The Obama administration is awarding $22.9 million in new grants to states to improve mental healthcare as part of a bipartisan bill passed last year.
The planning grants give funds to 24 states to prepare applications for a two-year trial program for community mental health clinics.
Eight states will be tapped in a second round beginning in 2017 to receive funding for the clinics, which will operate under new higher standards and offer services like 24-hour crisis psychiatric care.
This process was created under the Excellence in Mental Health Act, sponsored by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and signed into law last year.
Stabenow said she hopes the bill is a step toward stronger mental healthcare not just in eight states but nationwide, calling it a “phase-in to comprehensive community mental healthcare.”
“What we should be doing is providing the resources to make this a national behavior health clinic model,” she said.
The National Council for Behavioral Health praised the grants and expressed hope that they would boost mental health services.
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