Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today $54.6 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support 221 health centers in 47 states and Puerto Rico to establish or expand behavioral health services for over 450,000 people nationwide. Health centers will use these new funds for efforts such as hiring new mental health professionals, adding mental health and substance use disorder health services, and employing integrated models of primary care.
"These awards will further reduce the barriers that too often prevent people from getting the help they need for mental health problems," said Secretary Burwell. "Health centers with these awards are on the front lines of better integrating mental health into primary care and improving access to care through the Affordable Care Act."
The Affordable Care Act expanded mental health and substance use disorder benefits for approximately 60 million Americans. Today's announcement gives those with newly expanded health coverage additional opportunities to access high quality care.
"These Affordable Care Act funds will enable community health centers to better meet the needs of people with mental health conditions in communities nationwide," said Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.
Today, nearly 1,300 health centers operate more than 9,200 service delivery sites that provide care to over 21.7 million patients in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. In 2013, health centers saw over 1.2 million behavioral health patients.