This week, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced its plan to issue $50 million in funding to help community health centers establish or expand behavioral health services for people living with mental illness and substance use disorders, according to a department press release.
The funds, made available through the Affordable Care Act, will allow community health centers to hire new mental health and substance use disorder professionals, add mental health and substance use disorder services and employ team-based models of care.
According to Mary K. Wakefield, PhD, RN, administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, the new funds will "expand the capacity of our network of community health centers to respond to the mental health needs in their communities."
The awards are estimated to support behavioral health expansion in about 200 existing health centers nationwide.
According to a White House factsheet, the president’s proposed 2014 budget includes additional funds to expand mental health treatment for youth and families, including a new $130 million initiative to help teachers and adults recognize signs of mental illness in students and refer them to services as needed. The initiative also will support innovative state-based programs to improve mental health outcomes for young people aged 16 to 25 years and train 5,000 new mental health professionals.
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