Congress had quite a few challenges throughout 2020 including their inability to agree on just about anything but they FINALLY agreed to do something to provide much needed relief to the American people, struggling businesses, and also prevented the government from shutting down (even though some feel the government has been acting shut down for months).

As we enter 2021, the bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill (all 5,600 pages of it) contains capital that will have a positive and direct impact on the mental health and substance abuse treatment space. 

What’s included in the new bill for mental health and substance abuse? Here’s what you need to know:

Mental Health & Substance Use

The bill includes $4.45 billion dollars which is earmarked for mental health and substance use programs for fiscal year 2021

SAMHSA

SAMHSA will be provided with $6 billion dollars for 2021, which according to research, is a little over $130 million (mm) dollars more than 2020. The funding will provide much needed support for mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment including numerous provisions grants:

  • Mental Health Block Grant (over $30mm)
  • National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (over $70mm)
  • Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics ($250mm)
  • Expansion of services and support for children/youth

The package also includes the following provisions:

  • Surprise Billing (arbitration system setup for out-of-network surprise medical bills) 
  • Provider Relief Funding ($9 billion to support health care providers with reimbursement for expenses and lost revenue attributable to COVID-19)
  • Small Businesses ($325 billion for SBA (PPP loans))

Here at Lead to Recovery, we’re glad to see the government step up its commitment to helping mental health & addiction treatment providers with the provisions earmarked in the latest bill. The timing of the funding is SUPER critical heading into 2021 since mental health issues and drug and alcohol abuse are at unprecedented levels.