Request For Proposal (RFP) Program

Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) will be releasing the Request for Proposal (RFP) for program proposals to be implemented July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. Proposals should address the needs in the Stark County community and align with StarkMHAR priority areas and priority populations. Higher priority areas and statutory mandates will be given first priority for funding.

Agencies interested in applying for funding must meet the applicable funding guidelines. Interested applicants may complete the Request for Proposal documents for the program(s) they intend to apply. To be considered for funding, applicants must submit one (1) signed RFP response packet via email to by noon, Monday, December 28, 2020, in person or via mail at StarkMHAR, 121 Cleveland Ave. SW, Canton, Ohio 44702. It may be signed and scanned into email for submission, along with the RFP packet. Agencies who apply for funding who do not currently receive StarkMHAR funding are required to include with their RFP packet a copy of their most recent audit. If an audit has not been performed, StarkMHAR is requesting a copy of the financial statements from the end of the previous fiscal year, as presented to their board.

StarkMHAR reserves the right to revise budgets and fund less than the requested amount. Any agency that receives StarkMHAR funding will enter into a contract with StarkMHAR prior to any payment of allocated funds. All decisions of StarkMHAR on the allocation of funds are final and are contingent upon the receipt of allocations from the State of Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. StarkMHAR acknowledges that Medicaid rules override any conflicted StarkMHAR policy and procedure.

All requestors must hold state certification to provide mental health and/or alcohol/drug services. Applicants shall address all requirements and shall contain the full name of each agency/company and shall be signed by officials authorized to execute a contract.

Optional technical assistance is available on the following dates and times for agencies interested in submitting a proposal:

  • Friday, November 6, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 11, 2020 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 2, 2020 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Please RSVP to Kelli Whitted by emailing or calling 330-455-6644 to attend any or all of the meetings.

Role of StarkMHAR

Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) serves as the community mental health and alcohol and drug addiction services planning entity for Stark County. The duties of StarkMHAR specifically include the evaluation, development and assessment of community mental health and alcohol and drug addiction needs, services and programs under the Ohio Revised Code. Through this work, StarkMHAR is considered a safety net for people with behavioral health needs in Stark County.

In this role, StarkMHAR is to ensure services are available for all people living in Stark County, meaning that StarkMHAR is obligated to prioritize risk to safety above all else. Within that context, priority is also given to certain populations who do not have access to alternative sources of services, and whose risk to self or others is highest. Services to reduce risk of harm are the first priority and are only limited by geographic domains.

Priority will also be given to certain populations that fall under the statutory responsibility of StarkMHAR: people with severe mental illness, children and youth with severe emotional disturbance and people with severe substance use disorders. For more about population definitions »

Funding Guidelines

Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) allocates funding throughout the State Fiscal Year 2022, which runs from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. All funding requests for services or programs must meet the following guidelines:

  • The organization must be certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in order to receive funding, excluding those organizations that are government entities. Additionally, the organization must be certified to provide the service or program for which they are applying.
  • Funding for services and programs is based upon availability. StarkMHAR has a variety of funding sources including federal, state and local dollars. Some funding streams are mandated by the state to be used for specific purposes, and some funding streams are for specific services or programs. All other funding is based upon the priorities and needs of the local community. Funding is on a year-to-year basis.
  • A Request for Proposal (RFP) is the primary channel for allocating resources. All programs must submit a RFP to be considered for funding. RFP for SFY22 will be released on November 2, 2020. Signed and completed proposals are due to StarkMHAR by noon, December 28, 2020. Unfortunately, StarkMHAR is not able to accept late or incomplete proposals.



Frequently Asked Questions

For treatment/recovery support/government entities RFP, the priority information is as follows:

Priority Populations We are a safety net provider, which means that we must prioritize risk to SAFETY. Priority Populations for adults include SMI/SEVERE SUD (excluding caffeine and nicotine) who does not have access to alternative sources of services, and for youth and adolescents include SED/SEVERE SUD (excluding caffeine and nicotine) who does not have access to alternative sources of services.

Non-priority populations include youth, adolescents, and adults with mental illness and/or mild to moderate substance use disorders.

