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Expanded School Mental Health (ESMH) Expansion

Grants to West Virginia Organizations and Agencies for
School-Based Behavioral Health Services for Children

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Funding Source:

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West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) - Bureau for Behavioral Health (BBH)

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Grants of $30,000 to West Virginia organizations and local government agencies to enhance school-based behavioral health services for children and families. Funding is intended to support the establishment of centers in schools within the State that employ a specified mental health service model, thereby implementing prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery programs for students.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Behavioral Health (BBH), Office of Children, Youth, and Families is seeking proposals for implementation of up to 18 new Expanded School Mental Health (ESMH) sites throughout the state. This program is part of a statewide plan to continue the expansion of behavioral health services to children and their families through the three-tier ESMH model. 

ESMH is a framework for programs and services that encourages schools to enhance their own practices, as well as engage with external community resources to address mental health service needs for all students. It offers a comprehensive system of behavioral health services and programs that builds on core services provided by schools. ESMH includes the full continuum of prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery. Prevention strategies work by either increasing protective factors or decreasing risk factors. The ESMH model emphasizes shared responsibility and funding, services for all students, meaningful involvement of parents, guardians, care providers, and youth, evidence-based programs, and continuous quality improvement.

The ESMH expansion grants will provide funding and technical assistance for school-community partnerships to develop policies, programs, and practices to improve access to high quality coordinated school mental health services and supports.


  • Tier One, Universal Prevention Programming is preventive, proactive, includes all students and offers school-wide academic assessments and primary prevention programs (e.g., suicide prevention, substance use prevention, anti-bullying, coping skills, resiliency, study skills, and other academic builders).
  • Tier Two, Targeted Group and Individual Early Intervention embraces at-risk students and includes referral services as identified, rapid response capability, study groups, tutoring, mentoring, after school programs, small group interventions to address anger, social skills, substance use and other needs, as well as some individual supportive services.
  • Tier Three, Intensive Intervention is intended for students who have more needs and require intensive individual interventions such as counselling in addition to already provided Tier Two services.

Programs must implement and maintain an ESMH program that addresses the full continuum of services to include Tiers One, Two, and Three.  Programs must also demonstrate co-leadership between the LEA and a local licensed behavioral health agency in order to achieve effective coordination and integration. 

The intent of this AFA is to add three new ESMH schools within each of the six BBH regions, for a total of 18 new sites statewide. For the six BBH regions, please see

For eligible expenses, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 194141

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

The funding source is seeking proposals for implementation of up to 18 new ESMH sites throughout the state - three new ESMH schools within each of the six BBH regions, for a total of 18 new sites statewide.

Estimated Size of Grant:

$30,000 per school

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are public or private organizations with a valid West Virginia business license and/or unit of local government.

If the applicant is not already registered as a vendor in the State of West Virginia, registration must either be completed prior to award or the vendor must demonstrate proof of such application.

Pre-Application Information:

- Date of Release: January 6, 2021
- Application Deadline March 1, 2021

Applicants must submit a target funding budget for each proposed location if proposing more than one school or site.

Applicants must secure a minimum of 33% (or $10,000) match funding from the applicable county school system per year.

Funding for ESMH services is limited to schools that do not currently have a BBH ESMH grant.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Responses must be submitted electronically via email to with “Proposal for Funding” and AFA # 05-2021 (ESMH) in the subject line.

For Technical Assistance, please forward all inquiries in writing to the above email.

WV Bureau for Behavioral Health
Room 350
350 Capitol Street
Charleston, WV 25301
(304) 356-4811

Funding or Pin Number:

AFA 05-2021 (ESMH)

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: West Virginia

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