Natural disasters can have long-term effects on individuals’ behavioral health. The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division is announcing two funding opportunities for a variety of organizations in the 29 counties impacted by the 2019 federally declared flooding disaster. These include Adams, Barnes, Cass, Dickey, Eddy, Emmons, Foster, Grand Forks, Grant, Griggs, Hettinger, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, McKenzie, Morton, Mountrail, Nelson, Pembina, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Sheridan, Steele, Stutsman, Traill, Walsh and Wells counties.
“North Dakotans have experienced and are still experiencing several different disasters over the past few years with flooding, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Pamela Sagness, director of the Behavioral Health Division. “It is common for individuals to feel stress after exposure to a disaster.”
Sagness said the division is releasing funding in two areas. The first opportunity is for mental health providers with the goal of increasing the availability of clinical services for adults. Mental health providers who are interested in providing services in these counties can apply online at www.behavioralhealth.nd.gov/disaster-response-services.
The department is also seeking entities to provide outreach and engagement services. Through this program, entities will have an opportunity to:
- provide training support to communities, practitioners, individuals and families related to behavioral health consequences of natural disasters,
- build community coalitions to respond to and prepare for behavioral health impacts of disasters,
- develop and implement a workforce development training plan to increase the ability of individuals in the community to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance abuse in adults impacted by a disaster and link them to appropriate services,
- establish relationships with local businesses, families, and community groups to broaden and link all community resources available to adults and their families impacted by the disaster, and
- provide recovery support services (e.g., child care and vocational, educational, and transportation services) designed to improve access to, and retention in services.
For more information or to apply, visit www.behavioralhealth.nd.gov/disaster-response-services.
“Strengthening a community’s capacity to recognize signs and symptoms of behavioral health conditions through engagement, outreach and training is an integral part of these funding opportunities,” Sagness said.
Currently, the Heartview Foundation and Sharehouse are offering substance use disorder services to individuals through the grant.
The Behavioral Health Division is responsible for reviewing and identifying service needs and activities in the state's behavioral health system to ensure health and safety, access to services and quality services. It also establishes quality assurance standards for the licensure of substance use disorder program services and facilities and provides policy leadership in partnership with public and private entities. For more information, visit www.behavioralhealth.nd.gov.