Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Behavioral Health Focus: HHS Unveils $27.5 Million to Enhance Women’s Services

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Women’s behavioral health across the United States is the focus of new funding opportunities unveiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). With a combined total of $27.5 million, this funding highlights the Administration’s commitment to addressing the unique mental health and substance use treatment needs of women. Additionally, SAMHSA announced nearly $1 million in grant awards to two recipients as part of the Services Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women.

The notices of funding opportunities, made possible through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, are designed to support women’s behavioral health by expanding access to services and increasing the capacity of providers to identify and address mental health conditions, substance use, and gender-based violence. These investments are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader efforts to tackle the mental health and overdose crises, which are key components of the President’s Unity Agenda for the nation.

Behavioral Health Funding Boosts Women’s Health Initiatives and Maternal Care

Investments in women’s health also support several significant initiatives, including the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, the White House Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, HHS’ Overdose Prevention Strategy, and the Maternal Mental Health Task Force’s National Strategy to Improve Maternal Mental Health Care.

“Ensuring the mental health and well-being of expectant and new mothers is a top priority for the Department of Health and Human Services,” stated HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “By funding community-based maternal behavioral health services, we can offer critical support to women and ultimately invest in America’s families.”

“Women in all stages of life face unique challenges when it comes to mental health and substance use conditions and accessing quality behavioral health care,” said Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of SAMHSA. “This funding invests in whole-person care for women and mothers and addresses issues of access and other inequities with critically needed resources.”

Behavioral Health

$27.5 Million to Enhance Maternal and Women’s Mental Health Services

Community-Based Maternal Behavioral Health Services Program – $15.0 million This program aims to improve access to timely, culturally-relevant, evidence-based maternal mental health and substance use treatment. It strengthens community referral pathways and provides seamless transitions in care for pregnant women at risk for or currently experiencing behavioral health conditions during the perinatal and postpartum periods.

Women’s Behavioral Health Technical Assistance Center – $12.5 million This program will enhance the capacity of women’s behavioral health providers, general health care providers, and others involved in the holistic care of women. It aims to address the diverse needs of women with or at risk for mental health and substance use conditions.

The program is expected to identify and improve the implementation of evidence-based practices in women’s behavioral health across the lifespan through training and technical assistance for providers, including individual consultation, targeted technical assistance and coaching, learning communities, and online educational materials. SAMHSA’s goal is to fill vital gaps in provider knowledge and ability to treat the mental health and substance use conditions of women across the nation.

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Historic Investment in Women’s Behavioral Health to Enhance Nationwide Services and Outcomes

These funding opportunities are set to significantly advance women’s behavioral health nationwide. Today’s announcement, alongside the efforts of other HHS programs, marks a historic investment in addressing mental health and substance use needs across America. By focusing on the unique challenges faced by women, especially those related to mental health and substance use, this initiative aims to provide critical support and resources that will improve the well-being of women and, by extension, their families and communities.

The emphasis on community-based services and technical assistance ensures that care is accessible and relevant to diverse populations. These initiatives also strive to create a sustainable impact by enhancing the knowledge and capabilities of healthcare providers, thereby ensuring long-term benefits for women’s health. This comprehensive approach reflects the Administration’s commitment to holistic and inclusive healthcare, recognizing the interconnectedness of mental health, physical health, and overall well-being.

As these programs roll out, the anticipated improvements in women’s behavioral health services will contribute to better health outcomes, reduced health disparities, and a stronger, healthier society. The funding underscores a proactive stance in addressing critical health issues and sets a precedent for future investments in health and well-being.


Resource: Health and Human Services, July 08, 2024

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