Programs, Services & Initiatives

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) consists of two programmatic divisions: Adult and Child, Adolescent, and Family Mental Health Units.

Direct services are provided by private, non-profit service providers called Designated Agencies located throughout the state. The Department of Mental Health designates one Designated Agency (DA) in each geographic region of the state as responsible for ensuring needed services are available through local planning, service coordination, and monitoring outcomes within their region.


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Other services offered around the state include: Disaster Response, Supported Employment, Eldercare, Guardianship, and Housing Support Services.


Adult Mental Health Services

Vermont's Department of Mental Health funds three major programs that offer or assure access to mental health services through designated agencies in communities all over the state including:

  • Adult Outpatient services: for adults who do not have diagnoses of major mental illnesses but who nevertheless are experiencing serious emotional or behavioral problems that disrupt their lives.

  • Emergency Services: for anyone of any age experiencing a mental-health crisis. Emergency services are available to anyone in a mental health crisis, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, statewide from Designated Agencies (DA). 


Child, Adolescent & Family Mental Health Services

The Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health treatment system is organized around five core capacity services that are available separately or in combination for a youth and their family, depending on their desires and needs. 

Core Capacity Services Include:
  • Immediate Reponse: for children and adolescents who are experiencing a mental health crisis and their families.
  • Clinic-Based Treatment: services that are provided within a clinic and are available during daytime and evening hours for school-age children and/or when families can easily access them.
  • Outreach Treatment: services that are available in the home, school, and general community settings.
  • Family Support: for parents and caregivers to help with guidance, support, and skill to cope with a difficult-to-care-for child. These services are offered in partnership with parents and consumer advocates.
Intensive Out-of-Home Services include:

The Department of Mental Health supports a child/youth in out-of-home placements through their community mental health center when the current treatment plan is unable to meet the child/youth/family’s treatment needs in the home.

  • Enhanced Family Treatment: (formally known as Children’s Mental Health Waiver): The EFT is a funding mechanism that allows a Designated Agency or Special Service Agency to provide a package of home and community based services in an intensive manner.
  • Residential Care: Residential care provides 24-hour awake night staffing, 24-hour medical and psychiatric back-up, in house crisis back-up, and an array of psychological assessment and treatment services.
  • Emergency/Hospital Diversion Beds: Emergency or hospital diversion beds are community-based programs that provide a very high level of care and have the ability to divert youth from in-patient hospitalization.
  • Hospital Inpatient Services: Inpatient services are provided in a psychiatric hospital that offers around-the-clock medical monitoring.