MDHHS seeks proposals to expand Intensive Crisis Stabilization Services for children


Soraya Marashi


The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced this week that it is accepting proposals for the MI Kids Now Mobile Response Grant Program for the grant period of Jan. 1st, 2023, to Sept. 30th, 2023.


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This Request for Proposals (RFP) comes as MDHHS has announced additional funding for the expansion of Intensive Crisis Stabilization Services for children during Fiscal Year 2023. Grant awardees are eligible for up to $200,000.  

These Intensive Crisis Stabilization Services for children are provided by Community Mental Health Service Programs (CMHSPs). CMHSPs either directly operate mobile crisis response teams or contract with a behavioral health provider to provide these services. 

CMHSPs are responsible for operating emergency intervention services that provide clinical evaluation, appropriate intervention, and admission to inpatient care or referral to outpatient services in a timely manner if necessary, if a child or youth is in crisis. According to the department, the ultimate goal of these services is to promptly address crisis situations in order to avert further escalation, psychiatric admissions, or other out-of-home placements.

MDHHS told State of Reform that this additional funding will allow the department to work towards ensuring access to these crisis response services on a statewide basis.

“The awarding of these grants will allow Community Mental Health Service Programs (CMHSPs) to develop staffing at the local level and increase access to this service,” the department stated. “Increased utilization of this service will also help inform the development of Medicaid policy and rates to allow for sustainable provision of this service.”

MDHHS added that this grant program will allow CMHSPs to test best practices, such as rural service delivery and collaboration with other youth-serving systems, using flexible general fund dollars. Lessons learned from this program will also be integrated into state Medicaid policy as permissible under federal law and regulations.

The department emphasized the importance of bolstering crisis services for children in the state. 

“Children and youth may experience emotional symptoms, behaviors or traumatic circumstances that may be life-threatening or disrupt their ability to function within their family, living situation, school, or community,” it stated. “Children, youth and families have also experienced increased mental and emotional distress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in more children and youth experiencing crisis situations. MDHHS is responding to the needs of children, youth and families by increasing access to mobile response services as part of establishing a broader continuum of crisis services.”

MDHHS requests that CMHSPs who wish to submit a proposal outline how applicants would use the funding to expand mobile crisis response teams at the local level, as well as incorporate a set of best practices into their proposals that can be found in the RFP.

Thomas Veverka, MD, President of the Michigan State Medical Society, voiced support for the procurement.

“The newly created MI Kids Now Mobile Response Grant Program will go a long way towards ensuring young children and adolescents who are the victims of trauma receive the help and support they need as they work to navigate through some of life’s most trying and difficult circumstances,” Veverka said.

Proposals for the MI Kids Now Mobile Response Grant Program are due by 3 pm on Oct. 10th, 2022.