Priority Areas Chart:

Priority Area Target Population Category Name Definition
Priority 1 Hard Mandates Services we are legally required to provide
Priority 2 Everyone in Behavioral Health population Urgent Risk 1) Risk of urgent and imminent harm includes need for emergency or urgent services due to danger to self/others or inability to care for self, 2) Potential life threatening symptoms resulting from withdrawal from substances
Priority 3 Priority Populations Only High Risk 1) Loss of basic self-care skills (secondary to Priority Population) which results in an inability  to manage functioning  2) Likely degeneration of condition that would result in imminent risk, 3) Identified public safety risks
Priority 4 Priority Populations Only Serious Risk Significant functional issues related to SMI/SED/SEVERE SUD; that, without intervention, would likely result in degeneration to a higher level risk at some point in the non-imminent future
Priority 5 Priority Populations Only Important Needs Needs re: social functioning, higher cognitive development, employment success
Priority 6 Non-priority populations or general populations Legitimate Needs Services that increases the quality of non-urgent outcomes with regard to any of the issues addressed in other priorities


For the CEP (prevention) RFP, the priority information is as follows:

Priority Populations We are a safety net provider; which means that we must prioritize risk to SAFETY. Priority populations include those individuals eligible for indicated prevention/early intervention and selective prevention strategies.

Non-Priority Populations include individuals eligible for universal prevention strategies.

Priority Areas Chart:

Priority Area Target Population Priority Population Definition
Priority 1 Priority Populations only Urgent risk

Indicated prevention strategies are targeted to high-risk individuals who are identified as having minimal but detectable signs or symptoms that foreshadow mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder, as well as biological markers that indicate a predisposition in a person for such a disorder but who does not meet diagnostic criteria at the time of the intervention; exhibit life threatening behaviors.

Early Intervention (previously known as Secondary Prevention) are interventions that happen after serious risk factors have already been discovered or early in disease progression soon after diagnosis. The goal is to halt or slow the progress of disease in its earliest stages.

Priority 2 Priority Populations only High Risk Indicated prevention strategies are targeted to high-risk individuals who are identified as having minimal but detectable signs or symptoms that foreshadow mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder, as well as biological markers that indicate a predisposition in a person for such a disorder but who does not meet diagnostic criteria at the time of the intervention.
Priority 3 Priority Populations only Serious Risk Selective prevention strategies are targeted to
individuals or to a subgroup of the population whose risk of developing mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders is significantly higher than average.
Priority 4 Everyone in General Public Important Needs Universal prevention strategies are targeted to the
general public or a whole population group that has not been identified on the basis of individual risk. The intervention is desirable for everyone in that group (IOM, 2009, p. xxix).


StarkMHAR priority populations are further defined in a white paper. This document outlines StarkMHAR’s philosophy in allocating funds for services and programs. Please review this document and familiarize yourself with it so that you can align your proposal with the priorities of StarkMHAR. Your proposal must align with the priorities of StarkMHAR to be considered for funding. Full details are in this white paper by Dr. Michael Gillette »

Additional Instructions

  • General program and service descriptions can also be found in the above white paper document. This also may help you when you write your proposal. Additionally, the Guidance Document can assist you with other questions.
  • Please submit your proposal in the RFP format. Please make sure your proposal is both thorough and succinct.
  • All funded programs are expected to report progress towards outcomes to StarkMHAR.
  • All proposals must have a completed budget that demonstrates the expenses of the program. Some restrictions may apply, depending upon the funding source.
  • Funding agreements will be finalized through the use of a mutually agreed upon signed contract. It is expected that final allocations will be made at the June board meeting.
  • All RFPs are reviewed by StarkMHAR staff. Recommendations for funding are reviewed by the Program and Evaluation Committee, the Finance Committee and the Executive Committee. The decision to fund a program rests with the Board of Directors.
  • A scoring tool will be used to evaluate all proposals, however, the scoring tool has not been validated or objectified and is only used as a basis for internal discussion and review. The scoring tool is not the sole mechanism by which programs are recommended for funding.

Additional Questions?

All questions related to the RFP should be submitted to Responses are guaranteed within 24 hours.