By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has approved and funded a grant application submitted by Bridges Healthcare for educating West Haven’s young people on the pitfalls of substance use, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi announced.
Bridges was notified last month that it was receiving funding, starting Dec. 31, for the Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant for the West Haven Prevention Council project, said Martin Schwartzman, the chief of program operations at Milford-based Bridges.
The grant award is for $125,000 per year for five years, with the potential for another five years of funding after year five, Schwartzman said.
Schwartzman thanked city and school officials for helping to prepare the grant application, saying, “We look forward to partnering with you on this project.”
Bridges is the local mental health authority and nonprofit, community-based provider for outpatient mental health and addiction services for adults in Milford, Orange and West Haven. Designated by the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, it also provides programs and services for children, families and young adults throughout the region.
“I applaud the members of Bridges and our team of city and school officials for working together to secure this vital funding for the West Haven Prevention Council,” Rossi said. “Thanks to the funding, this important initiative will continue to give hope to those seeking help from drugs and alcohol.”
The DFC grant program takes a comprehensive and data-driven approach to prevent and reduce youth substance use and misuse in communities nationwide.
Schwartzman said the funding will provide a robust prevention effort for West Haven’s youth population.
The DFC funding aims to establish and strengthen the collaboration among communities, public and private nonprofit agencies, and federal, state, local and tribal governments to support the efforts of community coalitions. It also strives to reduce substance use among young people as well as adults.