NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (TDMHSAS) is receiving more than $ 53 million in additional funding from the federal government to address post-COVID mental health and addiction needs.
The additional block grant funding will add more than $ 27 million to mental health services and almost $ 26 million to addiction services over the next four years. The funding is part of a $ 3 billion allocation included in the US bailout package signed in March.
The new funding is in addition to significant additional funding from the federal government and a new investment in government dollars. TDMHSAS has received an additional $ 55 million in COVID relief funding from the federal government since the start of the pandemic, and Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly have increased the department’s budget for the next fiscal year by more than 44 , $ 1 million.
The most recent federal funding rounds complement the state’s existing mental health and addictions block grants. The new dollars will increase the availability of evidence-based treatment services, strengthen the statewide crisis service network, support the continued and expanded use of telehealth services, meet the unique needs of children, and more. TDMHSAS and federal partners both empower mental health and addiction treatment agencies statewide to design programs that meet the unique needs of their communities.
“With the influx of support for mental health and addiction needs in our state, we have an invaluable opportunity to make significant change and make a difference for struggling Tennessians. The stress-induced mental health and substance use impacts of the pandemic are with us, and these generous investments at the state and federal levels will ensure that we and our community behavioral health providers can continue to scale up to meet the challenges. needs. Said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW. “We are extremely grateful for our incredible network of providers across the state who are answering the call and responding with compassion to help people find new lives in recovery.”
During the pandemic, the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interviewed those interviewed in Tennessee and across the country on feelings of anxiety and depression. Tennesseans have reported symptoms of anxiety and depression at rates of over 40%, which is more than double the normal prevalence of any mental illness in any given year.
Tennessee also saw a tragic increase in drug overdoses in the early months of the pandemic. Thanks to the work of regional overdose prevention specialists and other harm reduction groups, the drug overdose rate has returned to normal levels, but still too many Tennessians are dying from a preventable cause.
To learn more about the services available to Tennessee residents who have no insurance or no means to pay, visit our website: TN.gov/behavioral-health