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TDMHSAS Awards $6.5 Million in Grants to Support Children's Mental Health Across the State

Grantees developed unique proposals specific to needs in their communities
Wednesday, December 22, 2021 | 08:48am

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) has selected a total of ten programs across the state to receive $6.5 million in new funding to expand mental health services for children and youth.  The new state funding was budgeted by Governor Bill Lee and appropriated by the Tennessee General Assembly in the TDMHSAS budget for state fiscal year 2022.

In the department’s announcement of funding, grantees were instructed to collaborate with community stakeholders including local education authorities and other partners to design proposals that would have the greatest impact and address outstanding needs.  The selected proposals increase school-based services and respond to the increasing need for emergency psychiatric services for children and youth.

Grantees also designed proposals focusing on early intervention services for children from birth to 8 years old.  Infant and early childhood is a critical period for determining a person’s lifetime mental health, and funding will allow for the expansion of early childhood mental health training, coaching and consultation, as well as capacity development and awareness building.

“Tennessee is a state blessed with a wide variety of resources and challenges when it comes to children’s mental health.  That’s why we took a bottom-up approach to this funding opportunity to empower the amazing mental health providers we work with to design approaches to meet the biggest needs that they see in the communities they serve,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW.  “We are so grateful to Governor Bill Lee for his vision in budgeting this funding and to the members of the General Assembly for their investment in the mental health of our state’s most precious resource.”

Available funding under this announcement was divided proportionally among the department’s seven planning regions based on the number of children and youth living in each region.  Programs selected under this announcement of funding include:

  • Region 1 Northeast Tennessee: Frontier Health, $424,000 – Expanding school-based services through the School-Based Behavioral Health Liaison program and Project BASIC, enhancing crisis care with an additional master’s-level therapist
  • Region 2 East Tennessee: McNabb Center, $1.1M – Creating three Crisis Response Teams which will partner with schools, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, and detention centers to improve outcomes from a child’s mental health crisis
  • Region 3 Southeast Tennessee and Cumberland Plateau: Volunteer Behavioral Health, $900,000 - Expanding school-based services through the School-Based Behavioral Health Liaison program and Project BASIC.
  • Region 4 Davidson County: TN Voices, $623,000 – Expanding Child Care Consultation with two new Early Childhood Specialists and two Family Support Specialists
  • Region 5 Middle Tennessee:
    • Volunteer Behavioral Health, $594,000 - Expanding school-based services through the School-Based Behavioral Health Liaison program and Project BASIC.
    • Prevention Coalition for Success, $200,000 – Integrating a Family Support Specialist into the Family Preservation Initiative to work with youth and families in the juvenile court system
    • Youth Villages, $426,000 – Creating an enhanced crisis coordination team with five liaisons to assist in children and youth mental health crisis cases
    • TN Voices, $609,000 - Expanding Child Care Consultation with five new Early Childhood Specialists and five Family Support Specialists and adding one new School-Based Behavioral Health Liaison
  • Region 6 West Tennessee: Pathways, $500,000 – Expanding observational and consulting services currently being offered in 20 Head Start centers, seven emergency departments, and other locations across the region, adding one new School-Based Behavioral Health Liaison and four project liaisons to work with community agencies to provide initial assessment, case management, and counseling services
  • Region 7 Shelby County: TN Voices, $1M – Expanding Child Care Consultation with three Early Childhood Specialists positions and three Family Support Specialists

For additional details on TDMHSAS services available for children and youth, please visit our website at this link: TN.gov/behavioral-health/children