There’s good news for families who need help navigating the mental health system. Vaya was recently awarded a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) to expand services and access to care for children and youth with mental, behavioral or emotional disorders and offer hands-on support to their families.
The System of Care Expansion and Sustainability Grant serves residents of Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Caldwell, McDowell, Polk and Wilkes counties. Our goal is to connect 880 families to health care services over several years.
Vaya is working with Youth Villages to provide youth and family support partners – people with personal experience navigating youth mental health services – to help families meet needs that are important to them. This grant will allow us to help families:
- Identify needs that are not being met
- Connect with health care providers and community organizations
- Understand resources available to help them reach their goals
This grant will:
- Increase access to training opportunities for families and health care providers
- Support the voices of families in community collaboratives and policymaking
- Help provider agencies identify and address youth and family needs
The System of Care Grant Governance Board supports the start-up, implementation and ongoing evaluation of the grant project. The board includes families, youth and representatives from county Departments of Social Services and Juvenile Justice, schools, health care providers, community organizations and local government.
Grant Governance Board members live in and represent the seven counties covered by the grant. They are available to provide information about the county they represent, offer insights and help act as the voice of the communities in developing grant goals and services.
Grant Governance Board members are:
- John L. Blevins, MPA, Wilkes County DSS Director (Wilkes County)
- Angela Bollo, caregiver (Polk County)
- Paula Cline, Executive Director, Alexander County Partnership for Children (Alexander County)
- Diane Coffey, Parent to Parent Family Support Network, High Country (Alleghany and Ashe counties)
- Randy Fehdrau, Positive Parenting Program (Wilkes County)
- Aaron Greene, Superintendent, Polk County Schools (Polk County)
- Allison Inman, Executive Director, Office of Communications, Vaya Health
- Theresa Jurgensen, Regional Supervisor, Youth Villages
- Carlos Lopez, Centro Unido Latino-Americano (CULA) Youth Coordinator (McDowell County)
- April Luttrell, MSW, Certified Peer Support Specialist, Youth Villages
- Lauren Oakes, MSW, LCSW, Social Worker, Caldwell County Schools (Caldwell County)
- Rev. Rob Parsons, WithALL Congregation (Polk County)
- R. Scott Perry, Chief Court Counselor, Juvenile Justice (Wilkes, Alleghany and Ashe counties)
- Mary Prioleau, parent and founder of Do Not Lose Hope (Polk County)
- Paige Stephens, Daymark Center Director (Alleghany and Ashe counties)
- Kelby Trejo, Youth Representative (Polk County)
- Vanessa Vargas, Lead Family Coordinator, Vaya Health
- Dr. Gary Walby, Director, Complex Systems Innovations LLC
- Kim Wilson, DSS Program Manager (Polk County)
- Kelly Wolf, System of Care Project Director, Vaya Health