Onondaga & Chautauqua County Receive SAMHSA System of Care Expansion Grants

OnCare TapestryIn July 2015, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) announced that the applications for system of care expansion grants in both Onondaga and Chautauqua County have been approved. (View the application requirements on the SAMHSA site here.) As mentor counties in the NYS Success Network, both communities had previously received a six-year system of care implementation grant from SAMHSA – Chautauqua in 2008, and Onondaga in 2009. As they come to the end of their grants (Chautauqua having also been approved for a one-year extension grant for the 2014-2015 year), both counties are excited about the opportunity this new grant funding provides to them.
While the expected length for the grant-funding period is four years and the official start date for both communities is October 1st, 2015, there are some differences between the projects for both. A brief overview of the details on how each county will be utilizing their new funding for is provided in a separate document that can be accessed here.

According to Rachel Ludwig, Chautauqua Tapestry Project Coordinator, Chautauqua became aware of the grant opportunity after an announcement made through SAMHSA’s listserv earlier this year, and found out on March 3rd that they would be eligible to apply. The application itself was written as a collaborative effort from the Chautauqua Tapestry staff, with Rachel helping to pull together the information provided by many different members of the team. Ludwig also noted that Pat Brinkman, Director of Community Mental Hygiene for Chautauqua County, was instrumental to the application process due to the connections she’s been able to develop at the state level.

In discussing what the grant means for their county, Linda Lopez, Principal Investigator for OnCare, noted that this opportunity comes at a perfect time for Onondaga. The work completed during their now-ending system of care grant, along with the heightened awareness of the needs of youth in the juvenile justice system due to the “Raise the Age” movement, has created the perfect environment for their new initiative, which will focus primarily on developing a coordinated system of behavioral health services and community supports for youth in the juvenile justice/criminal justice system.