Legislation would provide grants for mental health, addiction

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Bipartisan legislation recently introduced in the U.S. Senate would direct the Health and Human Services secretary to establish a Coronavirus Mental Health and Addiction Assistance Network and award grants.

The Coronavirus Mental Health and Addiction Assistance Act would appropriate $100 million in emergency funding to start or expand programs offering mental health and substance use disorder services. It includes outreach services, support groups, training programs, telehealth services, and telephone helplines and websites.

The grants would be available for providers offering appropriate mental health and addiction services, qualified nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes.

U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced the bill.

“This pandemic has been hard on Americans,” Young said. “Now more than ever, we must prioritize mental health by dedicating resources like telehealth, support groups, and outreach services so people can get the help that they need. I introduced the Coronavirus Mental Health and Addiction Assistance Act to provide mental health and addiction services and treatment to Hoosiers struggling at home.”

Reps. John Katko (R-NY) and Tim Ryan (D-OH) introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.

The Senate bill has the support of numerous organizations, including the American Counseling Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

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