Dartmouth Health receives a $4 million grant to support youth and families impacted by substance use disorder and mental health

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This funding will bring much-needed resources to children, youth and families living in rural New Hampshire and will strengthen clinic, school and community partnerships, which is critical to increasing access to mental healthcare for our youth.

M. Kay Jankowski, PhD

The Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) awarded Dartmouth Health a $4 million grant to develop and implement interventions benefiting families and youth in New Hampshire’s Grafton, Sullivan and Cheshire counties. This is a collaborative effort between the departments of Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Population Health. Dartmouth Health will convene a group of stakeholder organizations, selected school districts, local and state leaders to co-create and deploy methods to support mental health and prevent and treat substance use disorders.

The grant is led by co-project directors M. Kay Jankowski, PhD, lead psychologist and trauma specialist at Dartmouth Health, and an associate professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, and Susanne E. Tanski, MD, MPH, pediatrician and section chief of general pediatrics at Dartmouth Health Children’s, and associate professor of pediatrics at Geisel. “This funding will bring much-needed resources to children, youth and families living in rural New Hampshire and will strengthen clinic, school and community partnerships, which is critical to increasing access to mental healthcare for our youth,” said Jankowski. “It also will allow for innovative training strategies to increase our community’s knowledge and ability to respond effectively to kids and families in need.”

There is an acute awareness of the increasing prevalence of behavioral health challenges facing youth across the region, including mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, suicidality and substance use disorders, and this grant will add workforce development, implementation of evidence-based programs, learning collaborations, and expansion of direct services to already existing efforts at Dartmouth Health and other local organizations. With the rising rates of mental health and substance use disorders, this funding, along with local, school and state efforts, is crucial to support collective effort and tackle some of the most challenging obstacles facing schools, and clinical and community settings.

“Every day, we see patients and their families struggling to access needed mental and behavioral health supports,” said Tanski. “By partnering more closely with schools and local organizations, and being innovative in approaches and locations for care, I am hopeful that we will reach more children with effective and evidence-based treatment. I am also very excited that we will be able to enhance schools’ and parents’ efforts to build resilience and teach coping skills across the age span to prevent behavioral health issues in the future.”

About Dartmouth Health

Dartmouth Health, New Hampshire's only academic health system and the state's largest private employer, serves patients across northern New England. Dartmouth Health provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, as well as across its wide network of hospitals, clinics and care facilities. DHMC is consistently named the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in numerous clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth Health includes Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 56 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the only such center in northern New England; Dartmouth Health Children’s, which includes Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the state’s only children’s hospital, and multiple clinic locations around the region; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene and New London, NH, and Bennington and Windsor, VT; Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and more than 24 clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. Through its historical partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Health trains nearly 400 medical residents and fellows annually, and performs cutting-edge research and clinical trials recognized across the globe with Geisel and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. Dartmouth Health and its more than 13,000 employees are deeply committed to serving the healthcare needs of everyone in our communities, and to providing each of our patients with exceptional, personal care.