Nashville, Tennessee – The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is receiving more than $53 million in additional funding from the federal government to address mental health and substance abuse needs after COVID.
Supplemental block grant funding will add more than $27 million for mental health services and nearly $26 million for substance abuse services over the next four years. The funding is part of the $3 billion allocation included in the US bailout that was signed in March.
The new funding comes in addition to significant supplemental funding from the federal government and 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 latest rounds of federal funding complement existing mental health and substance abuse grants. The new dollars will expand the availability of evidence-based treatment services, strengthen the statewide crisis services network, support continued and expanded use of telehealth services, respond to children’s unique needs, and more. TDMHSAS and federal partners allow mental health and substance abuse treatment agencies across the state to design programs that meet the unique needs of their communities.
“With support for mental health and substance abuse needs flowing into our state, we have an invaluable opportunity to make a big difference and make a difference for Struggling Tennessees. The mental health and substance use impacts of the stresses of the pandemic are with us, and these generous investments at both the state and federal level will work to Ensuring that we and our community-based behavioral health providers can continue to rise to meet the need, said TDMHSAS Commissioner Mary Williams, LCSW. new in the recovery period.
During the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed people in Tennessee and across the country about feelings of anxiety and depression. Self-reported anxiety and depression symptoms in Tennessee have rates of over 40% which is more than twice the normal prevalence of any mental illness in a given year.
Tennessee also saw a dramatic rise in drug overdoses in the first few 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 many Tennessee residents still die from a preventable cause.
To learn more about services available to Tennessee residents who do not have insurance or have no way to pay, visit our website: TN.gov/behavioral-health