KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The McNabb Center is one of ten programs from around the state to receive a share of $6.5 million in funding from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS). The money will be used to expand mental health services for children and youth.

Each grantee developed unique proposals specific to the needs within their communities. The groups worked with groups including local education authorities to design the proposals that focused on early intervention services for children from birth to 8 years old.

As early childhood is a critical period for determining a person’s lifetime mental health, and TDMHSAS says the 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.”

The $6.5 million was divided among the department’s seven planning regions based on the number of children and youth living in each region. Programs selected include:

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Davidson County: TN Voices
    • $623,000 – Expanding Child Care Consultation with two new Early Childhood Specialists and two Family Support Specialists
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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, visit TN.gov/behavioral-health/children.