HAP's Latest News

SAMHSA Launches $37 Million in Behavioral Health Funding

Federal officials also outline new changes in Medicaid funding for behavioral health providers

February 27, 2024

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced nearly $37 million in grant opportunities for behavioral health services and new initiatives to enhance funding for behavioral health providers.

The SAMHSA grant programs support federal priorities to address the overdose and mental health crises, officials said this week.

“We know that supporting the development and delivery of community-based behavioral health services promotes positive outcomes and advances health equity across the country,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

Funding opportunities include:

  • $8.1 million for Prevention Technology Transfer Centers to improve delivery and implementation of substance use prevention strategies and interventions for people of all ages.
  • $10 million to implement the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment model in primary care and community health settings.
  • $5 million to support community programs for outreach and intervention with youth and young adults at clinical high risk for psychosis.
  • $6.2 million to support first responders and others with training, administering, and distributing naloxone and other Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved opioid overdose reversal medications.
  • $5.4 million to expand and ensure that students in health professions programs receive substance use disorder education early in their academic careers. 
  • $1.1 million for the Statewide Consumer Network Program.
  • $1.1 million for the Statewide Family Network Program.

In addition, CMS has released new guidance for state Medicaid directors about changes in funding for behavioral health providers.

The guidance:

  • Expands the pool of behavioral health care providers eligible for enhanced Medicaid dollars to include master of social work and other master’s-level behavioral health care providers (marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors).
  • Allows for federal funds to support Nurse Advice Lines as part of the continuum of support available for Medicaid beneficiaries.
    • These telephone services are typically staffed by nurses and available at all times, helping to improve access to care, federal officials said.

“CMS is proud to support common-sense solutions, like nurse advice lines, that build a bridge between coverage and critical health services, particularly in rural areas,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in a statement. “That bridge is what the lifeline of health care coverage is all about.”

Additional information about the federal behavioral health initiatives is available online.