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FY 2010 RFA Grant Application Information (RFA)

Application Information Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS)

Request for Applications (RFA)

Mental Health Transformation Grants
Short Title: (MHTG)

(Initial Announcement)


Request for Applications (RFA) No. SM-10-010
Posting on March 1, 2010
Original Receipt date: April 30, 2010
Announcement Type: Initial

Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) No
.: 93.243

Key Dates:

Application Deadline

Applications are due by April 30, 2010

Intergovernmental Review
(E.O. 12372)

Applicants must comply with E.O. 12372 if their State(s) participates.  Review process recommendations from the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.

Public Health System Impact Statement (PHSIS)
/Single State Agency Coordination
Applicants must send the PHSIS to appropriate State and local health agencies by application deadline. Comments from Single State Agency are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2010 Mental Health Transformation Grants (MHTG).  The purpose of this program is to foster adoption and implementation of permanent transformative changes in how public mental health services are organized, managed and delivered so that they are consumer-driven, recovery-oriented and supported through evidence-based and best practices.  Funding will support States and local governments to create and/or expand treatment capacity within SAMHSA’s strategic initiatives. 

SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) was charged with responsibility to foster implementation of the recommendations laid out by the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in their 2003 report Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America.  In addition, CMHS recognized that the foundation for transformative changes envisioned by the New Freedom Commission was strengthened by incorporation of the recommendations of two additional pivotal reports:  Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental and Substance-Use Conditions, published by the Institute of Medicine in 2005,and Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, released in 1999.  Under the Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grants (MHT SIG), CMHS awarded grants to nine states to transform their mental health services to achieve the goals of the New Freedom Commission. 

SAMHSA has demonstrated that - prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and substance use disorders. Behavioral health services improve health status and reduce health care and other costs to society. Continued improvement in the delivery and financing of prevention, treatment and recovery support services provides a cost effective opportunity to advance and protect the Nation’s health. To continue to improve the delivery and financing of prevention, treatment and recovery support services, SAMHSA has identified ten Strategic Initiatives to focus the Agency’s work on people and emerging opportunities. More information is available at the SAMHSA website:

In order to complement but not duplicate the efforts of other CMHS programs, FY 2010 funding for MHTG will focus on services for adults with or at-risk for serious mental illnesses. Applications responsive to this Request for Application must implement evidence-based or best practices that will create or expand capacity to address one or more of the five Strategic Initiatives as follows. 

  1. Prevent mental illness through outreach, screening, and early interventions for adults with early signs of mental illness or who are at risk, and promote wellness through holistic treatment approaches. Services may include a variety of practices related to early intervention or wellness promotion, including psycho-education for consumers and family members, and peer wellness coaching or smoking cessation programs.

  2. Implement Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) as the framework for the practice/service chosen and implement trauma screening, assessment, and recovery support. Within the TIC framework, services are organized and delivered in a manner that meets the unique trauma-related needs of consumers/survivors, and safety, as identified by the service recipient, is the primary concern. The practice approach emphasizes the consumer empowerment and the consumer as driver of services, adopts universal precautions in asking about trauma, builds organizational capacity and knowledge of TIC through on-going training and policy review to ensure do no harm practices.

  3. Create or expand the delivery of screening, treatment and support to active duty, guard and reserve members to recover from mental illness including trauma related disorders and to their families to build resilience and support recovery.  Collaboration with State Veteran Administration (contact , federal Veteran Health Administration (contact  and the State National Guard (contact are crucial to ensuring that members and their families have access to excellent and comprehensive care.  

  4. Increase the availability of services linked to safe and affordable permanent housing for individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness due to mental illness, substance use, HIV/AIDs or long term institutionalization in a nursing home, jail, or other facility. Services may include outreach, Critical Time Intervention, supportive housing and Assertive Community Treatment or other proven evidence based model for service delivery, ensuring fidelity to the practice models.

  5. Increase employment and education for adults diagnosed with mental illness to address high rates of unemployment among this population and to promote the development of skills, aptitudes and employability. Services will include evidence based practices such as supported employment and supported education, implemented with fidelity to practice models, if tools are available.

The MHTG program is one of SAMHSA’s services grant programs.  SAMHSA’s services grants are designed to address gaps in mental health treatment services and to increase the ability of States, units of local government, and American Indian/Alaska Native Tribes and tribal organizations to help populations with or at-risk for serious mental health problems.  SAMHSA intends that its services grants result in the delivery of services as soon as possible after award.  Service delivery should begin by the 6th month of the project at the latest

MHTG are authorized under Section 520A of the Public Health Service Act, as amended.  This announcement addresses Healthy People 2010 focus area 18 (Mental Health and Mental Disorders).


Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants are State and local governments and federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Tribes and tribal organizations.  Applicants are expected to have an existing relationship with community-level service providers to ensure that services are implemented in local environments. Tribal organization means the recognized body of any AI/AN Tribe; any legally established organization of American Indians/Alaska Natives which is controlled, sanctioned, or chartered by such governing body or which is democratically elected by the adult members of the Indian community to be served by such organization and which includes the maximum participation of American Indians/Alaska Natives in all phases of its activities.  Consortia of tribal organizations are eligible to apply, but each participating entity must indicate its approval.

Eligibility is limited to States, local governments, and tribes because these entities administer public mental health systems and have the capacity to implement transformative changes and services.  Including both state and local governments as applicants also fosters the implementation of “top down” and “bottom up” approaches to transformational change and can better support required stakeholder involvement.  This also allows for more customized approaches where there are variations in population density, access to providers, and the need for customized services.

Award Information

Funding Mechanism: Grant
Anticipated Total Available Funding: $16.5 million
Anticipated Number of Awards: 22
Anticipated Award Amount: Up to $750,000 per year
Length of Project Period: Up to 5 years

Proposed budgets cannot exceed $750,000 in total costs (direct and indirect) in any year of the proposed project.  Annual continuation awards will depend on the availability of funds, grantee progress in meeting project goals and objectives, timely submission of required data and reports, and compliance with all terms and conditions of award.

Contact Information

For questions on program issues, contact:

Neal Brown
Chief, Community Support Programs Branch
Room 6-1019
1 Choke Cherry Road
Rockville, MD 20857

For questions on grants management issues, contact:

Gwendolyn Simpson
Office of Program Services, Division of Grants Management     
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Room 7-1085
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(240) 276-1408

Documents needed to complete a grant application:



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Additional Materials

For further information on the forms and the application process, see Useful Information for Applicants

Additional materials available on this website include:


Last updated: 04/02/2010