In The News

Connecticut is Awarded a $6 Million “Systems of Care” Grant from SAMHSA for the CONNECTing Schools to Care IV Students Initiative

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 The State of Connecticut is launching the CONNECTing Schools to Care IV Students initiative to integrate trauma-informed comprehensive school mental health supports into the existing community-based network of care. The initiative fosters collaboration between families, schools, and the community to improve access to equitable and appropriate school-based and locally-based care for youth with behavioral health concerns or at risk of developing significant mental health challenges. CHDI will serve as the Coordinating Center for the initiative.

The CONNECTing Schools to Care IV Students initiative provides schools with opportunities to expand their capacity to identify and respond to behavioral health challenges among students. This approach fosters a school climate, culture, and system that supports student well-being, increases students’ academic success, and decreases staff burnout.

The CONNECT IV initiative will use Connecticut’s established framework for trauma-informed Comprehensive School Mental Health, developed by the National Center for School Mental Health and CHDI, to address four key goals:

  1. Expand the infrastructure for an integrated school- and community-based behavioral health network of care;
  2. Expand school and family awareness, knowledge and access to information about behavioral health, trauma, and crisis response;
  3. Build capacity of Connecticut’s schools to access and utilize community-based behavioral health resources and supports for school mental health; and
  4. Implement and sustain equitable and comprehensive school mental health supports.

 School districts in Connecticut will have the opportunity to receive funding resources and supports to enhance comprehensive school mental health implementation over the next four years

The following services and support will be available:

  • All 206 school districts in Connecticut will have universal access to prevention and early intervention resources
  • Selected supports for training, coaching, and implementation will be provided to up to 120 schools over the course of four years
  • Intensive support for implementation and quality improvement activities will benefit up to 54 schools
  • 1,600 children and youth will receive Wraparound/Care Coordination services

Schools and districts can begin their Comprehensive School Mental Health assessment and planning now with the free SHAPE System tool. Technical assistance is offered at no cost to schools in Connecticut.

The CONNECTing Schools to Care IV Students initiative (CONNECT IV) has been made possible through a four-year Systems of Care grant awarded to the Connecticut Department for Children and Families (DCF) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA). It is the fourth CONNECT Systems of Care grant awarded to the State of Connecticut since 2013. CONNECT IV builds upon the successes of previous Systems of Care (SOC) awards and current Comprehensive School Mental Health implementation initiatives, which are being coordinated by CHDI.

CONNECT IV is operated by five grant-funded partners (FAVOR, Carelon Behavioral Health, CHDI, the Consultation Center at Yale, and DCF), working closely with the State Department of Education and other state agencies, and a Steering Team of family members and stakeholders. DCF has contracted with CHDI, who will serve as the Coordinating Center to provide fiscal, administrative, and logistical support; content expertise in systems of care development, implementation, and behavioral health systems integration; and leadership and governance support.

Learn more about Connecticut’s Systems of Care work and Comprehensive School Mental Health initiatives.

For more information, please contact:


View the News Release