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Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) Receives additional federal funding for mental health and substance use services

(Jackson, Miss.) – The Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) has received additional one-time federal funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), totaling nearly $20.5 million in funding for mental health and substance use services.

DMH has received $12,938,191 in funding for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) and $7,556,583 for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG). SAMHSA is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The block grant programs make funds available to all 50 states and support grant recipients in planning and implementing mental health services and substance use prevention and treatment services.

“This funding will allow the state to increase access to services, particularly increasing access to mental health and substance use needs as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” DMH Executive Director Wendy Bailey said. “There is no doubt that the pandemic has impacted our overall mental health, whether from losses we have endured over the past year or the isolation and social distancing measures we have taken to limit the spread of this virus.”

Calls to both the DMH Helpline and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline have increased over the past year. From July 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020, there were 5,004 calls that came into the DMH Helpline. In the same period the prior year, there had been a total of 3,015 calls. In addition, there were 4,398 calls to the Mississippi call center for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for that same period in 2020, compared to 3,523 calls in the same time frame in 2019.

The MHBG program focuses on adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbances. The SABG program focuses on pregnant women and women with dependent children, intravenous drug users, primary prevention services, and more. The additional funding will increase access to services for these groups.

DMH receives MHBG and SABG funding from SAMHSA each year. This increased grant funding is provided as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; however, this increase is one-time funding to be utilized by March 15, 2023.

For more information about services near you, visit www.mentalhealthms.com or call the DMH Helpline at 1-877-210-8513.

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