HHS Announces Dramatic Increase in Funding to Expand the Availability of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics Across the Nation – Counselor Magazine
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HHS Announces Dramatic Increase in Funding to Expand the Availability of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics Across the Nation

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Thursday, March 24, 2022

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics are a Proven Model
for Improving Care Systems

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is announcing two Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) funding opportunities to expand and increase access to evidence-based mental health and substance use services for all Americans. This includes providing essential mental health services—such as 24-hour mobile crisis teams, screening, and case management—to vulnerable communities that would otherwise lack access to services.  Totaling more than $300 million, these funding opportunities reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitments to addressing the nation’s mental health crisis and overdose epidemic as part of the President’s Unity Agenda.

The CCBHC model is transforming behavioral health systems one community at a time. Since its inception, Congress has invested billions of dollars into SAMHSA’s CCBHC grants, including $420 million in American Rescue Plan funding.

The two CCBHC grant programs are:  

• Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic – Planning, Development, and Implementation (CCBHC-PDI) grants will assist clinics to establish and implement new CCBHC programs.

• Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic – Improvement and Advancement (CCBHC–IA) grants will support existing CCBHCs to enhance and improve their programs. 

For these two programs, SAMSHA anticipates funding a combined estimated $312 million over four years for up to 156 awards for each Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in FY 2022.

 “The investment into this program underscores the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to strengthening the mental health of all Americans,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Improving health outcomes, especially in vulnerable communities, is an urgent priority.”

“Over the past several years, CCBHCs have been instrumental in transforming behavioral health care in their respective communities,” said Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of SAMHSA. “But we know now that much more support is needed to ensure that everyone who needs help can access care when and where they seek it.”

CCBHCs must meet federal standards for the range of services that they provide, and they are required to get people into care quickly.  An important feature of the CCBHC model is that it requires crisis services that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  CCBHCs must also provide routine outpatient care within 10 business days after an initial contact so people don’t languish on waiting lists. Equally important, CCBHCs are required to serve anyone who requests care for mental health or substance use, regardless of their ability to pay, place of residence, or age – including developmentally appropriate care for children and youth.

This announcement is also part of an HHS-wide initiative to tackle the nation’s mental health crisis and will be lifted up as part of HHS’s National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health. Following President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address on March 1, 2022, Secretary Xavier Becerra kicked off the National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health and to hear directly from Americans across the country about the behavioral health challenges they are facing and engage with local elected officials and leaders on innovative ways to strengthen the mental health and crisis care system in our communities. More information on the National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health is available at HHS.gov/HHSTour.

Anyone seeking treatment for mental health or substance use issues should call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357) or visit https://samhsa.gov/helpline. Reporters with questions should email [email protected].