FLINT, Michigan — The city of Flint recently announced the renewal of a five-year, nearly five million dollar grant by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services for the Flint Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) program.
“This successful renewal is due to the hard work of many individuals continuously showing the levels of need in mental health services in the Flint community,” said Mayor Sheldon Neeley.
“Trauma-informed work to support our residents will provide the resources and tools needed to reduce and eventually eliminate a multitude of health disparities while enhancing the well-being of Flint residents,” Neeley added.
The goal of ReCAST is to empower local community collaboration to assist youth and families in communities through evidence-based violence prevention, community youth engagement and trauma-informed behavioral health services. The ReCAST award is a competitive grant that was awarded to a total of nine organizations across the United States and authorized for the years of 2021 through 2026.
“This grant considers the changing needs in Flint and is a great opportunity for expanded programming that will be both inclusive and resident-informed,” said City of Flint Chief Resilience Officer Lottie Ferguson.
“We are grateful to be one of nine municipalities in the nation given this incredible responsibility,” Ferguson added.
The Flint ReCAST Program does its work through mini-grants that are provided by the city of Flint to local community organizations. The Flint ReCAST Program is designed to promote resilience in the Flint community by supporting youth and families, mitigating the impact of trauma, reducing behavioral health disparities and increasing the opportunities and training for Flint youth through strong community engagement strategies. The target population addressed by this project includes youth and their families impacted by various sources of distress, including the Flint Water Emergency.
“The work of this new project will center on 4 key areas: Behavioral Health, Race and Equity, Youth Support and Development, and Public Safety and Violence Prevention,” said Greater Flint Health Coalition project manager, Afton Shavers. “We hope to use these funds to provide Flint kids and their families with programs and services to build a safer, more vibrant community, while changing the narrative around mental health.”
The ReCAST project is grounded in community participation from local organizations and residents. The grant will be led by the city of Flint, in partnership with the Greater Flint Health Coalition and Michigan State University, who will serve as the evaluator. A Community Advisory Board consisting of community partners and residents will guide the ongoing development, implementation and creation of a Flint ReCAST Strategic Plan.