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New grant funding aims to protect mental health and substance abuse programs affected by COVID

Montana DPHHS
Posted at 6:18 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 09:41:56-04

HELENA — The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) announced Monday $33 million in new grant funding to help Montana behavioral health providers impacted by COVID-19.

The funding comes from Federal CARES Act money, and is intended to help providers weather through economic challenges faced during the pandemic.

“COVID-19 is having a tremendous impact on Montana behavioral health providers and I’m hopeful these grants will provide a much-needed financial boost,” DPHHS Director Sheila Hogan said. “I want to commend these providers for their efforts to adapt under difficult circumstances to continue providing essential treatment services in communities across the state.”

DPHHS says despite an impressive uptick in the delivery of mental health and substance use treatment services via telemedicine, behavioral health providers across the country and in Montana are experiencing significant revenue loss as a result of COVID-19.

Grants are available for Montana licensed behavioral health providers. Organizations can use the money to retain existing programs and services, employees, or organizational viability for provision of future services and operations.

Providers can apply for up to 8 percent of their annual revenues through the grant program.

State Medicaid and Health Services Branch Manager Marie Matthews says it’s important that the services, especially in rural communities, stay operational for Montana.

“Montana has significant behavioral health, substance use disorder and we have a high suicide rate in Montanan,” explained Matthews. “We want these providers to exist so that citizens all across the state can access services when they need them; for themselves, for their loved ones, for their kids. This is a very important part of our healthcare industry.”

More information about the program, and the more than dozen other COVID relief grant programs available to Montanans, can be found here.