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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Mental Health Receives $9 Million for Early Childhood Program

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, October 29, 2008  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Fisher, (502) 564-6786, ext. 3325 and 4012  

Funding Will Enhance Services for Children with Mental Health Needs
Kentucky will enter into a $9 million, six-year cooperative agreement with the federal government to enhance services and supports for young children with mental health needs, the Kentucky Department for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addiction Services (DMHDDAS) announced today.

The agreement with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will support the state’s nationally recognized work in developing systems of care for children with mental health and substance abuse issues and their families.

“Each child deserves the best care possible when it comes to their health,” said Health and Family Services Cabinet Secretary Janie Miller. “With this funding, we’ll be able to enhance existing services and, ultimately, help our young people thrive in their communities. Mental health services are absolutely crucial to building a stronger, healthier state.”

Kentucky is one of 18 recipients of SAMHSA’s Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services Program for Children and their Families awards.

“We are delighted that Kentucky has the opportunity to continue to promote the system of care philosophy by expanding much needed services and supports for our youngest citizens and their families,” said Donna Hillman, director of the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in DMHDDAS.

The SAMSHA funding will support Kentucky’s System to Enhance Early Development (KY SEED). The SEED program works with various communities, programs and agencies to develop a system of care for children from birth to age 5 with social or emotional health needs.

“We believe that intervening early - when problems begin to emerge - is critical to promoting positive outcomes for young children and their families and reducing the need for more costly services in the future,” said Vestena Robbins, Ph.D., co-principal investigator for KY SEED.

Since 1998, Kentucky has received three awards through this federal program, totaling $25 million. Each project has allowed Kentucky the opportunity to improve and expand its system of care by focusing on different populations and geographic areas.

“While Kentucky has made great strides in recent years to address the social and emotional needs of young children and their families, the new funding for KY SEED will build upon existing collaboratives between mental health and public health to address gaps in the current service delivery system,” said Steve Davis, M.D., deputy commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH).

Funds will be used to build state and local infrastructure, and to support service expansion, training and coaching of service providers, and program evaluation.

The project involves partnerships among the State Interagency Council, multiple state and local child-serving agencies and community partners, and the Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children.

“KY SEED will focus attention on the importance of identifying and addressing emerging social and emotional challenges among families of young children,” said Beth Armstrong, co-principal investigator for KY SEED. “This will increase the likelihood of future success.”

For more information on KY SEED, contact the Children, Youth and Family Services Branch within the DMHDDAS at (502) 564-4456.





Last Updated 10/29/2008