Mental Health and Substance Abuse Block Grants


The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will submit an application to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for Block Grant funding for the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2014-2015. The application will be combined for Community Mental Health (CMH) and Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention (SAPT) services for youth and adults throughout the state’s 11 health and human services regions. While the application is being combined, block grant funding will remain separate. The block grant federal funds provide approximately $33 million dollars a year to Texas for the provision of CMH Services and approximately $133 million dollars for SAPT services.

What are the Block Grants - How do they help States?

The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Block grant programs award funds to states to establish, expand or enhance an organized, community-based system for providing mental health services for adults with serious mental illness (SMI), children with serious emotional disturbances (SED), and adults and adolescents with or at risk for Substance Use Disorders (SUD). Funds awarded to the state are to be used to carry out the approved state plan, to evaluate programs and services set in place under the plan, and to conduct planning, administration and educational activities related to the provision of services under the plan. The CMH Services Block Grant accounts for approximately 5% of DSHS expenditures of Community Mental Health. The SAPT block grant accounts for approximately 87% of DSHS expenditures on substance abuse services.

Block Grant Application Structure and Format

As part of the block grant application process, DSHS has determined priority areas for the intended use of block grant funds which include services for federally required populations, populations determined to be in need as well as enhancements to the service system. For each of the priorities, DSHS has identified goals and strategies to be met during the FFY 2014-2015 years. Addressing these priorities and meeting the goals and strategies is how DSHS intends to utilize block grant and required maintenance of effort funds. Public comment is being requested on these efforts.

How to Submit Comments

The Draft of the Intended Priorities, Goals and Strategies for Federal Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015 can be viewed via the link below, or a printed copy can be obtained by contacting Mary Sowder at: (512) 206-5247; or by mail at the address listed below. The draft document is accompanied by a Needs Assessment Report.

To comment on specific items in the Draft Intended Priorities, Goals and Strategies please download a copy of the document (below), and enter your comments in the box provided after each Priority (3 boxes total). If you have no comments on a particular section, you may leave the comment box blank. Save the document, and email it to the address below, or print a copy and mail to the mailing address below. General, nonspecific comments may be made in either the body of an email message or in a letter mailed to the mailing address below.

Please provide your comments on any or all of the intended use plans by going to the following e-mail address: or by sending written comments to:

Mary Sowder, Operation Services
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division
Department of State Health Services
P.O. Box 149347, Mail Code: 2053,
Austin, Texas 78714-9347

  • Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. Central Daylight Saving Time, Sunday, September 1, 2013.
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    Last updated August 22, 2013