On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The sweeping $1.9 trillion legislative package includes a significant range of policies to provide additional pandemic relief. This includes direct assistance to people in the form of $1,400 checks, funding for the COVID-19 public health response, extended unemployment benefits, extended paid sick leave, funding for states and schools, housing assistance, new child anti-poverty measures, and much more.
The substance use- and mental health-related provisions in the package include:
$1.5 billion for SAPT BG and would allow until Sept. 30, 2025 for funds to be spent.
$1.5 billion for MH BG and would allow until Sept. 30, 2025 for funds to be spent.
$420 million for CCBHCs
$30 million for grants to “support community-based overdose prevention programs, syringe services programs, and other harm reduction services, with respect to harms of drug misuse that are exacerbated by the COVID–19 public health emergency.”
$50 million grants to address “increased community behavioral health needs worsened by the COVID–19 public health emergency.”
$30 million for Project AWARE
$20 million for Youth Suicide Prevention
$10 million for National Child Traumatic Stress Network
$80 million for grants within HRSA to “…plan, develop, operate, or participate in health professions and nursing training activities for health care students, residents, professionals, paraprofessionals, trainees, and public safety officers, and employers of such individuals, in evidence-informed strategies for reducing and addressing suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions (including substance use disorders) among health care professionals.”
$40 million for HRSA to provide grants to “entities providing health care” in order to “…establish, enhance, or expand evidence informed programs or protocols to promote mental and behavioral health among their providers, other personnel, and members.”
$20 million for the CDC to “carry out a national evidence-based education and awareness campaign directed at health care professionals and first responders... to encourage primary prevention of mental and behavioral health conditions and secondary and tertiary prevention by encouraging health care professionals to seek support and treatment for their own behavioral health concerns” Read more