Missouri Senator Blunt et al announced an expansion of mental health and addiction services

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Modified press release/KY3) — US Senator Roy Blunt is one of the senators behind the push for more funding for mental health and addiction services.

Senator Roy Blunt and U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, along with U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and senior HHS officials, announced that states across the country will now be able to apply to become part of Blunt and Stabenow’s successful health services funding initiative. Fully high-quality psychiatric and addiction services through certified community behavioral health clinics.

In 2014, Blunt and Stabenow worked together to get the Mental Health Excellence Act signed into law, creating a demonstration program that created CCBHCs. These clinics are transforming community care by setting high-quality standards of care and then funding mental health and addiction services as health care through Medicaid. This is the same successful structure used for Federally Qualified Health Centers

Ten states, including Missouri and Michigan, have been selected to be part of the mental health and addiction initiative established by the Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Excellence Act.

In order to receive Enhanced Medicaid funding, clinics are required to provide crisis services that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, serving anyone who requests mental health or substance abuse care, regardless of their ability to pay. Other high quality services are also required.

With the passage of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, all states and the District of Columbia are eligible to apply for planning grants to develop CCBHCs in their states. In early 2023, 15 states will be awarded up to $1 million in one-year planning grants, 10 of which will be selected to be in the actual CCBHC program, starting in 2024. While 10 states will join the initiative in 2024, the most Bipartisan safety for every state to finally join.

“Our outstanding mental health program has shown that treating mental health like all other health is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do,” Senator Blunt said. “For too long, emergency rooms and law enforcement have been the de facto system of mental health care delivery in our country. Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics are working to change that, helping people get the comprehensive behavioral health care they need, when they need it. Adopts Today for the success we have seen in states that are currently part of the Excellence Program, including Missouri and Michigan. I am grateful for Senator Stabbino’s nearly decade-long partnership in this effort, and for the support of the Biden administration. Giving every state the opportunity to be a part of The Excellence Program is a huge milestone that will help millions of Americans live longer, healthier, and happier lives.”

“Our Mental Health Care and Addiction Initiative is a proven success story and is transforming mental health and addiction treatment across our country. Now, every state will be able to join in and ensure that above-the-neck health care is funded in the same way as below-the-neck health care. Blunt is an amazing partner with me in passing the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and with the Biden-Harris administration, help through our highly successful clinics will begin to reach people in every corner of our country.” Senator Stabbino said.

“The significant expansion and strengthening of CCBHCs across the United States underscores the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to improving the behavioral health of all Americans, especially in vulnerable communities,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said:. “Behavioral health is health. Period. There should be no discrimination.”

“Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics are changing behavioral health systems one community at a time,” Myriam Delphine Raymond said:, Ph.D., HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and Leader of SAMHSA. “CCBHCs expand the quality and speed of behavioral health assistance to those in need.”

“I applaud SAMHSA’s steps to expand access to critical behavioral health services with this funding announcement,” CMS Director Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said. “Thanks to the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, we are proud to partner with SAMHSA to expand access to critical behavioral health care.”

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics are required to provide a comprehensive range of services including 24/7/365 crisis services; outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services; spot checks, risk assessments and diagnoses; and coordinate care including partnerships with emergency rooms, law enforcement, and veterans’ groups.

A report from the National Council on Mental Health shows that these community clinics are increasing access to high-quality mental health and addiction treatment that is making a difference to the lives of thousands of people in communities across the country.

The Department of Health and Human Services has found that people who receive care at these clinics have:

– 72% decrease in hospitalization

Reducing the number of visits to the emergency room by 69%

Homelessness decreased by 40.7%

60.3% less time in prison

Also, 84% of these clinics are either already providing on-site services in elementary, middle, and high schools or are planning to do so in the future.

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