American Rescue Plan Offers Funding For Mental Health & Substance Use
Many substance-use-related deaths have occurred since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to preliminary data from the CDC, over 94,000 overdose deaths occurred in the year ending in January 2021. This is a profound loss for individuals, communities, and families.
In March 2021, the US Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act providing $1.9 trillion in relief funding, including around $4 billion for mental health and substance use services.
This funding will:
- Disperse $1.5 billion each to states and territories in the form of block grants to community-based mental health and substance use providers, allowing them to bolster services and create additional programming to meet increasing community demands.
- Provide $140 million in funding to promote mental health among health care professionals and first responders, to better support education and prevention efforts.
- Increase federal Medicaid funding to expand mobile crisis teams to better serve individuals experiencing mental health crises.
- Support youth wellness by funding community behavioral health services, such as the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education), youth suicide prevention, and Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics.
- Allocate over $26 billion towards alleviating housing instability, including for individuals with serious mental illnesses.
While this funding represents an important step towards investment into mental health and substance use services, there is a continued need for policymakers, researchers, service providers, and people in recovery to guide and to oversee these efforts.
At the Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies, our education and research programs help inform effective, evidence-based interventions and program. Within the Center, our WinR program (Wellness in Recovery) is committed to bringing people in recovery, families, and peer support providers the education, resources, tools, and opportunities to enhance wellness in the 8 dimensions—an under-appreciated perspective in behavioral health. Through the exchange of ideas and resources, WinR aims to contribute to prevention and treatment efforts and to promote recovery in ways that will enhance the expanded and improved services addressed through the American Rescue Plan Act.
Disclaimer: The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies.