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$5 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant renewed in the city of Flint

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 1:14 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -The city of Flint has announced the renewal of a five-year, nearly $5 million dollar grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The grant is in conjunction with the Center for Mental Health Services for the Flint Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma, which is known as the ReCAST program.

“This successful renewal is due to the hard work of many individuals continuously showing the levels of need in mental health services in the Flint community,” said Mayor Sheldon Neeley. “Trauma-informed work to support our residents will provide the resources and tools needed to reduce and eventually eliminate a multitude of health disparities while enhancing the well-being of Flint residents.”

The city said that the goal of the ReCAST program is to promote local community collaboration in assisting youth and their families in the community through evidence-based violence prevention, community youth engagement, and trauma-informed behavioral health services.

The ReCAST award is a competitive grant that was awarded to a total of nine organizations across the United States for the next five years.

“This grant considers the changing needs in Flint and is a great opportunity for expanded programming that will be both inclusive and resident-informed,” said City of Flint Chief Resilience Officer, Lottie Ferguson. “We are grateful to be one of nine municipalities in the nation given this incredible responsibility.”

The Flint ReCAST program was created to increase the opportunities for Flint youth through strong community engagement.

The city said that the target population to be addressed by this project includes youth and their families impacted by various sources of distress, including the Flint Water Emergency.

“The work of this new project will center on four key areas: Behavioral Health, Race and Equity, Youth Support and Development, and Public Safety and Violence Prevention,” said Greater Flint Health Coalition project manager, Afton Shavers.

The grant will be led by the City of Flint, in partnership with the Greater Flint Health Coalition and Michigan State University.

“We hope to use these funds to provide Flint kids and their families with programs and services to build a safer, more vibrant community, while changing the narrative around mental health,” Shavers said.

The city has said that there will be a community advisory board that will guide the ongoing development, and creation of the Flint ReCAST plan.

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