Institute on Disability Receives $1M to Support Community Mental Health Centers

Monday, December 02, 2013

The Institute on Disability (IOD) at UNH has been awarded a three-year, $1.08 million contract from New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services to provide training to community mental health centers to support young people with emotional and behavioral challenges.  

“We have been piloting this work with the mental health centers, and this contract will allow us to work with every center in New Hampshire so they can support youth who struggle with emotional and behavioral challenges,” says JoAnne Malloy, project director of the IOD’s Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural Supports, Education, and Work (RENEW) program. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the state’s Division of Community Based Care Services and the mental health centers to provide this model of support.”   

Through this contract, the IOD will work with New Hampshire’s ten community mental health centers to provide the RENEW program to 450 youth, ages 14-21, who qualify for state-supported community mental health services. IOD staff members will provide training and technical assistance to center staff, build relationships between the centers and local schools and community-based organizations, and develop a process to problem-solve around funding, implementation, and administrative barriers that prevent youth from fully accessing and completing services.

RENEW is a structured school-to-career transition planning and individualized wraparound process for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges. Developed in 1996 by staff at the IOD, RENEW is being provided to youth by schools, community mental health centers, and community-based providers and is being replicated in 6 states. The model focuses on supporting youth to design and pursue plans for the transition from school to adult life. RENEW has substantially increased high school completion, employment, and post-secondary education participation rates among our most vulnerable youth. For more information, visit renew.unh.edu.