Grants to Expand Mental Health Services for Youth

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced more than $3.3 million to community-based healthcare providers that will increase access to mental health services for children and families across the state. Administered through the state Office of Mental Health, the federal funding is aimed at helping community-based service providers better serve children and youth who are dually diagnosed with mental illness and a developmental disability or substance use disorder. 


“Access to mental health programs is a critical component of our efforts to ensure New Yorkers receive the care they need for themselves and their loved ones,” Governor Hochul said. “Too often, vulnerable populations face barriers in their ability to access mental health services, and these grants will help expand access to statewide programs, helping support more young New Yorkers to properly address their mental health needs.” 


The grants are funded through the American Rescue Plan Act and time-limited expansion of the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage share of funds for Medicaid programs. Community-based healthcare providers were invited to propose innovative projects to meet the needs of the children and families they serve.

Locally, Westchester Jewish Community Services received a community based award.


 Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “These grants will allow our healthcare providers in communities across the state to enhance and expand the services they provide to vulnerable youth living with mental health challenges, as well as substance use disorders or developmental disabilities. By increasing access, engagement and coordination of treatment and services, our community-based partners will be able to effectively serve many more youth and families.”


Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham said, “A comprehensive approach to treating both mental health and substance use conditions is an important part of the care provided to people across New York State. These are important initiatives that will serve a vital need, and thanks to this funding, more young people will have opportunities to access these critical services in their own community to support their long-term health.


The awards include more than $1 million that was divided among 35 not-for-profit community-based programs that operate under contracts with the Office of Mental Health or are funded by the agency or county mental health departments with local funds or state aid. These awards will support expanding suicide prevention initiatives, respite programs, family and youth peer support services and children’s non-Medicaid managed care programs.  


Another $760,000 was divided among 19 community-based providers to support efforts to establish mechanisms to increase engagement and reduce the reliance on emergency services for transportation. Funded projects include the purchase of metro cards to help remove transportation barriers for people receiving services, and expansion and enhancement of High-Risk Outpatient Mental Health Services.  


The awards also include $760,000 that was split among 19 programs to establish or enhance service coordination and multidisciplinary teams. Funded projects include implementation of an electronic data collection system and the creation of a Multi-Disciplinary Team meeting coordinator and facilitator for a provider’s Children’s Mental Health Rehabilitative Services Program. 


Another $280,000 was split between seven programs aimed at expanding services for co-occurring treatment, for patients who are living with mental illness as well as a developmental disability or substance use disorder. Funded projects include addition of a clinician for dually diagnosed adolescents, providing staff training in medication-assisted treatment and trauma-based cognitive behavior therapy and implementation of an evidence-based treatment model for adolescents and young adults designed to decrease harmful substance use and improve mental health.