American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Includes Significant Mental Health Investment
Providers of mental health services may be eligible for funding, loans, and grants as detailed below. On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. One key component of the $1.9 trillion initiative is an investment of more than $3.5 billion toward behavioral and mental health services. This funding covers a variety of providers and mental health consumers.
Section 2701 Funding for Block Grants for Community Mental Health Services
- $1.5 billion for carrying out certain aspects of the Public Health Service Act (“PHS Act”), as they relate to mental health:
- 42 U.S.C. 300x et seq. – block grants for states providing community mental health services for adults with serious mental illnesses and children with serious emotional disturbances
- 42 U.S.C. § 290aa-4(c) – behavioral and mental health statistics
Section 3052 Funding for Block Grants for Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse
- $1.5 billion for carrying out certain aspects of the PHS Act, as they relate to mental health
- Block grants for states
Section 2703 Funding for Mental and Behavioral Health Training for Healthcare Professionals, Paraprofessionals, and Public Safety Officers
- $80 million to award grants to health professional schools, academic health centers, state and local governments, and other appropriate public and private nonprofit entities, to plan, operate, or participate in trainings and programs to address suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions (including substance use disorder [SUDs]) among healthcare professionals
Section 2704 Funding for Education and Awareness Campaign Encouraging Healthy Work Conditions and Use of Mental and Behavioral Health Services by Healthcare Professionals
- Through the CDC, $20 million for a national education and awareness campaign directed at healthcare professionals and first responders, to:
- Encourage primary prevention of mental and behavioral health conditions.
- Help such professionals identify risk factors.
- Provide information on preventing and reducing suicide, SUDs, burnout, and other mental and behavioral health conditions.
- Consider the needs of rural and medically underserved communities.
Section 2705 Funding for Grants for Healthcare Providers to Promote Mental and Behavioral Health Professional Workforce
- Through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), $40 million to award grants to entities providing healthcare to establish, enhance, or expand programs to promote mental and behavioral health among their providers, other personnel, and members
Section 2706 Funding for Community-Based Funding for Local SUD Services
- Through the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and in consultation with the CDC, $30 million to award grants to support state, local, or other governments, nonprofit community-based organizations, and primary and behavioral health organizations to support community-based overdose prevention programs, syringe services programs, and other harm reduction services, with respect to harms of drug misuse exacerbated by COVID-19
- Grants can be used for preventing and controlling the spread of infectious diseases and the consequences of such diseases for individuals with substance use disorders, distributing opioid overdose reversal medication to individuals at risk of overdose, and connecting those with SUDs to counseling.
Section 2707 Funding for Community-Based Funding for Local Behavioral Health Needs
- Through the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, $50 million to award grants to state, local, or other governments, nonprofit community-based entities, and primary care and behavior health organizations to address increased community behavioral health needs worsened by COVID-19
- Grants may be used for promoting care coordination among local entities; training the mental and behavioral health workforce, relevant stakeholders, and community members; expanding evidence-based integrated models of care; addressing surge capacity for mental and behavioral health needs; providing mental and behavioral health services to individuals with mental health needs (including co-occurring substance use disorders) as delivered by behavioral and mental health professionals utilizing telehealth services; and supporting, enhancing, or expanding mental and behavioral health preventive and crisis intervention services.
Section 2708 Funding for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- $10 million for carrying out section 582 of PHS Act
- 42 U.S.C. 290hh-1 – grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements to public and nonprofit private entities to address the problem of high-risk or medically underserved persons with experience violence-related stress
Section 2709 Funding for Project Aware
- $30 million for carrying out section 520A of the PHS Act
- 42 U.S.C. 290bb-32 – grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements with states and political subdivisions of states to address priority mental health needs of regional and national significance
Section 2710 Funding for Youth Suicide Prevention
- $20 million for carrying out section 520E and 520E-2 of the PHS Act
- 42 U.S.C. 290bb-36 – grants or cooperative agreements to public organizations, private nonprofit organizations, and political subdivisions, etc. to design early intervention and prevention strategies that will complement the state-sponsored statewide youth suicide early intervention and prevention strategies
- 42 U.S.C. 290bb-36b – grants awarded on a competitive basis to institutions of higher education to: enhance services for students with mental health or substance use disorders that can lead to school failure, such as depression and suicide attempts; prevent mental and substance use disorders; reduce stigma; and improve the identification and treatment for students at risk
Section 2711 Funding for Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training
- $100 million for carrying out section 756 of the PHS Act
- 42 U.S.C. 294e-1 – grants to eligible institutions to support the recruitment of students for, and education and clinical experience of the students in, accredited institutions of higher education or accredited professional training programs; accredited doctoral, internship, and post-doctoral residency programs; accredited master’s and doctoral degree programs of social work; state-licensed nonprofit and for-profit organizations in mental health and behavioral health
Section 2712 Funding for Pediatric Mental Healthcare Access
- $80 million for carrying out section 330M of the PHS Act
- 42 U.S.C. 254c-19 – grants to states, political subdivisions, and similar entities to promote behavioral health integration in pediatric primary care
Section 2713 Funding for Expansion Grants for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics
- $420 million for grants to communities and community organizations that meet the criteria for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics under 42 U.S.C. 1396a note