WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Bipartisan lawmakers came together to announce a large investment in mental health services across the country. They say this will make a huge difference throughout the U.S to increase mental health resources and substance use disorder treatments.
Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced investments into local providers called Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC).
“CCBHCs are here to stay and we are making a major commitment of $300 million to make that happen,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said.
Becerra, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), say the funding will provide much needed care.
“We are finally going to treat healthcare above the neck as healthcare below the neck. Not through grants that stop and start, but through healthcare,” Stabenow said.
Ten states received the initial grants, for clinics providing a range of services to address mental health and substance use problems.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) says the goal is to boost access to those services.
“A place where you can go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year that have the kind of staff the law requires you to have,” Blunt said.
There are now more than 400 CCBHCs operating in the U.S. and more states are expected to be awarded up to $1 million for one-year planning grants, as long as they meet federal standards.
“This funding provides the ongoing investment in these behavioral health clinics and helps them continue to provide the broad range of services they offer to communities,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said.
Both Blunt and Stabenow agreed there is still work to be done and want Congress to make this level of funding permanent.