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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2019: Improving Student Access to Behavioral and Mental Health Services

Fund Code: 336


The goal of this competitive state-funded grant program is to improve student behavioral and mental health outcomes.

This grant is one of a series of a coordinated initiatives intended to assist public school districts and communities in improving student access to behavioral and mental health services by building the capacity of school districts and community-based providers to develop comprehensive, integrated systems for student support. In particular, this grant will support efforts related to:

  • Contracting with licensed community-based providers;
  • Improving coordination with community based-services and community-based providers to improve connections for students and establish more comprehensive continuums of care; and
  • Increasing opportunities for related professional development for school staff, including on how to identify students in need of behavioral and mental health support.


The priorities of this grant are to support schools and districts to:

  • Create and/or implement school and/or district action plans with goals related to improving student access to behavioral and mental health services;
  • Develop and improve comprehensive continuums of care among and between schools, community-based providers, and other organizations supporting behavioral and mental health services for students; and
  • Access professional development (related to students' behavioral and mental health) offered by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) or its partners.

Competitive Priority will be given to applicants:

  1. with limited access to mental and behavioral health services and limited existing financial resources;
  2. that have created action plans based on the safe and supportive schools framework;
  3. that have and/or are building systems for integrated student supports (i.e., coordinated efforts for linking schools to community-based resources), including those districts participating in the Systemic Student Support (S3) academy Download Word Document;
  4. that are a current or past Systems for Student Success grantee;
  5. that were designated as requiring assistance or intervention (e.g., in need of broad/comprehensive support or focused/targeted support) under the Department's district and school accountability system in 2018.
  6. That partnered with community-based providers to submit applications for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's (DPH) School and Community Based Targeted Intervention Services grant, or that have partnered with community providers to receive other grants/contracts funded through DPH's Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS) or other state agencies.


Massachusetts public school districts may apply for one or both of the grant categories described in the Funding section below.

Funding Type:



A total of approximately $5,500,000 is available.

Applicants may apply for one or both of the categories of grants below. Applicants' requests for funding should be commensurate with the scope of activities proposed.

Note that efforts proposed through this grant must be supplementary and complementary to (and not supplant) what is funded through other grants/contracts.

Category A — Increasing Access and Coordinating Services: up to $100,000 to support one or more schools in one or more of the following activities:

  • creating and/or or implementing action/improvement plans that include goals related to increasing student access to behavioral and mental health services, including strategies to connect students to community-based behavioral and mental health services; and/or
  • working with community-based providers to identify options for increased collaboration, provision of mental health/behavioral health services on-site (at school) and/or in the community;
  • designing or implementing improvements to data systems and software applications to facilitate mapping of school and community-based resources, making referrals, tracking students' use of services, and monitoring the impact of services and implications for future service, subject to compliance with all applicable state and federal laws regarding data security and privacy; and/or
  • other activities to support the priorities of this grant, provided that they are part of a coordinated approach to increasing student supports, and are either one-time activities that have a longer-term impact (e.g., professional development needs associated with mental and behavioral health and aligned with locally-created action plan goals), and/or activities that have a reasonable likelihood of being continued and sustained beyond the grant period through other funding sources (e.g., funding startup costs for the initial offering of services on-site to students eligible for the Children's Behavioral Health Initiative or MassHealth, with the goal of sustaining these services through MassHealth, commercial insurance providers, or other sources after the end of grant funding.

Please see the Additional Information section below for more details regarding possible additional state funding sources to support this work.

Category B — Participating in Department-Sponsored Professional Development: up to $10,000 to support school teams' participation in mental and behavioral health related professional development (PD) offered by the Department. These PD opportunities are being designed to support school staff in identifying and supporting students in need of behavioral and mental health services. Specifics of this PD will be shared once available. Funded applicants will have the opportunity to revise their budgets, as needed, once details are confirmed.

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding is to become available it will be distributed under the same guideline as listed in the initial RFP document.

Fund Use:

These one-time funds must be used in ways that are aligned to the grant purpose and priorities described above and that have reasonable likelihood of being sustained (or having impact) beyond the grant period.

Fund use may include, but is not limited to salaries, stipends, resources, materials, local PD, travel, contracted services with community-based providers, and partnership coordination activities.

Project Duration:

Year 1 FY19 : Upon Approval – 06/30/2019
Year 2 FY20 : 7/1/2019 – 6/30/2020 (subject to continued appropriation)

Program Unit:

Student and Family Support


Kristen McKinnon

Phone Number:

(781) 338-3010

Date Due:

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.

Required Forms:
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download Word Document
FY19 Part I
Download Word Document
FY20 Part I

Part II — Budgets and Budget Narratives
Download Excel Document
FY19 Budget & Budget Narrative
Download Excel Document
FY20 Budget & Budget Narrative
Applicants must submit the following two proposed budgets reflecting the total request for funding (including requests for both Categories A and B):
  1. FY19 Budget (proposed expenditures from upon approval through 6/30/2019)
  2. FY20 Budget, subject to continued appropriation (proposed expenditures from 7/1/2019 through 6/30/2020)

Download Word Document
Part III — Required Program Information

Additional Information:

Information and Question Sessions (Webinars): The Department will hold Information and Question Sessions via webinar. Use the online registration form to find session times and to register. During these sessions, the Department will share information about this funding opportunity and answer applicants' questions. Questions may be submitted in advance of the sessions to Due to the competitive nature of this grant, questions and responses will be shared during these informational sessions so that all potential applicants have the opportunity to hear the information.

Possible additional funding sources to sustain grant-related activities: The Governor's FY20 Budget Recommendation ("House 1") includes additional funding proposals to support and sustain safe and supportive schools initiatives, as part of a larger, coordinated effort to increase investments in education. Proposals related to safe and supportive schools include:

  • $50 million in a new "Public School Improvement Trust Fund" to support effective and sustainable improvement initiatives in public schools designated as in need of assistance pursuant to the school accountability system established by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
  • $30 million in a new "School Safety Trust Fund" to assist public schools in enhancing safety and security measures, including, but not limited to, multi-year matching grants to school districts, charter schools, and higher education institutions for school security and communications upgrades, training and best practice guidance for school resource officers, school officials, educators, health professionals and first responders, and the design and implementation of statewide resources and infrastructure for improving school safety.
  • $200 million in Chapter 70 education aid to assist districts in managing the rising costs of health care and of educating English language learners and students with special education needs, and to support a change in the guidance and psychological services component of foundation budget formula to better reflect current and best practice staffing needs for additional student services related to school safety and climate, social and emotional supports, and career counseling for students.


All required documents must be submitted via email to with the subject line "FC 336 Submission" no later than 5:00 PM on the date due. Applicants should attach Part I as a PDF with the original signature of the superintendent. All other documents should be submitted in their original format (e.g., Word, Excel).

Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the FY19 approved budget and upload the FY19 and FY20 Part I and required forms (including the FY20 Budget) in EdGrants. Once selected, recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.