Feds award grants for new clinics

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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It sure would be nice to see the politicians in this country setting aside partisanship and working together to reform the US mental health services. Mental health clinics are too far apart to handle the revolving door of patients cycling through the system.

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