The Matrix Priority Programs: Addressing unmet and emerging needs

The SAMHSA matrix identifies 11 priority program areas to ensure that the Agency’s work addresses the elements that people with substance use and mental disorders need to live a full, rewarding life in the community.

Matrix Brochure: Click here to download the SAMHSA Matrix Brochure


Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity

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Through its Block Grant and Targeted Capacity Expansion programs, SAMHSA is providing more than $1.6 billion to support States’ efforts to build and expand their capacity for substance abuse treatment, to improve treatment systems and to respond to new and emerging substance abuse trends.

SAMHSA will oversee the President’s Access to Recovery program—a new $100 million State-run voucher program that will allow thousands of Americans with substance use disorders the opportunity to choose treatment and recovery support services from a range of qualified community provider organizations, including those that are faith based.   

Mental Health System Transformation

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Responding to the call of the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health to transform the existing mental health care system, SAMHSA is leading the ongoing process of developing an action agenda, defining the roles of the States and other partners and identifying the changes that are necessary to create a more recovery-focused mental health services delivery system.

SAMHSA is investing more than $517 million in transformation efforts, including $47 million to fund the State Incentive Grants for Transformation program to enable States to begin implementing the Commission’s findings.  These funds will support the development of comprehensive State mental health plans and improve the mental health services infrastructure.

Strategic Prevention Framework

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As part of its efforts to reengineer its approach to substance abuse prevention, SAMHSA is creating a strategic prevention framework that is built on science-based theory, evidence-based practices and the knowledge that effective prevention programs must engage individuals, families and entire communities.

Supported by more than $521 million in SAMHSA funding in 2004, the new Strategic Prevention Framework sets into place a step-by-step process that empowers communities to identify and implement the most effective prevention efforts for their specific needs. It also includes feedback to ensure accountability and effectiveness of the program effort.

SAMHSA’s State Incentive Grants program is the foundation of the Strategic Prevention Framework, providing funds to States and territories to promote partnership development. SAMHSA is providing $47.8 million in new capacity expansion grants to assist States in carrying out services, infrastructure and best practices efforts, with an emphasis on the prevention of underage drinking.

Co-Occurring Disorders

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SAMHSA fosters collaboration across the substance abuse and mental health fields and provides grant funding to promote the development of a seamless system of care in which any door is the right door for people with or at risk for co-occurring substance use and mental disorders to receive coordinated treatment and services.

SAMHSA’s $15 million Co-Occurring State Incentive Grants program supports States’ efforts to develop and enhance their service system infrastructure and to increase their capacity to serve people with co-occurring disorders.

Seclusion & Restraint

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SAMHSA has allocated $2.5 million to support implementation of a National Action Plan to reduce and ultimately eliminate seclusion and restraint from treatment and rehabilitation settings. The plan focuses on identifying evidence-based practices, developing training models, providing technical assistance for staff and enforcing rights protection to safeguard consumers.

Children & Families

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In 2004, SAMHSA is investing more than $272 million in programs for children and families with mental health and substance use issues. SAMHSA supports States’ efforts to develop community-based systems of care and to promote public information initiatives that address critical concerns—from family strengthening and school violence prevention to help for children of addicted parents.

Disaster Readiness & Response

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When disasters strike, State and local substance abuse and mental health agencies are thrust onto the front line for response and recovery efforts. Addressing this critical need, SAMHSA is providing $6.3 million to bolster States’ efforts to plan for and provide outreach, crisis counseling and referral services in response to all hazards, including bioterrorism. 


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SAMHSA funds a wide range of grant programs and activities to assist communities in providing integrated treatment and support for individuals with mental and substance use disorders who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. In 2004, SAMHSA is supporting this initiative with more than $95.7 million, which will expand the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program, provide substance abuse treatment for homeless families and support a unique cross-Agency initiative to end chronic homelessness.

Older Adults

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In response to the mounting needs of the growing older adult population, SAMHSA is currently providing nearly $5 million in grants to assist States in providing services and supports that are known to work, in addressing age-related disparities and in studying the effectiveness of treatment for substance use and mental disorders in primary care settings. SAMHSA is also reaching out to the aging service community and to older adults themselves.

HIV/AIDS & Hepatitis

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In 2004, SAMHSA is investing more than $111 million in an effort to develop local capacity to provide mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention services for individuals living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.  These funds will assist States with outreach and training, addressing the special needs of racial and ethnic minorities and studying the costs associated with delivering integrated care.

Criminal & Juvenile Justice

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To help States break the pattern of incarceration without treatment and reduce the high rate of recidivism, SAMHSA is providing $32.5 million in grants for diversion and reentry programs for adolescents, teens and adults with substance use and mental disorders. These grant programs focus on treatment, as well as housing, vocational and employment services and long-term supports.

File Date: 2/12/2009