National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Skip to content National Council for Mental Wellbeing
Find a Provider
National Council for Mental Wellbeing logo

Grant supports up to 30 behavioral health organizations to adopt SBIRT, motivational interviewing for youth

Contact or 202.684.7457

Washington DC (March 31, 2014) — The National Council for Mental Wellbeing (National Council) received a $1.3 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to implement screening for substance use in community behavioral health centers.

The grant will support the implementation of screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT), an evidence-based practice, for youth in up to 30 community behavioral health organizations throughout the country. The project will also address how Medicaid, through its Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) mandate, can pay for SBIRT services.

“Youth with mental illnesses are at high risk for developing a substance use disorder, and behavioral health providers must take every opportunity to address these concerns,” said Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing (National Council). “This significant investment in early intervention will help many youth grow into healthy adults.”

Mental health and substance use treatment organizations that serve youth will implement the initiative and seek state reimbursement. Sites will develop workflows for the screening to treatment process, including identifying where and how screening will be implemented within the agency, what screening tool will be used, and how information will be collected.

“Despite a strong evidence base, the use of SBIRT is still limited among the organizations that have contact with youth most at risk for developing substance use disorders,” continues Rosenberg. “Addressing substance use during this critical time is an important investment into reducing the costly impact of addictions in our society.”

The National Council will select participating organizations through a competitive application process beginning this spring, and participants will be announced in the summer.


The National Council for Mental Wellbeing (National Council) is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with our 2,000+ member organizations employing 750,000 staff, we serve our nation’s most vulnerable citizens — the more than 8 million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. We are committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. The National Council pioneered Mental Health First Aid in the U.S., which has trained 150,000 individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and addictions care in their communities.


The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $92 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2013. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.4 billion. For more information, please visit