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Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and Possibilities
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment as a sister agency, CMHS must address both treatment and prevention issues. Other major federal funding sources include the Office of National Drug Control Policy, MCHB, ED (including such initiatives as Safe and Drug-Free Schools10), and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. ACF is the primary funder of Head Start and child welfare programs, and CDC is involved in suicide prevention programs and surveillance efforts.
In 2004, SAMHSA awarded $230 million over 5 years to 21 states for the creation of Strategic Prevention Frameworks (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2004), an approach to planning and implementing prevention programs, broadly based on principles drawn from research. These funds are helping states to build the infrastructure and processes needed to promote healthy youth development, reduce risky behaviors, and prevent problem behaviors through community programs.
Although there are block grants for both mental health (Mental Health Services Block Grant) and substance abuse (Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant), only the substance abuse block grant includes a set-aside for prevention. States are mandated to use 20 percent of their block grant resources for universal, selective, and indicated prevention activities. In FY 2001, SAMHSA/CMHS awarded targeted capacity expansion grants for prevention and early intervention services, but the program has not been continued.
In 2006, Safe and Drug-Free Schools at ED appropriated $510 million for numerous programs targeting prevention of mental disorders and substance abuse. These programs focus on preventing illegal drug and alcohol use among youth and creating violence-free educational environments for both school- and college-age youth. Grants for the integration of Schools and Mental Health Systems aim to increase linkages between schools, mental health, and juvenile justice authorities to improve access to quality mental health services, including preventive services. ED also provides grants to assist local education authorities develop “innovative and effective” alcohol abuse prevention programs.
Increased concern about violence also led to the creation in 1999 of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SSHS) Program, a collaboration of HHS, ED, and Justice. Through this program, local education agencies receive three-year grants to work in partnership with local law enforcement and mental health agencies to develop a comprehensive approach to violence prevention that
The Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools administers several programs with preventive goals, including the Healthy Student Initiative, Governors’ Grants, Grants to States to Improve Management of Drug and Violence Prevention Programs, State Grants, Prevention Models on College Campuses, Grants for School-based Student Drug Testing, Grants to Reduce Alcohol Abuse, and Grants to Prevent High-risk Drinking and Violent Behavior Among College Students (U.S. Department of Education).