Page title
“Now is the Time” Project AWARE-Community Grants

Main page content

Short Title: NITT-AWARE-C
Initial Announcement Back to the Grants Dashboard

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

NOFO Number: SM-15-012

Posted on Monday, March 02, 2015

Application Due Date: Friday, May 01, 2015

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 93.243

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) 2015 “Now is the Time” Project AWARE-Community (Short Title: NITT-AWARE-C) grants. The purpose of this program is to support the training of teachers and a broad array of actors who interact with youth through their programs at the community level, including parents, law enforcement, faith-based leaders, and other adults, in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) or Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). Implementation of the NITT-AWARE-C program is expected to increase the mental health literacy among youth-serving adults, policy-makers, and administrators of programs serving youth.

Just over 20 percent of children, either currently or at some point in their life, will experience had a serious mental disorder. Seventy percent of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20 percent live with a severe mental illness. As more people, and particularly youth, experience mental distress, there is a need for increased mental health literacy and basic mental health training for the public. At times, mental health services are not provided to youth who need them. The reasons include the failure to recognize problems, fear of negative attitudes and discrimination, and lack of resources (Cowell, 2013). Adolescents are particularly dependent on adults for recognition of mental health problems, provision of adequate support, and referrals to help (Jorm, Kitchener, and Sawyer, 2010). Developing the appropriate social support system has been shown to reduce the risk of developing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders (Jorm,, 2010).

In January 2013, the President put forward a plan – “Now is the Time” – which combined executive actions and calls for legislative action that would, among other things, increase access to mental health services. The “Now is the Time” plan can be found at

The NITT-AWARE-C program is expanding the MHFA and YMHFA training to achieve a wider community impact by training a more diverse group of adults who, in turn, will reach a broader spectrum of adolescents or transition-aged youth within the communities. For the purpose of this RFA, adolescents refer to youth 12 to 18 years of age, and transition-aged youth refers to youth 16 to 24 years of age. By training an increased number of adults to be MHFA or YMHFA First Aiders, a community can move toward wide-scale knowledge of behavioral health issues that affect youth and become more effective in addressing behavioral health issues affecting adolescents or transition-aged youth. The implementation of MHFA or YMHFA is most impactful when the training is integrated with a coordinated community-wide plan, which addresses strategic and system-wide change that will improve youth outcomes.

More detailed information on MHFA and YMHFA, including estimated costs and links to additional resources, can be found in Appendix II of the RFA.

The NITT-AWARE-C program closely aligns with SAMHSA’s strategic initiative on Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness. This grant program aims to support communities where individuals, families, schools, and community-based organizations take action to promote emotional health and reduce the likelihood of mental and substance use disorders.

NITT-AWARE-C grants are 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.


Eligible applicants are domestic public and private nonprofit entities.  For example:

  • State and local governments;
  • Federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes and tribal organizations;
  • Urban Indian organizations;
  • Public or private universities and colleges; and
  • Non-profit community- and faith-based organizations

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.  Consortia of tribes or tribal organizations are eligible to apply, but each participating entity must indicate its approval.

Local education agencies who have received grant funding under either Project AWARE-LEA or Project AWARE-SEA are not eligible to apply for NITT-AWARE-C funding.  State educational agencies who have received funding under Project AWARE-SEA are also not eligible to apply for this funding opportunity. These entities are already receiving funding for these activities and are therefore not eligible to apply.  

Award Information

Funding Mechanism: Grant

Anticipated Total Available Funding: $8,611,576

Anticipated Number of Awards: Up to 70

Anticipated Award Amount: Up to $125,000 per year

Length of Project: Up to 3 years

Cost Sharing/Match Required?: No

Proposed budgets cannot exceed $125,000 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.

Contact Information

Last Updated

Last Updated: