IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) funding opportunities last week. There are now two funding opportunities, one for existing CCBHCs/grantees and one for new applicants. The amount of the grants for both awards will be up to $1 million per year for four years. Further, new grantees must submit a letter of approval from their state mental health authority and the letter must indicate whether the state will assume responsibility for their certification. Moreover, applicants for both grants now have a year to complete attestation to the CCBHC criteria. Applications for both grants are due Tuesday, May 17, 2022. For more information, visit the webpage for new grantees and existing grantees. SAMHSA will host webinars on these funding opportunities on March 30 for new grantees and March 31 for existing grantees.
National Council Member Testifies at Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing
This week, Dr. Joseph Carrica, Chief Executive Officer of the Behavioral Health Southeast Health Group, a CCBHC based in La Junta, Colorado testified at the Senate Agriculture hearing on Rural Quality of Life. Dr. Carrica highlighted the transformational work of CCBHCs, particularly in rural communities serving special populations such as Farmers, Ranchers and their families, as well as addressing the unique features of rural stress. Further, senators and witnesses discussed the importance of parity, the need to address the workforce shortage and burnout, and barriers to care.
HELP Hearing on Strengthening Federal MH/SUD Programs
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing this week on Strengthening Federal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Programs. Administration officials from SAMHSA, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) testified at the hearing, emphasizing the federal programs that impact mental health and substance use disorder services. During the hearing, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon highlighted Mental Health First Aid as a vital training program for building awareness, as well as the importance of integration of primary care and mental health and the role of CCBHCs in promoting integration.
$25.6 Million in SAMHSA Funding for SUD Treatment and Prevention Programs
SAMHSA is funding two grant programs totaling $25.6 million to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder and to prevent prescription drug misuse. The Medication-Assisted Treatment – Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction program provides resources to help enhance and expand access to medications for opioid use disorder. The Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs program provides funds for state agencies, territories and tribal governments who have completed the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant plan or a similar plan to target prescription drug misuse. These programs will promote access to the most effective, evidence-based treatments and reduce barriers to access, reflecting the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Overdose Prevention Strategy.
HHS Announces Funds for MH/SUD Services for Populations at Risk for or Living with HIV/AIDS
The Department of Health and Human Services announced this week that $43.7 million will be invested into three grant programs to strengthen mental health and substance use services for individuals at risk or living with HIV/AIDS. The three funding opportunities include a program to increase access to care for substance use disorder treatment for racial and ethnical minority populations at high risk for HIV, the substance abuse and HIV prevention navigator program for racial/ethnic minority populations, and the Minority AIDS Initiative – Service Integration program to reduce the co-occurring epidemics of HIV, Hepatitis, and mental health challenges.
New CMS Guidance on Expectations for Unwinding Federal Medicaid Continuous Coverage
Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance to state health officials aimed at assisting states in streamlining coverage determinations for federal programs, including the Marketplace, after the eventual conclusion of the public health emergency (PHE). When the PHE does end, states will have resources to help process outstanding eligibility and enrollment actions when the continuous coverage requirement ends. For an overview of these changes, check out a brief authored by Manatt here.
Hill Day at Home 2022: Registration is Now Open
Registration for Hill Day at Home is now open! Join us for our free virtual learning event on Wednesday, June 8, to hear key leaders discuss the latest mental health and substance use policy developments from Capitol Hill and the White House. Discover new strategies for maximizing your advocacy, contact your elected officials to support critical policy initiatives, celebrate peers during our Advocacy Leadership Awards program and more! Questions? Contact us.
Urge Your Legislators to Support the 988 Implementation Act. In July 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the nation’s main connection point to suicide prevention, mental health and substance use crisis response services, will officially transition to a new three-digit dialing code (9-8-8). The 988 Implementation Act (H.R. 7116) provides much-needed federal guidance and resources to enable states to establish their 9-8-8 systems and align crisis services ahead of July. Urge your legislators to support the 988 Implementation Act today here!
Last Call for Advocacy Leadership Award Nominations. The National Council for Mental Wellbeing is accepting nominations of individuals and organizations for their achievements in community, state and federal advocacy, as well as their public policy successes in ensuring access to services and supports for individuals with mental health and substance use challenges. For more information or to nominate yourself, an organization, or someone you know for an Advocacy Leadership Award, click here. The deadline to nominate is today, March 25, and awardees will be announced during Hill Day at Home on June 8, 2022.
HAPPENING ON THE HILL
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, is holding their annual National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. The event helps share facts about drugs, alcohol, and addiction to communities, particularly teens and adolescents. The purpose of the week is to help bring together educators, health care providers, community partners, and scientists to start a dialogue on the prevention and awareness of substance misuse.