September 1, 2016 – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded CARS the second TA contract to support the Project AWARE and Healthy Transitions grantees funded through the Now Is The Time (NITT) initiative. These grant programs provide opportunities for grantee agencies to engage in innovative systems and services improvement approaches aimed at addressing the mental health and wellbeing of vulnerable young people. We are proud to have led the NITT-TA Center since project inception (2014).
For Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education), CARS provides dedicated TTA services to 20 State Education Agencies partnered with Local Education Agencies to increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth; train school personnel to detect and respond to mental health issues; and connect children, youth, and families who may experience behavioral health issues with appropriate services. CARS also supports 100 independently funded Local Education Agencies and 71 Communities to provide Youth/Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA/MHFA) trainings.
In 2017, Project AWARE was expanded to include the new ReCAST grant program (Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma). ReCAST funding supports 8 municipalities that have experienced civil unrest in the past two years to promote resilience and equity through implementation of evidence-based, violence prevention, and community youth engagement programs, as well as through linkages to trauma-informed behavioral health services.
For Healthy Transitions, CARS provides dedicated TTA services to 17 state and tribal grantees partnered with local laboratory communities to improve access to treatment and support services for 16- to 25-year olds who have, or are at risk of developing, a serious mental health condition. Healthy Transitions seeks to prevent people experiencing serious mental health conditions in this age group from “falling through the cracks” between the child- and adult-serving systems.
The NITT-TA Center is led by CARS and includes partners WestEd, Health and Human Development (HHDP) program; University of South Florida, Child & Family Studies Department; Change Matrix; Youth M.O.V.E. National; and FREDLA (the Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association).