The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is distributing $3 billion in American Rescue Plan funding — the largest aggregate amount of funding to date for its mental health and substance use block grant programs.
The Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG) Program and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program (SABG) will disperse $1.5 billion each to states and territories. This follows the March announcement of supplemental funding of nearly $2.5 billion for these programs. SAMHSA has expedited federal funding to grantees to help communities grappling with mental health and substance use needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CDC’s preliminary data points to 90,000 overdose deaths for the 12 months ending last September – about 20,000 more than the same period the year before. CDC data also shows that American adults in June 2020 reported elevated levels of adverse mental health conditions, substance use, and suicidal ideation. The prevalence of symptoms of anxiety was approximately three times those reported in the second quarter of 2019, and prevalence of depression was approximately four times that reported in the second quarter of 2019.
Last week, CMS released data highlighting health services received by millions of Medicaid and Children Health Insurance Program beneficiaries during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Despite an overall rebound for most of these services, mental health utilization remains below pre-pandemic levels.
Funding allocation tables can be viewed here: