The National Council for Behavioral Health, a group of health care organizations that provide mental health and addiction treatment services, recently voiced its disappointment in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) emergency funding.
SAMHSA issued $250 million in emergency COVID-19 funding for fiscal year 2020 as part of the CARES Act and $200 million in annually appropriated funding. The funds were provided in the form of 166 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic expansion grants.
The grants were not made available to all community behavioral health organizations (CCBHCs).
“We appreciate SAMHSA’s goal of distributing CARES Act funds in an expedient manner, though we had hoped the agency would adopt a broader approach to provide aid during this crisis,” Chuck Ingoglia, National Council for Behavioral Health president and CEO, said. “Make no mistake: we believe CCBHCs are a valuable model for the future of behavioral health. But given the relatively limited number of CCBHCs operating today, we must allocate relief funds more broadly. The recent grant announcement highlights the need for urgent congressional action to provide $38.5 billion infusion of emergency funds for behavioral health organizations to ensure that all providers have the resources necessary to meet the immediate challenges.”