Mental Health Association Receives $500,000 Grant For Drug Recovery

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – The Chautauqua County Mental Health Association alongside an entourage of supporters and elected officials announced Tuesday that they received a federal grant, awarding them a total of half a million dollars towards a new drug recovery program.

The new program known as the ARC project aims to assist those in recovery and return them to the workforce, allowing the MHA to expand their already existing Occupational Peer Empowerment Network, using peer related support to allow patrons to get back to a sense of normalcy. 

The Mental Health Association has been working on this program for over two years to establish relationships within the community, and local businesses.

“It’s a two year grant, that comes with $500,000 dollars in funding,” explained Executive Director of the MHA Steven Cobb. “And the purpose of that is to develop a recovery ecosystem that supports people in recovery as they return to the workforce, to remove barriers, to provide opportunities for education, and to provide assistance where wrap-around-services don’t traditionally supply assistance.”

Now that they have received the grant, ARC project manager Sean Jones can begin to work with businesses and help patrons develop the skills necessary to return to a sense of normalcy.

“Now with getting the full grant and being able to implement it, we can start to add the other pieces of that program,“ stated Jones. “So being able to do the workforce development classes with our participants. One of the other things we can do now too, is also start reaching out more to the different businesses throughout Chautauqua County, both large and small.”     

While the federal grant awarded only $500,000 dollars, with other financial help the Mental Health Association will have one million dollars to begin work.

“We have matched $250,000 dollars of the funding that we already have on hand,“ explained Cobb. “St. Lukes, their part is matching $250,000 dollars, so in one sense it’s a total value of a million dollars.”  

Once the ARC program is underway, services will be available county wide.

“We will be doing this grant and implementing it all over Chautauqua County,“ said Cobb. “In Jamestown, in Dunkirk, and all the rural areas in our county, so we’re real excited about it.” 

The ARC’s INSPIRE, also known as the Appalachian Regional Commission‘s Investments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems initiative, attempts to address substance recovery issues across the Appalachian region, this year Chautauqua County’s Mental Health Association was the only organization in New York State that was awarded this grant.


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