Saginaw MAX System of Care Initiative Receives Four Year Expansion Grant from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

SCCMHA first received funding from SAMHSA to develop a system of care effort in Saginaw County in 2010. That original grant included federal support for six years to build relationships with leaders from all of the child-and-family serving systems in the community, and reform the way services and supports were provided to youth 6-17 years of age with complex emotional and behavioral challenges to be more coordinated and inclusive. After a full year of planning and organizing, Saginaw MAX System of Care was officially launched in 2011 with youth and families leading the effort alongside key community leaders. To date, Saginaw MAX has provided support and services to 197 youth in Saginaw County.

"We are excited about the additional services we have been able to develop as a result of the original system of care grant," said Linda Schneider, director of Clinical Services for SCCMHA. "And we're equally as thrilled that this new expansion grant will allow us to address additional unmet needs that have been identified through our collaborative work these past few years."

Funds from the expansion grant will be put towards increasing services to better serve populations the Saginaw MAX initiative has not had the resources to serve to date (youth with substance use disorders, LGBT youth, youth with private insurances including youth of returning veterans who would not otherwise be eligible for specialty mental health benefits), expanding the age of children served by providing mental health consultations to children and families in pediatric clinics and schools, and growing the system of care effort statewide through strategic collaborations.

Implementation of these efforts will include a variety of increased partnerships and new endeavors both locally and beyond. Most notably, Saginaw MAX will leverage the well-established relationship with Partners in Pediatrics (PIP) to build a pediatric medical home that provides integrated medical and behavioral health care and addresses the target population's medical and social determinants of health. They will also leverage resources of the local Disproportionate Minority Contact Initiative to target the mental health services to children and youth in foster care and the juvenile detention center, provide intensive home-based services to families of children and youth through the age of 17 who lack insurance coverage for intensive at-home intervention with specific targeting of families of returning veterans, expand the existing cultural and linguistic competency training to other community mental health organizations in Michigan through a partnerships with the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards, address the needs of transition age youth (TAY) by appointing a TAY Peer Support Specialist to partner with the Department of Human Services' transition staff to develop a proactive planning process for early engagement of youth and ensure effective age-appropriate services and supports needed for youth to successfully transition into adult roles, and much more.

"I am very excited about having the ability to not only sustain the SOC initiative but to enhance our efforts to meet the needs of the children, youth and families we serve," said Saginaw MAX System of Care Project Director, Wardene Talley. "The Expansion Grant will allow us to carry the SOC message of transformation from Saginaw County throughout the State of Michigan and beyond. Great job and thanks to all involved in the submission of the proposal."

The expansion grant from SAMHSA, which provides $1 million per year for four years with the expectation of $333,000 in local match fund contributions for the first three years and $1 million in local match fund contributions for the final year, will provide funding in addition to the original system of care grant which is scheduled to end October 1, 2016.