program)


Request for Applications (RFA) No.: SM-13-006
Posting on May 28, 2013
Original Receipt date: July 1, 2013

Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) No.: 93.243

Key Dates

Application Deadline Applications are due by July 1, 2013
Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372) Applicants must comply with E.O. 12372 if their State(s) participates. Review process recommendations from the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.
Public Health System Impact Statement (PHSIS) / Single State Agency Coordination Applicants must send the PHSIS to appropriate State and local health agencies by application deadline. Comments from Single State Agency are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2013 Safe Schools/Healthy Students State Planning, Local Education Agency, and Local Community (SS/HS State Program) cooperative agreements. The purpose of the SS/HS State Program is to create safe and supportive schools and communities by bringing the SS/HS model to scale at the state/tribe level by building partnerships among educational, behavioral health, and criminal/juvenile justice systems. By implementing this program, SAMHSA expects to achieve an increase in the number of children and youth who have access to behavioral health services; a decrease in the number of students who abuse substances; an increase in supports for early childhood development; improvements in school climate; and a reduction in the number of students who are exposed to violence.

SAMHSA believes that America's schools should be safe and secure settings where children can focus on learning and develop their full potential; thus helping them stay on a positive trajectory that will support academic success and help them graduate and become productive citizens. However, as tragic events continue to remind us, schools are no longer the safest public setting for children and adolescents. The most recent data on school crime and safety indicate that while the incidence of violent crimes in schools decreased from 1992 to 2007, students are now equally likely to experience non-fatal crimes (including theft, simple assault, aggravated assault, rape, and sexual assault) in school as they are outside of school. During the 2007-2008 school year, 85 percent of public schools in the United States recorded that at least one crime occurred at their school. Also, bullying in schools is on the rise. In 2007 34 percent of students ages 12 through 18 were bullied at school and 4 percent reported having been cyberbullied (Dinkes, Kemp, Baum, & Snyder 2009), whereas in 2001 only 14 percent of students ages 12 through 18 reported that they had been bullied in school.

Since 1999, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Education (ED), and Justice (DOJ) have collaborated on the SS/HS Initiative. This grant program provided funding to local education agencies (LEAs) that worked in partnership with local law enforcement and juvenile justice, social service and mental health agencies, and other community organizations to plan and implement comprehensive and coordinated programs, policies, and service delivery systems that promoted the mental health of students, enhanced academic achievement, prevented violence and substance use, and created safe and respectful school climates.

The SS/HS program has proven to be successful in creating safe and secure schools in individual communities across the country. An evaluation of the SS/HS Initiative provides evidence of the Initiative's success. More than 90 percent of school staff saw reduced violence on school grounds and nearly 80 percent reported that SS/HS had reduced violence in their communities. There was a 263 percent increase in the number of students who received school-based mental health services and a 519 percent increase in those receiving community based services. Nearly 90 percent of school staff stated that they were better able to detect mental health problems in their students and more than 90 percent of school staff reported that they saw reductions in alcohol and other substance use. Additonal background information about the SS/HS Initiative can be found in Appendix J of this RFA.

SAMHSA seeks to build upon the lessons from this important grant program by providing funds to disseminate the lessons learned from SS/HS by engaging state and community (including local education agencies) partnerships that will result in the successful implementation of comprehensive school violence prevention initiatives that are guided by the SS/HS model. Issues that affect the learning environment of schools - such as bullying, fighting, alcohol and substance use, need for mental health services, and truancy - cannot be solved by schools alone. Collaboration allows for combined knowledge, skills, and resources of various local public, private, and community agencies to be used in responding these issues. The SS/HS mission continues to be supporting school and community partnerships in their efforts to develop and coordinate integrated systems that create safe, drug-free, and respectful environments for learning and to promote the behavioral health of children and youth.

The SS/HS State Program partnership is designed to facilitate a closer relationship between state policy and local implementation of policies and programs to address youth violence and promote the wellness of children, youth, and families. Under this new program, development of partnerships will be required at both the state/tribe and community levels. As part of the application process, each state/tribe will select three local education agencies (LEAs) within three local communities to partner with and implement a comprehensive plan of services and strategies. In implementing the state/tribe comprehensive plan, the three LEAs will mobilize their community partners, families, and youth to transform their service delivery systems and create an integrated network of activities, programs, services, and policies to decrease youth violence and promote the healthy development of children and youth. Together, the LEAs, their community partners, and the states/tribes, are expected to improve collaboration across all child, youth, and family serving organizations, improve access to the availability of evidence-based prevention and wellness promotion practices, and focus on both school-based and community-wide strategies to prevent violence and promote the healthy development of children and youth.

