The U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) have awarded more than $12 million in funding to 38 federally-funded Massachusetts community health centers to strengthen their capacity for preventing and treating mental health and substance use disorders in their communities. The awards are part of a larger $396 million investment being made by HRSA to combat the nation's opioid crisis.
"HRSA is committed to fighting this crisis by supporting our grantees with resources, technical assistance, and training to integrate behavioral health care services into practice settings and communities," said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas MS, Ph.D. “These funds enable HRSA grantees to continue to implement or expand substance use disorder and mental health services across the nation."
The new resources include:
- $352 million awarded to increase access to substance use disorder and mental health services through the Expanding Access to Quality Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services to 1,232 community health centers across the nation.
- $18.5 million to support Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training and Enhancing Behavioral Health Workforce awards.
- $25.5 million to over 120 rural organizations to increase access to substance abuse prevention and treatment services serving rural populations across the country. This includes:
- $19 million awarded to 95 organizations under the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy's Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning.
- Nearly $6.5 million to 26 rural organizations to expand the reach of the Rural Health Opioid Program.
Click here to view a list of Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health award recipients.
"Massachusetts community health centers remain at the forefront of integrating patients physical and mental health needs and in treating substance use disorders as part of primary care," said James W. Hunt, Jr., president and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. "We are grateful to HHS and HRSA for these investments that will go far in increasing the health and well-being of the patients we serve."
The awards support the federal Health & Human Services' Five-Point Opioid Strategy, which launched last year to empower local communities on the frontlines of the national epidemic.