El Centro de Amistad was awarded a $2.5 million grant over 5 years from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide infant and early childhood mental health services.  SAMHSA is the agency that leads public health efforts to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

The grant received will cover services for eligible children from birth to not more than 12 years of age, who are at risk for, show early signs of, or have been diagnosed with a mental illness including a serious emotional disturbance. The purpose of the program is to improve outcomes of these children by developing, maintaining, or enhancing infant and early childhood mental health promotion, intervention, and treatment services.  The grant will enable us to employ six additional staff (a program manager, three child therapists, data administrator, and intake assistant) whom will provide psychotherapy and community trainings focused on mental health.

We are scheduled to begin this program in December 2018. With this grant the agency’s operating budget increases to more than $6.1 million.