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Mental health grant awarded to Wisconsin

December 12, 2014

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services today announced that the state has received a $5 million “Now is the Time-Healthy Transitions” grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to provide services and supports to young adults with, or who are at risk for, serious mental health conditions.

The grant provides $1 million in funding annually for the next five years.

“The purpose of this program is to improve access to treatment and supports for young adults,” said Secretary Kitty Rhoades. “A large number of individuals in this age group need these services, but often fail to seek help. They may fall through the cracks and not receive the assistance they need to assume safe and productive adult roles and responsibilities.”

The Department will use the grant funds to develop and launch “Project YES!” (Youth Empowered Solutions) in Jefferson and Outagamie counties. County staff as well as service providers and community groups in these counties will work together to better serve the young adult age group.

Through Project YES! young adults and their family members will have active roles in identifying how to achieve the goals of the program.

Project YES! has the following three goals: 1) Increase awareness of mental health issues and needs of young adults ages 16 to 25. 2) Expand the number of young adults aged 16-25 who receive age appropriate, culturally competent and evidence-based behavioral health treatment and support services. 3) Improve young adult engagement as well as promote successful transitions to adulthood by developing and implementing local and state policies and practice changes.

Project YES! is based on “Project O-YEAH,” a successful young adult transition program developed in 2009 by Wraparound Milwaukee, a system of care created by Milwaukee County for children with serious emotional, behavioral and mental health needs and their families.

Project YES! complements Governor Scott Walker’s $30 million investment in Wisconsin’s mental health reforms in the current biennial budget, including the expansion of comprehensive community services and coordinated service teams.