Congress has passed a new $2.3 trillion stimulus bill, which includes billions in funding for behavioral health programs and initiatives. The legislation, which passed Monday night, is now headed to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it into law.
The new relief package includes $4.25 billion in funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) beyond regular fiscal year 2021 spending. That funding will be split between various SAMHSA programs. Examples include:
- $1.65 billion for the Substance Abuse and Prevention Treatment Block Grant program;
- $1.65 billion for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant program;
- $600 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs);
- $50 million for various suicide prevention programs;
- $50 million for Project AWARE;
- and $240 million in emergency grants to states.
The legislation also increases and continues funding for the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Plus, it extends the CCBHC program through September 30, 2023.
Industry leaders praised Congress for the passage of the legislation and the impact it would have on behavioral health providers, while also acknowledging the need for additional support in the future. Take Chuck Ingoglia, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, for example.
Ingoglia lauded the relief package for the immediate boost it would give behavioral health organizations, providing them with additional stability at a time when they are facing more strain and higher demand than ever before.
“The life-saving work of organizations providing mental health and substance use treatment and services is more essential than ever,” Ingoglia said in a statement. “While we believe additional federal support will be necessary, we welcome today’s much needed relief and funding package.”
Overall, the relief package allots $900 billion in new COVID-19 aid and $1.4 trillion in funding for the federal government through September 30, 2021.
You can read the full text of the legislation here.