First Responder Mental Health Resources Grant

What is it?

First Responder Mental Health Resources Grant funds are available for First Responder Agencies to improve or increase mental health services for first responders under the new Utah Code §53-21-103. This funding was initiated by the First Responders Mental Health Service Amendment HB23 of the 2022 General Session of Utah to provide mental health resources to Utah’s first responders through the Department of Public Safety.

This grant funds one-year’s expenses for new resources or resource expansion that will allow first responder agencies to be compliant with Utah Code §53-21-103 that requires all first responder agencies to provide or make available mental health resources.  

These available resources include:

(a) regular periodic screenings for all employees within the first responder agency;

(b) assessments and availability to mental health services for personnel directly involved in a critical incident within 12 hours of the incident; and

(c) regular and continuing access to the mental health program for:

(i) spouses and children of first responders;

(ii) first responders who have retired or separated from the agency; and

(iii) spouses of first responders who have retired or separated from the agency; and

(d) peer support resources.

This one-time funding can be used to develop a mental health program, provide resources, contract with a mental health provider or program, provide access to, or expand an existing program. Funding cannot be used to supplant or replace funding for an existing program. These funds are to be used during one year, and sustainability of the proposed plan in future years will be considered.

Grant application guidelines:

  • The application requires the following information:
    • If there is an existing program in place:
      • Description of current program and costs;
      • Number of first responders currently served, and
      • How the new resources will supplement the existing program or be in addition to it.
    • Description of proposed program and/or expansion, including:
      • Description of services to be provided with grant funds;
      • Cost of proposed program with breakdown of expenses;
      • Expected number of first responders, spouses and children, and retirees or separated first responders to be served with the new resources;
        • If this is an expansion of resources, these numbers should not include first responders already receiving resources or resources currently in place;
      • Explanation of how the proposed program will ensure timely and effective mental health resource for first responders;
      • Expected impact the proposed program will have for first responders; and
      • Sustainability of this program after grant funding is expended.
    • A group of first responder agencies may jointly apply for grant funding to provide mental health resources for first responders. If a group of agencies applies:
      • The group of agencies shall designate one first responder agency as the lead agency who will be responsible for:
        • applying for grant funding and reporting on behalf of the group of first responder agencies; and
        • provide oversight of the mental health resources program for the group of agencies.

Other Considerations:

  • Mental health providers contracted or employed by the first responder agency are to have training and experience in working with first responders. 
  • Quarterly report will be required that includes:
    • the types of services provided;
    • the number of first responders, family members, and retired first responders served; and
    • the amount of grant funding expended by the agency and the purpose for which the grant funding was spent. 
  • Agencies will maintain records for five years sufficient to show how the funding is used; and
  • Agencies will cooperate with the committee if and when the committee determines it is necessary to audit agency records or evaluate the use of the funding.

Grant Selection process:

  • The Department of Public Safety has formed a Mental Health Resources for First Responders Grant Funding Committee composed of individuals representing various organizations throughout the first responder community.
  • The committee shall assist the department in reviewing applications and recommending grant award amounts to first responder agencies under the new Utah Code §53-21-103.
  • Please be aware that time is of the essence in submitting applications.
  • The committee will start meeting quarterly to review and award funding, beginning during the fourth quarter of the calendar year 2022. Also, note all grants are limited to one-time funding to be utilized within one year.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions here

How to Apply

Apply here.

Application information and requirements can be found in the above Grant Application Guidelines section.

Supporting documentation may be sent to mentalhealthgrant@utah.gov in addition to any questions you may have.

Web page updated 1/3/24