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NH Delegation Welcomes $1 Million Planning Grant from SAMHSA to Develop Comprehensive Behavioral Health Care in NH

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) announced that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) selected New Hampshire as one of 15 states to receive a $1 million, one-year planning grant as part of its national expansion of the Medicaid-funded Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration program under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Because of this new funding, the state will start plans to greatly expand access to community-based, integrated behavioral health services. The Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic model is a high-quality, evidence-based approach that will result in better mental health and substance use disorder support for Granite Staters statewide.

“This is a huge opportunity for New Hampshire providers to expand care services for our most vulnerable populations,” said Shaheen. “Providing our state with the federal dollars necessary to bring New Hampshire in line with behavioral health clinic national standards is a significant step forward in closing the gap on access to care for those who need it but cannot afford it. I appreciate SAMHSA for giving New Hampshire this opportunity, and look forward to working with the State to submit a strong application.”

“Mental health and substance misuse continues to be a real challenge for many Granite Staters, from patients in need of medication-assisted treatment to young people struggling with depression,” said Hassan. “It is crucial that we invest in health care so that we can help patients who too often face these challenges alone. While there is much more still to do, I am glad that New Hampshire is receiving this grant to help address the opioid epidemic and improve access to mental health care.”

“From comprehensive mental health support to substance use disorder treatment, Community Behavioral Health Clinics fill a critical role in our health care system. I am thrilled to see New Hampshire move forward in the application process for the CCBHC Medicaid demonstration program,” said Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. “The Granite State would be an excellent site for this initiative, and I look forward to supporting our state’s strong application.”

“Access to health care is vital for our communities, and it’s important that we continue working to increase access to substance use and mental health care in particular,” said Pappas. “New Hampshire has been at the forefront of addressing the mental health and substance misuse crisis, and I’m glad to see we’re among the states receiving these funds. I look forward to working with the state and public health experts to develop a plan to comprehensively address the mental health crisis and improve resources for those in need.”

Shaheen and Hassan are leaders in securing federal resources for mental health and substance use disorder treatments. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, of which Shaheen and Hassan were key supporters, provided New Hampshire with more than $1.3 million dollars for mental health programs, including to support teens in rural communities and reduce youth suicide. A senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Shaheen also worked to secure New Hampshire-specific awards to address mental health through the congressionally directed spending process in the most recent government funding law. In the fiscal year (FY) 2023 government funding legislation, Shaheen secured $608 million in federal grants to help communities and first responders across the nation to respond to the substance misuse crisis. Shaheen also included in the FY 2023 government funding bill language to authorize increased funding for the State Opioid Response grant program, which gives local communities resources to better combat the opioid and substance use disorder epidemic. Since 2018, New Hampshire has received approximately $140 million from these grants to combat the opioid epidemic in the state.

As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Senator Hassan has led efforts to address the opioid epidemic and strengthen mental health care. The most recent year-end government funding package that was signed into law includes Senator Hassan’s bipartisan Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act, which eliminated an outdated requirement that limited the number of medical practitioners who can prescribe life-saving medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. The President also signed into law a bipartisan bill from Senator Hassan and Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) to strengthen mental health resources for young people and help prevent youth suicide. Senator Hassan has also been a leader in securing and protecting State Opioid Response grants for New Hampshire.