The SS/HS State Program supports the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan of activities, services, and strategies to decrease youth violence and promote the healthy development of children and youth. SAMHSA expects that these cooperative agreements will facilitate wide-scale adoption and operation of the SS/HS model and build state- and community-level partnerships among educational, behavioral health, and criminal/juvenile justice systems that promote systems integration and policy change and sustainable policies, infrastructure, services, and supports.

SAMHSA has demonstrated that behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and substance use disorders. SAMHSA has identified eight Strategic Initiatives to focus the Agency's work on people and emerging opportunities. More information is available at the SAMHSA website: SS/HS is part of the Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illnesses Strategic Initiative, which aims to support communities where individuals, families, schools, faith-based organizations, and workplaces take action to promote emotional health and reduce the likelihood of mental health disorders, substance abuse including tobacco, and suicide. SS/HS is also part of the Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiative which aims to reduce the pervasive, harmful, and costly health impact of violence and trauma by integrating trauma-informed approaches throughout health, behavioral health, and related systems and addressing the behavioral health needs of people involved in or at risk of involvement in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

SS/HS State Program cooperative agreementsare authorized under Section 520A of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. This announcement addresses Healthy People 2020 Mental Health and Mental Disorders Topic Area HP 2020-MHMD, Educational and Community Based Program Topic Area HP 2020-ECBP, and Substance Abuse Topic Area HP 2020-SA.


Eligible applicants are:

  • The State Education Agency (SEA) or State Mental Health Authority (SMHA) in states, territories and the District of Columbia; and
  • A federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribe or tribal organization.

Tribal organization means the recognized body of any AI/AN tribe; any legally established organization of American Indians/Alaska Natives which is controlled, sanctioned, or chartered by such governing body or which is democratically elected by the adult members of the Indian community to be served by such organization and which includes the maximum participation of American Indians/Alaska Natives in all phases of its activities.

The authorized organizational representative (AOR) of the SEA or SMHA, or the tribal organization, must sign the application.

SAMHSA believes that the SEAs and SMHAs are in a unique position to build strong partnerships across multiple agencies at the state level. The SEAs and SMHAs are able to influence the wide-scale adoption of SS/HS policies, programs, and services. SEAs and SMHAs can assist the local education agencies (LEAs) with implementing the necessary policies, programs and service at the community level. LEAs that have previously been awarded a SS/HS grant are not eligible to be considered for this funding announcement because it is SAMHSAs intent to expand the reach of SS/HS into new communities.

The statutory authority for this program prohibits grants to for-profit agencies.

Award Information

Funding Mechanism: Cooperative Agreements
Anticipated Total Available Funding: $14.027 million
Anticipated Number of Awards: Up to 7
Anticipated Award Amount: Up to $2.214 million per year
Cost Sharing/Match Required? No
Length of Project Period: Up to 4 year

Proposed budgets cannot exceed $2.214 million in total costs (direct and indirect) in any year of the proposed project. Annual continuation awards will depend on the availability of funds, grantee progress in meeting project goals and objectives, timely submission of required data and reports, and compliance with all terms and conditions of award. The SS/HS State Program will support the development of a comprehensive SS/HS plan that will give each state/tribe the ability to pilot their plan in three communities for four years. Grant awards of up to $2.214 million per year for four consecutive years will be made. No more than 15 percent of the grant award will be used by the state/tribe, not more than 10 percent of the grant award will be used for project evaluation, and the remaining 75 percent will be used by the three local LEAs and their respective community partners.

Funding estimates for this announcement are based on the FY 2013 Continuing Resolution, as reduced by sequestration. Applicants should be aware that final funding amounts are subject to the availability of funds.

These awards will be made as cooperative agreements

Contact Information

For questions about program issues contact

Michelle Bechard
Team Lead, Safe Schools/Healthy Students
Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Room 6-1097
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(240) 276-1872

For questions on grants management and budget issues contact:

Gwendolyn Simpson
Office of Financial Resources, Division of Grants Management
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Room 7-1091
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(240) 276-1408

Documents Needed to Complete a Grant Application



If you would like to obtain a copy of the webinar that was held on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, please visit the SAMHSA Technical Assistance provider for this grant, the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative website, or email



Additional Materials

For further information on the forms and the application process, see Useful Information for Applicants.

Additional materials available on this website include:

Last updated: 06/18/2013