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TDMHSAS Receives Second Grant For TN Healthy Transitions

New federal funding expands services for youth and young adults to new sites
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 | 12:54pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— A program aimed at improving the emotional and behavioral health of youth and young adults is growing to new areas of the state with the support of a new federal grant.

TN Healthy Transitions is designed for youth and young adults ages 16 to 25 who have a serious mental disorder or co-occurring intellectual developmental disability (IDD).  The program supports them with evidence-based treatment and recovery services that are appropriate for their age range.

“We know that too many of our young people are falling through the cracks and not getting the help they need for serious mental illness, sometimes with tragic consequences including suicide,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW.  “The transition from school-based services to adult mental health services is a critical point where young adults often get lost.  With this program, we want to make sure young people receive the services and supports they need so they can maximize their potential to lead full and productive lives.”

The grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is for $5 million and lasts for five years.  Tennessee is one of 14 grantees that received awards including other states, the District of Columbia, and Native American Tribes.

With the new funding, TN Healthy Transitions will add locations in Nashville and Greene County through partnerships with Mental Health Cooperative, Frontier Health, and Tennessee Voices for Children.  The original TN Healthy Transitions grant serves Benton, Carroll, Gibson, Hamilton, Henry, Lake, Obion, and Weakley Counties and runs through September 2019.  Capacity built through the original grant has served as a foundation for Juvenile Justice Diversion Programs and other services for youth and young adults.

 “The selection of a rural and an urban site for this expansion is intentional.  As supports are added through this program, we want to make sure that we’re looking outside of the major cities and expanding capacity to serve all Tennesseans,” said Jessica Mullins, LMSW, TDMHSAS Project Director for Youth and Young Adult Initiatives.

In addition to services provided to youth and young adults, the original TN Healthy Transitions grant, awarded in 2014, has proved to have statewide benefits resulting in the creation of a peer support certification for young adults and a statewide Young Adult Leadership Council.  Both programs work with youth and young adults on promoting mental health awareness and accessibility to services.