FAQ’s for Grantees

What is the Transformation Grant?

The Texas Health Institute State Innovation Grant (NSIG) is a five-year grant which facilitates grassroots efforts to improve the access and quality of community mental health services. NSIG is one component of the $13.5 million Texas Mental Health Transformation State Mental Health Infrastructure Grant (SIG) awarded to Texas by the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The SIG charges the state with developing policies to:

  • Build a solid foundation for delivering evidence-based mental health and related services
  • fostering recovery,
  • improving quality of life, and
  • meeting the needs of Texas mental health consumers across life spans.

(Texas Department of State Health Services Website, 6/21/2006).

More information can be found on the following websites:

Why should my county apply to be a part of the Mental Health Transformation Community Collaborative Project? What will we get if we apply?

You should apply if your county has experience with community collaboration and considers the transformation of its behavioral health system a high priority. You should apply if your county is experiencing a “crisis in mental health” and wants to join this state and federal project to become a model community for mental health system transformation in Texas.

You will get community organizational development, collaborative building, change management, facilitation, coaching and other assistance from the Texas Health Institute. Additionally, on issues you request assistance with, you will get programmatic expertise. We will recruit and provide national, state, and local level people with experience and expertise with your issue. We have funds available for general support and data sharing / coordination and information technology initiatives related to transformation activities. We will help in your efforts to obtain additional funds for your project. 

How does my county apply?

An application must be submitted by Noon on Wednesday, January 31, 2007. The enclosed Request for Application document provides detailed instructions for submitting an application. 

Which mental health issues should community collaboratives select?

Local community collaboratives should identify projects that address needs in the community in the focus areas identified in the Texas Mental Health Transformation Comprehensive Plan (http://www.mhtransformation.org ). These could include, but are not limited to: jail diversion, early intervention, behavioral health services in school settings, integration of health and mental health, suicide prevention, veterans’ mental health, housing, employment, mental illness among homeless, and reduction of disparities in mental health services.

This RFA requires that each community application must address issues related to both

  1. adults and
  2. children and adolescents.

Projects that address systemic changes that apply across multiple needs areas will be given preference. Preference will also be given to communities that promote evidence-based services, workforce development, innovative financing strategies, the development of vibrant consumer and family member networks in their proposed initiatives. 

Can a project focus on substance abuse only?

No. While we encourage the focus on substance abuse, the project must include specific mental health components. 

Do I send a supporting resolution from the Commissioners Court with the application?

Yes. Applications will only be considered if they are accompanied by a resolution of the county commissioners court for the geographic area covered/served by the community collaborative. If the geographic area served is more than one county, a resolution must be received from each county commissioners court in the geographic area. 

If selected, how long will my community be eligible to participate in this project?

The term of the Federal support for this project is to conclude in 2010 but we intend to work with your community to sustain the work of your community collaborative over many years. The award and contract will be effective March 1, 2007 and will be renewable September 1 of each year beginning September 1, 2008, subject to satisfactory performance and available resources. 

How do you define mental health and mental disorders and mental illness?

Mental health is a state of successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and the ability to adapt to change and to cope with adversity. Mental health is indispensable to personal well-being, family and interpersonal relationships, and contribution to community or society.

Mental disorders are health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof), which are associated with distress and/or impaired functioning and spawn a host of human problems that may include disability, pain, or death.

Please note: There is no intent to exclude or limit the population the collaborative seeks to address. For example, projects can include populations other than the Department of State Health Services mental health priority populations.