The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2016 Cooperative Agreements for the Expansion and Sustainability of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances (Short title: System of Care (SOC) Expansion and Sustainability Cooperative Agreements). The purpose of this program is to improve behavioral health outcomes for children and youth (birth-21) with serious emotional disturbances (SED) and their families. This program will support the widescale operation, expansion, and integration of the SOC approach by creating sustainable infrastructure and services that are required as part of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families Program (also known as the Children’s Mental Health Initiative or CMHI).
This cooperative agreement will support the provision of mental health and related recovery support services to children and youth with SED and those with early signs and symptoms of serious mental illness (SMI), including first episode psychosis (FEP), and their families.
The SOC Expansion and Sustainability Cooperative Agreements will build upon progress made in developing comprehensive SOC across the country by focusing on sustainable financing, cross-agency collaboration, the creation of policy and infrastructure, and the development and implementation of evidence-based and evidence-informed services and supports. Other activities supported will include the implementation of systemic changes, training, and workforce development.
The CMHI provides an excellent example of SAMHSA’s Theory of Change (http://store.samhsa.gov/product/PEP14-LEADCHANGE2). Based on data demonstrating improved outcomes for children, youth, and families, service system improvements, and a positive return on investment, CMHI has been successful in moving the SOC approach from a demonstration program towards a more widescale adoption of the SOC values and principles.
The goal is to continue these efforts to ensure that this approach becomes the primary way in which mental health services for children and youth with SED are delivered throughout the nation.
The SOC Expansion and Sustainability Cooperative Agreements program closely aligns with SAMHSA’s Recovery Support Strategic Initiative (http://www.samhsa.gov/about-us/strategic-initiatives). In addition, the program seeks to address behavioral health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities by encouraging the implementation of strategies to decrease the differences in access, service use, and outcomes among racial and ethnic minority populations served. (See PART II: Appendix F – Addressing Behavioral Health Disparities.)
The SOC Expansion and Sustainability Cooperative Agreements are authorized under Sections 561-565 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. This announcement addresses Healthy People 2020 Mental Health and Mental Disorders Topic Area HP 2020-MHMD.