Mental health programs receive additional funding

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Congress recently included $850 million in funding for the national Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Expansion Grants program in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Congress also extended the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act by three years.

“CCBHCs play a vital role in meeting the mental health and substances use care needs of communities and represent a lifeline for so many vulnerable people as our nation copes with a pandemic and an opioid crisis,” Chuck Ingoglia, National Council for Behavioral Health president and CEO, said.

Approximately one in five Americans suffer from substance use or mental illness. Of those who have a mental illness, 43 percent receive treatment, whereas 12 percent of addicts receive treatment. Drug overdose is the leading cause of death for Americans younger than 50, while suicide is the second-leading cause of death for those between 10 and 34 years old.

CCBHCs provide immediate screenings, risk assessments, diagnoses; outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services; crisis services; and care coordination with emergency rooms, law enforcement, and veteran groups.

In the first year of operation, 87 percent of CCBHCs increased the number of patients served, 93 percent provided staff training in suicide prevention and response, and 94 percent increased the number of patients treated for addiction, according to the National Council for Behavioral Health.

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