The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced a new application process for its major block grant programs the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant and the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant.
The change is designed to provide states greater flexibility to allocate resources for substance abuse and mental illness prevention, treatment and recovery services in their communities.
Until now the two SAMHSA block grant programs have been administered somewhat differently by separate SAMHSA centers. As a result states have had different—and often duplicative—processes for accepting, planning and accounting for these grants.
The new process will streamline application and funding procedures by promoting uniform application, assurance and reporting dates across both block grants and offer states and territories the option to submit one coordinated plan for both grants.
This streamlined application effort is part of a larger series of innovative reforms SAMHSA is proposing to enhance the states’ ability to effectively apply these block grants—which constitute roughly 75-percent of SAMHSA’s $3.4 billion budget.
Many of these proposals were outlined in a Federal Register notice issued on April 11, 2011.
"In this time of budget cutbacks, especially for vital behavioral health services, it is more important than ever that we implement shrewd strategies for making the most of these precious resources," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde.
"By reforming the block grants now in ways that empower the states, we are positioning these resources to be a critical component of our future health system," Hyde added.
For detailed information about proposed changes to the block grant programs, including their application policies, one can go to
http://samhsa.gov/grants/blockgrant/ or to the Federal register notice at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-04-11/pdf/2011-8520.pdf.