TN Dept. of Mental Health Awarded $4-Million Grant

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The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) Office of Children and Youth (OCY) has been awarded a four-year, $4 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), effective October 1.
The funding will be used to implement a comprehensive strategic plan for a statewide System of Care (SOC) for children and families that is, according to the grant proposal written by OCY Director Susan “Sukey” Steckel, “family-driven, youth-guided, community-based, and culturally and linguistically competent.”
This statewide System of Care expansion hopes to build on existing infrastructure and state/local partnerships, as well as increase families’ access to mental health services and supports that adhere to the System of Care philosophy. One of the key areas the OCY plans to use this funding is to help provide statewide technical assistance and training to state and local child-serving agencies, youth and families. This will be done to help them implement the System of Care values and principles within their organizations.
“I am excited about receiving this grant, which will allow our Department to share best practices of the System of Care throughout the state,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner E. Douglas Varney. “Tennessee has been on the forefront in developing Systems of Care around the state, and this grant will allow us to continue to provide those services for children and families in the future.”
The Department was one of just 15 states to be given the award in what was described as a very competitive process. For more information about SAMHSA, go online to 
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