Sen. Blunt: Missouri report shows progress on expanding access to mental health care

Sen. Blunt: Missouri report shows progress on expanding access to mental health care

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said Tuesday a new report shows his state has significantly expanded access to and improved the quality of mental health services.

The report, from the Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare, found that Missouri Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) increased access to care for patients by 23 percent. The clinics have served nearly 3,000 veterans over the last three years. Additionally, CCBHCs have reduced hospitalizations by 20 percent and ER visits by 36 percent.

“Over the last three years, we’ve seen incredible progress in improving and expanding mental health services in our state,” Blunt said. “Nearly one in five Americans has a diagnosable, and almost always treatable, mental health issue, but many are unable to get the help they need. The coronavirus pandemic has created even more challenges, with substance abuse on the rise and more Americans struggling with issues like anxiety, grief, and depression. This report is encouraging, but it is more important than ever to make mental and behavioral health services available to more Americans. I have worked with Senator Stabenow to extend and expand the Excellence in Mental Health program to build on the progress that’s been made, and it will continue to be a priority.”

Blunt and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (R-MI) established the behavioral health clinics as part of the 2014 Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act, which improved quality standards and offered patients increased services at community mental health centers.