NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — North Dakota’s Health and Human Services Behavioral Health Division has been awarded a four-year System of Care Expansion and Sustainability Grant.

It’s from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

It’s all in an effort to improve mental health outcomes for children and youth.

The state will receive $3 million each year starting this year to build and expand a comprehensive set of community-based behavioral health services.

The services include outpatient services, 24-hour crisis emergency services, intensive home-based outreach, and case management.

They say this is the first step in helping children and families in the system.

“One thing that we know we are seeing more and more is children who have more severe issues so this really is a grant that is targeting those who are struggling the most in our system,” said Pamela Sagness, executive director of behavioral health. “So we are excited to work with those in the public schools and providers and local public health. Really bringing everyone together to figure out how we can get that comprehensive system so there are no children or families that fall through the cracks.”