The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law last week. This legislation includes provisions that address both immediate needs as well as resources to help our nation’s long-term recovery, including the demands for mental health care that will last long beyond the immediate public health crisis.
Here are a few highlights of the provisions with a mental health impact:
- Nearly $4 billion for state and local mental health and substance use services, school-based mental health programs and workforce training, including $1.5 billion for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, which provides critical resources to states to fill gaps and expand programs;
- Provides a state option for an enhanced federal Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) of 85% to help states expand Mobile Crisis Teams, which are a critical tool to respond to people experiencing mental health crises;
- Provides incentives for the 12 states that have not yet expanded their Medicaid eligibility to encourage them to do so, which would help people with mental illness who lack health insurance gain coverage;
- $21.55 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance to help people maintain housing, with an additional $5 billion to help people experiencing homelessness get housing, including individuals with serious mental illness;
- $140 million to promote mental health among health care professionals and first responders;
- Extends postpartum coverage in Medicaid for new mothers from 60 days to 12 months, allowing more women to access care when they are most at risk of postpartum mental illness; and
- $420 million for mental health and substance use services in the Indian Health Service.
Thanks to many of you who have advocated directly for mental health legislation! To sign up for information on future legislative campaigns click here