PORTLAND — A Portland-based mental health agency will receive a $1.6 million federal grant that will help launch a statewide program aimed at making sure that children, who have been exposed to violence, are receiving appropriate mental health services.

Community Counseling Center on Lancaster Street announced Wednesday that it has received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The Maine Children’s Trauma Response Initiative will allow Community Counseling Center to expand a service that currenty operates in Cumberland County to the entire state. It was just one of 52 agencies – from a pool of more than 900 applicants nationwide – who were selected to receive a grant.

Kids will be able to access mental health services through schools, law enforcement and the state of Maine.

“We want to do everything in our power to ensure that any child who has been exposed to violence has access to mental health treatment,” said Rebecca Hoffmann Frances, Vice President of Trauma Services and Community Programs for the Community Counseling Center. “Launching this initiative is the first step in ensuring that no matter where a child lives they will be able to access evidence based trauma treatment close to home.”

For more information about the trauma response initiative, contact Erin Smith at 553-9324.