HAP's Latest News

The $100 Million Recommendations to Support Behavioral Health

New report is first step for distribution of ARPA dollars

October 04, 2022

Pennsylvania’s new blue-ribbon commission today released its recommendations about how lawmakers should allocate $100 million in one-time federal funding to support behavioral health.

The report from the Behavioral Health Commission for Adult Mental Health outlines 10 priority areas—including telemedicine, workforce retention, and integrated care models—and recommends appropriating the $100 million across three categories:

  • Stabilize, strengthen, and expand the workforce ($37 million)
  • Improve the criminal justice and public safety systems ($23.5 million)
  • Expand capacity for services and supports ($39 million)

As part of the 2022–2023 state budget, the legislature set aside $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for adult mental health programs. The commission urged “swift action” to appropriate the funding by the end of this legislative session.

“Solutions to complex systemic issues facing the behavioral health system will require continued partnership, sufficient funding, and renewed commitment to meeting the needs of Pennsylvanians struggling with a mental health diagnosis or substance use disorder,” the report notes.

Last month, HAP and Pennsylvania’s hospital community urged the commission to focus its recommendations on bolstering the behavioral health care workforce, supporting the collaborative care model, and improving care for people in crisis and hospitals’ ability to manage capacity. HAP will continue to monitor the allocation of the ARPA funding and provide updates to members as the end of the legislative session approaches.

The one-time federal dollars are an important first step as Pennsylvania begins to address our behavioral health crisis. Learn more about HAP’s behavioral health advocacy strategy.

The commission’s report is available to review online.

For additional information, contact Jennifer Jordan, vice president, regulatory advocacy, or Heather Tyler, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy.