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Strong Future Initiative


Community Solutions for Behavioral Health

Community Solutions for Behavioral Health

Strong Future

In November of 2018, Summit County voters passed Referred Measure 1A Strong Future with five separate funding components:  early care and education, zero waste management, forest fire mitigation, capital improvements, and support for mental health improvements.

This report is a summary of the behavioral health funds – approximately two million dollars annually for ten years.

The programs listed in this report receive funds annually from the Strong Future funds for behavioral health and are considered imperative for the mental health of all citizens of Summit County.

In all cases, each program has been able to leverage Strong Future funds by obtaining funding from other sources such as grants and donations to not only expand programming and services to the Summit County community, but to also reduce pressure on the Strong Future funding stream.

  • Approximately $2  million of Strong Future funding is dedicated to behavioral health each year.
  • The Strong Future Mental Health Citizen Committee ensures funding and services are focused on the mental health continuum across Summit County.
  • In 2022, $300,000 of the funding was allocated to Building Hope for the coordination and administration of Summit County’s behavioral health system.
  • The remainder of the fund is distributed through proposals facilitated by Summit County Government and the Mental Health Citizen Committee.

Funding At Work

Family & Intercultural Resource Center

support groups

Mental Health & Substance Use Navigation

Summit County’s Family & Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC) is a non-profit serving our diverse community across a wide spectrum of needs. This includes behavioral health navigation, a service that connects individuals and families to appropriate treatments such as therapeutic and lifesaving support, connection to providers, substance use treatment, in-patient treatment, and support groups.

Individuals of all ages, race and ethnicity participate in this program.

  • Connects individuals / families to behavioral health treatments
  • Supports individuals in achieving their behavioral health goals.
  • Provides housing, food, health insurance, and economic assistance as needed.
  • Partners with Peer Support Programs for participants seeking a Spanish-speaking mental health provider.

Peer Mental Health Program For Spanish Speakers

New immigrant families face barriers such as limited resources, social support, and employment options, overcrowded and unsustainable housing, lack of knowledge of resources, as well as a general lack of knowledge regarding the basic way of life in the United States.

ALMA (Amigas Latinas Motivando el Alma) and ACCION programs provide one-on-one and group support to Spanish-speaking participants who face social isolation, stress, anxiety, and depression.

  • Connects participants to a peer/ compañera to ease the transition of immigrating to the United States, teaching stress reduction techniques, coping skills, and connection to community resources.
  • Provides ongoing monthly support groups.
  • Partners with Summit School District to connect with basic needs and resources and to facilitate social interactions and behavioral health resources.

Building Hope Summit County

The worldwide crisis of the last several years has amplified the need for behavioral health services.


It is reported that 4 in 10 adults in Summit County have expressed symptoms of anxiety and depression since March 2020, a significant jump from 1 in 10 adults reported in January 2019.

Building Hope Summit County is a community-wide initiative designed to create a more coordinated, effective and responsive mental health system that promotes emotional well-being, reduces stigma and improves access to care and support for everyone in Summit County.

  • Free Community Connectedness Events
  • Mental Health Navigation and Therapy Scholarship Program
  • Mental Health Trainings for community members and local workplaces
  • Peer Support call/text line
  • The HYPE youth programming
connectedness hike strong future

Recovery Resources

Hiking group Strong Futures

Summit County Clinical Withdrawal Management

Substance and alcohol abuse is prevalent in Summit County. Making the decision to live a sober life and enter recovery can be extremely difficult. Recovery Resources offers clinical withdrawal management services to Summit County, also known as Detox, offering compassion and support for individuals looking to end their substance use and overcome the struggles of physical and psychological withdrawal.

  • 24 hours/7 days a week support for individuals looking to end their substance use.
  • Utilizes clinical interventions and/or medication to overcome the struggles of physical and psychological withdrawal.
  • Customized treatment plans are created through addiction counselors based on each client’s needs.
  • Provide a seamless transition to outpatient programs and residential treatment following withdrawal management.

Summit County Sheriff’s Office

STARR: Strategies to Avoid Relapse and Recidivism

At the Summit County jail, inmates often show signs of substance abuse and poor behavioral health. While it is imperative to provide the proper punishment for inmates, it is also vital for the long-term sustainability of the community to offer treatment and opportunities for rehabilitation-proven to decrease the chance of another crime in the future. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office has established the Strategies to Avoid Relapse and Recidivism (STARR) program, which provides substance use and mental health treatment services within the facility.

  • Focuses on behavioral health, utilizing a variety of treatments for trauma and other disorders.
  • Testing is provided for overall behavioral health, suicide potential, and traumatic brain injury.
  • Provides group and individual therapy sessions.
  • Upon release, participants are provided a connection to free or low-cost services in the community, including re-entry coordinator services.
Heart Hands Strong Future

SMART: System-wide Mental Assessment Response Team

Nationwide interactions with law enforcement and citizens in mental health crises have prompted the demand for introducing mental-health training to our local law enforcement to prevent escalating situations in our community. SMART conducts full mental health assessments of community members in crisis, stabilizing them in-home and connecting them with appropriate follow-up care.

  • De-escalate in place, allowing individuals to connect with their support system and stabilize vs. going to the emergency department, saving local first responder resources.
  • Connects individuals with therapeutic support, coaching, and connection with local resources – ensuring safe re-entry after crisis events.
  • Reduces criminal recidivism for participants and diverts appropriate cases from the criminal justice system.

Summit Community Care Clinic

School Based Health Center (SBHC) Behavioral Health Services

Adolescents have increased levels of depression, stress, anxiety, and suicidal ideation than in years past. The School Based Health Center (SBHC) provides high quality, easily accessible behavioral health (BH) services to students in all Summit School District Schools – with the goal of helping them stay in school, stay in their home, and proactively work through a crisis with a trusted adult. Our goal is to provide the youth of Summit County with the resources they need to thrive emotionally and physically. 

  • Provides behavioral health assessments and crisis response.
  • Programs include substance use education with topics such as vaping and tobacco use.
  • Offers individual and group counseling.
  • Connects students to outside providers and social services, including behavioral health providers.
Teens Strong Future

How to Apply

Funding Priorities

The community has identified several priorities for the use of Strong Future Behavioral Health funds.
These priorities include but are not entirely limited to:

  • Mental health and substance use services
  • Outpatient and intensive outpatient substance use and mental health treatment programs
  • Community crisis response programs
  • Crisis Co-response and Jail Based Behavioral Health
  • Peer Respite and Walk-in Crisis supports
  • Supports to enhance mental health programming in schools
  • Withdrawal management
  • Community care management programs including case management and navigation services
  • Expanded programming to support suicide prevention and postvention
  • Spanish language mental health services
  • Transitional housing programs
  • Programs to support the re-integration of residents to community post-treatment
  • Support services for residents with severe and persistent mental illness
  • Community education & outreach programs for children and adults
  • Programs to enhance capacity, recruitment, and retention of mental health professionals practicing in the community
  • Mental and behavioral health system infrastructure building

The Strong Future Citizens Committee follows the assumptions outlined below, when evaluating programs for funding:

  • We will not use SF funding to backfill or replace existing funding for programs
  • We fund mental health strategies that have documented need and demand for services
  • We fund mental health strategies that are difficult to fund from other sources
  • We fund program strategies that have measurable impact on residents
  • We prioritize funding treatment strategies but also support prevention efforts

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact grants@buildinghopesummit.org

Strong future proposal dates and deadlines
Strong Future BH Prioritization and Evaluation
Click to download the full-sized .PDF

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