Serious Mental Illness: A New

Community Mental Health Services Block Grant

What is the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG)?

The MHBG program's objective is to support the grantees in carrying out plans for providing comprehensive community mental health services. The MHBG program is authorized by section 1911 of Title XIX, Part B, Subpart I and III of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act (PDF | 253 KB).

SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services’ (CMHS) Division of State and Community Systems Development (DSCSD) administers MHBG funds. Grantees can be flexible in the use of funds for both new and unique programs or to supplement their current activities.

In addition to providing MHBG awards, CMHS provides recipients with technical assistance (TA). The TA supports the use of evidence-based programs.

Targeted Populations

The MHBG program targets:

  • Adults with serious mental illnesses. Includes persons age 18 and older who have a diagnosable behavioral, mental, or emotional condition—as defined by the Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders. Their condition substantially interferes with, or limits, one or more major life activities, such as:
  • Basic daily living (for example, eating or dressing)
  • Instrumental living (for example, taking prescribed medications or getting around the community)
  • Participating in a family, school, or workplace
  • Children with serious emotional disturbances. Includes persons up to age 18 who have a diagnosable behavioral, mental, or emotional issue (as defined by the DSM). This condition results in a functional impairment that substantially interferes with, or limits, a child’s role or functioning in family, school, or community activities.
  • SAMHSA’s definitions of children with serious emotional disturbances and adults with serious mental illness were provided in a 1993 Federal Register notice (May 20, 1993; 58 FR 29422).

    Source: www.samhsa.gov
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