Department Initiatives


Current Initiatives


♦ Mental Health Transformation Grant

Name: Mental Health Transformation Grant

Funding Source: SAMHSA Mental Health Transformation Grant

Duration: October 2010 to September 2015 (5 years)

Total Funding for the duration of the grant: $ 3,670,995

Description: This grant will develop peer-based prevention and early intervention services and supports for young adults (ages 18 – 34) with or at risk of serious mental illness.

DMH Contact:  Nick Nichols at 802-828-3817 or


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♦ Jail Diversion--Trauma Recovery:  MHISSION-VT

Funding Source: SAMHSA Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery Grant

Duration: October 2008 – September 2013 (5 years)

Total Funding for the duration of the grant: $2,055,161

Description: This statewide intergovernmental initiative will address the needs of Vermont veterans and other adults with trauma spectrum-illnesses who are involved or at risk of involvement with the criminal justice system through identification, screening/assessment, and diversion from the criminal justice system to evidence-based treatment and supports.

DMH Contact: Connie Schutz, 802-828-3824,

The Jail Diversion--Trauma Recovery Project is called the MHISSION-VT Initiative (pronounced "Mission"; stands for Mental Health/Substance Abuse Intergovernmental Service System Interactive On-Line Network for Vermont). 

The goal of the MHISSION-VT is to apply technology as a comprehensive tool for creating an integrated, efficient, and therefore more responsive, system of care for Vermonters who suffer from major mental illness, traumatic brain injury and/or substance abuse disorders. MHISSION-VT will develop and implement a dynamic systems map and decision support tool. It will then assess the effectiveness of these tools at enhancing systems integration, promoting collaborative problem solving, and improving administrative, policy, and funding decisions and access to services within a functional system of care.

The full scope of the project is:

  1. To functionally integrate clinical care for these individuals at all levels of the "real world" system;

  2. To divert people away from incarceration and homelessness and toward care and treatment;  To provide retrospective and prospective decision support regarding clinical, administrative and financial matters. 

    MHISSION-VT Overview - July 23, 2010...Helping Veterans Navigate Treatment & Service Options 


♦ Trauma-Informed Care in the Children's Mental Health System

Funding Source: SAMHSA National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative Community Treatment and Services Centers Grant

Duration: October 2009 – September 2012 (3 years)

Total Funding for the duration of the grant: $1,198,958

Description: Through the creation of a Vermont Child Trauma Collaborative comprised of 12 community mental health treatment centers serving Vermont’s 14 counties, this initiative will fully implement and sustain the Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC) Framework for treatment of children with complex trauma and their families.  

DMH Contact: Laurie Brown, 802-951-1213,

The Vermont Child Trauma Collaborative (VCTC) is a project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Vermont Department of Mental Health received a three-year grant for $400,000 per year to become a Community Treatment and Services Center of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) to improve trauma informed care across the community mental health system as well as the larger system of care. Please visit the Vermont Child Trauma Collaborative page for more information about this project.


♦ Psychotropic Medications

 A medications workgroup was created to review the use of psychotropic medications for children and adolescents in Vermont. Please visit the Psychotropic Medications Committee page to learn more.


♦ Young Adult in Transition

Name: Young Adults in Transition

The Young Adult in Transition grant is funded by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for six years to develop systems of care for young adults who are between 16 and 21 years old. Currently, we see a huge decline in the use of mental health services among young adults who reach the age 16. We are exploring ways to increase access and use of mental health services for this age group of Vermont citizens. Please visit the Young Adult in Transition page for more information about this project.

Funding Source: SAMHSA Cooperative Agreements for Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program
Duration: October 2008 – September 2014 (6 years)
Total Funding for the duration of the grant: $9,000,000
Description: This initiative will develop a system of care for Vermont’s transition-aged youth (ages 16 through 21 inclusive, with their families) with severe emotional disturbance to have adequate preparation and the necessary supports to be productively engaged in the community and free from incarceration. 
DMH Contact: Charlie Biss, 802-951-0134,



Prior Grant Initiatives


Challenges for Change Archive