Members of the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation announced that the state will receive more than $2.8 million in federal grants to combat substance use disorder and mental health issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Maggie Hassan (D), and Reps. Annie Kuster (D) and Chris Pappas (D), announced the grants on Friday, noting that they were allocated as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act signed into law last month.
Awarded to the state by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the federal funding will support efforts by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Huma Services to combat substance use disorder and to expand access to mental health services during the pandemic.
“We are experiencing an unprecedented challenge in New Hampshire as one public health crisis exacerbates another,” Shaheen said. “Granite Staters struggling with substance use disorder are often also experiencing economic instability, increased isolation, and reduced access to mental health and recovery services. Treatment providers are also facing severe financial difficulties that threaten their ability to stay open. These serious issues are why I fought for the inclusion of robust funding in the emergency COVID relief legislation that was recently signed into law to help patients and providers get through these extremely difficult times. Though I’m very pleased these federal dollars are being awarded, more is needed to bolster our response to the substance use disorder epidemic.”
The money is part of more than $4.25 billion in funding for substance use disorder treatment and mental health care across the country.
“Over the past year, we have seen this pandemic dramatically increase the risk factors that contribute to substance misuse such as isolation and economic insecurity, while also forcing our providers to alter their care and squeezing budgets across the board,” said Congressman Pappas. “This additional federal funding will play a critical role in allowing our treatment providers to meet this moment and provide Granite Staters with the services and support they need to get through these difficult times. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the impacts of COVID-19 on the substance misuse epidemic are never over-looked and receive further support with appropriate flexibility in future legislation.”