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Apply for Mental Health First Aid Funding from SAMHSA

View the application guidelines


Washington, DC (April 18, 2014)– The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released its Request for Applications (RFA) related to $15 million in new funding for communities to offer Mental Health First Aid.

“Mental Health First Aid is a low-cost but high-impact way to make a real difference in the lives of young people and their communities,” said Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing (National Council). “The new funding from SAMHSA will ensure that thousands of professionals who work with young people will have access to this simple but highly effective training,” Rosenberg added.

As part of the “Now is the Time” initiative, the Obama Administration sought from Congress additional funding for Project AWARE, including $15 million for Mental Health First Aid training for teachers and others who work with youth to “understand, recognize, and respond to signs of mental illness or substance abuse in children and youth, including how to talk to adolescents and families experiencing these problems so they are more willing to seek treatment.”

Local and State Education Authorities can apply for up to 120 grants to support Mental Health First Aid training. While the only entities eligible to apply for these funds are Local and State Education Authorities, the RFA requires applicants to establish partnerships with community mental health agencies and identifies parameters for use of existing Mental Health First Aid Instructors. Learn how to apply.

A summary of the RFA requirements is available at:

“Now is the Time” Project AWARE State Educational Agency Grants (NITT-AWARE-SEA)

“Now is the Time” Project AWARE Local Educational Agency Grants (NITT-AWARE-LEA)

SAMHSA has scheduled technical assistance conference calls for potential applicants both funding opportunities.

National Council hosted a webinar on Tuesday, April 29th for community leaders on the new opportunities presented by the SAMHSA funding. View the recording here.

Our website will be updated with additional information on these opportunities as it becomes available. For additional questions related to the SAMHSA RFP, please contact Tramaine Stevenson at

Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour training where people learn how to recognize when someone may be experiencing a mental illness, how to provide initial help, and where to refer them for care and support. For more information on Mental Health First Aid, visit

About the National Council for Mental Wellbeing

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