HHS awards funding to build Biden-Harris administration\’s 988 crisis care lifeline

New funding will expand mobile crisis response teams

Today, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), awarded 13 grants to communities to create new and enhance existing mobile crisis response teams. The teams will respond to mental health and substance use crises in high-need areas, in coordination with local law enforcement. These New Awards Help Advance President Biden\’s Strategy for Addressing Our National Mental Health Crisis Building on the Mobile Crisis Grants Awarded Last Year and Other Efforts to Support Crisis Assistance Related to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline .

Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis in America should have access to rapidly responsive and culturally competent care, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said. These grants will further expand America\’s crisis response system and provide people with the help they need.

Addressing the mental health crisis is a top priority of the Biden-Harris administration, as part of President Biden\’s unity agenda. Administration has invested $3.8 billion through the American Rescue Plan and more than $800 million through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in SAMHSA grant programs as part of President Biden\’s global effort to improve access to care mental health, prevent overdoses and save lives. These investments have enabled the expansion of life-saving prevention, treatment and recovery services in communities across the country, including the transition to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline in July 2022.

Recipients of this funding are expected to build crisis system capacity by providing post-crisis follow-up, developing and implementing protocols for coordination with law enforcement agencies, providing evidence-based crisis training to vendors and first responders, mapping community crisis systems and improving the use of data. Beneficiaries can also support a number of other permitted activities that improve their crisis systems. Taken together, these efforts ensure that individuals in crisis have timely access to qualified mental health professionals and help ease the burden on law enforcement, strengthening public health, public safety and public trust.

Expanding mobile crisis response across the country is an important part of our efforts to achieve comprehensive and responsive crisis support services, said HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and SAMHSA leader Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph. D. Responding effectively to behavioral health crises in our communities will involve strong partnerships between first responders, community-based support services, and the 988 Lifeline call centers.

Last week, HHS announced more than $200 million in new 988 Lifeline funding opportunities for states, territories and tribes to improve and scale local response and follow-up services. HHS also took important steps to support crisis systems development by implementing a new community-based mobile crisis intervention option under Medicaid as authorized under the American Rescue Plan and made permanent under the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2023. These developments are just the latest in concerted efforts by HHS to strengthen the crisis services continuum and maximize the impact of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

In 2021, according to SAMHSA\’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 46.3 million people ages 12 and older, or 16.5 percent of the population, met applicable DSM-5 criteria for having a substance use disorder in the past year, including 29.5 million people who were classified as having an alcohol use disorder and 24 million people who were classified as having a drug use disorder . In addition, about 12.3 million people aged 18 and over, about 4.8 percent of the population, have had serious suicidal thoughts, and among adolescents aged 12 to 17, about 3.3 million 12.7% have had serious suicidal thoughts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2021, suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 14 and ages 25 to 34, and more than 107,000 people died from drug overdoses. drug.

Studies have shown that after talking to a qualified crisis counselor, most 988 Lifeline calls are much more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful.

If you or someone you know is having trouble or a crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org. To learn how to get support for mental health, drug and alcohol issues, visit FindSupport.gov.

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