Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Funding Will Help Communities Across the Country Tackle the Mental Health Crisis as part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it has awarded, more than $64 million in funding to address the nation’s mental health crisis through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Tackling the mental health crisis is a top priority of the Biden-Harris Administration, and it is a key part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda for the nation.
Among the awards are $59.4 million in new funding to states and territories through the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG) program. This funding is part of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), signed into law by President Biden, which has provided unprecedented funding to address the nation’s mental health crisis and make our communities safer. The funds released today are part of the mental health investment of the BSCA which allocated a total of $250 million in supplemental funding from FY 2022-2025.
“This funding underscores the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to improving access to mental health services across the country,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “With these critical investments, states and territories will be able to continue to serve as an invaluable safety net for mental health services for some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations, including those impacted by gun violence, disasters, and other emergencies.”
“This funding will help states and territories build a stronger public mental health system to assist people in times of crisis and as they pursue long-term recovery,” said Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and leader of SAMHSA. “SAMHSA is committed to ensuring that people across the country have access to mental health services.”
Additionally, HHS awarded more than $5 million – including $1 million from BSCA funds – for the Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) grants, which prepares individuals and communities to respond appropriately and safely to persons with mental health challenges and/or disorders.As a result of MHAT, individuals – including first responders, teachers, and other caregivers – receive the knowledge, skills, confidence and resources to engage with someone experiencing mental health and/or substance use challenges. Individuals trained might use these skills and resources to help others access needed mental health care or other services from within their own families, places of employment, communities or places of worship.