Last week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released its budget request for the 2015 Fiscal Year. Included in that request was a $15 million increase for the Now is the Time initiative.
The Now is the Time initiative is designed to make our schools safer and protect all children from violence; to promote mental health, improve mental health literacy, identify mental illness early, create a clear pathway to treatment for those in need, and expand the behavioral health workforce.
NOW IS THE TIME INITIATIVE:
- Ensuring that every school and institution of higher learning has a comprehensive emergency management plan.
- Creating a safe and positive climate at schools across the country.
- Making sure students and young adults get treatment for mental health issues; and
- Ensuring that schools are safe.
- Reaching 750,000 young people through programs to identify mental illness early and refer them to treatment.
- Providing “Mental Health First Aid” training for teachers.
- Making sure students with signs of mental illness get referred to treatment.
- Supporting individuals ages 16-25 at high risk for mental illness.
- Training more than 5,000 additional mental health professionals to serve students and young adults.
- Launching a national conversation to increase understanding about mental health.
- Ensuring coverage of health treatment by finalizing requirements for health insurance plans to cover mental health and making sure millions of Americans covered by Medicaid get quality mental health coverage.
- Putting up to 1,000 more school resource officers and counselors in schools
- Proposed use of existing authority for DOJ: under the DOJ COPS office Cops Hiring Program (CHP) to create a preference for grant applications that support hiring of school resource officers.
- Proposed $150 million for DOJ to undertake in coordination with ED a new initiative: called the Comprehensive School Safety program which will provide funds for hiring school personnel, purchasing school safety equipment, and other school safety activities.
School districts and law enforcement agencies could use the funds to hire school resource officers, school psychologists, social workers, and counselors. Additionally, school districts could use these funds to purchase school safety equipment, develop and update safety plans, conduct threat assessments, and train crisis intervention teams.
Now is The time Funding Summary: $385 Billion
Proposed $30 million for ED
One time grants to States to help schools develop and implement high quality emergency management plans.
Proposed $50 million for ED
To help 8,000 schools create safer and more nurturing school climates.
Proposed $25 million for ED
Project Prevent that will help schools address pervasive violence.
Proposed $55 million for HHS
Project AWARE to reach 750,000 young people through programs to identify mental illness early and refer them to treatment. It’s a two part program that (1) provides $15 million for “Mental Health First Aid” training for teachers, and (2) $40 million to help ensure students with signs of mental illness get referred to treatment.
Proposed $25 million for HHS
Offer students with mental health services for trauma or anxiety, conflict resolution programs, and other school-based violence prevention strategies.
Proposed $50 million for HHS
Train more than 5,000 additional mental health professionals to serve students and young adults.
Proposed $150 million for DOJ
Comprehensive School Safety program which will provide funds for hiring school personnel, purchasing school safety equipment, and other school safety activities.
For More Information
Now Is the Time - www.whitehouse.gov/issues/preventing-gun-violence