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$50 Million For Increased Mental Illness Therapy, Substance Abuse

BETHESDA, Md. (UPI) — The U.S. government is allocating $50 million to help Community Health Centers establish or expand therapy for mental illness and drug and alcohol problems.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it plans to issue $50 million from the Affordable Care Act to expand mental health and substance use disorder services in approximately 200 Community Health Centers nationwide.

The funds are to be used for the hiring of new mental health and substance use disorder professionals, adding mental health and substance use disorder services and employing team-based models of care, HHS officials said.

“Most behavioral health conditions are treatable, yet too many Americans are not able to get needed treatment,” Mary K. Wakefield, health resources and services administration administrator, said in a statement. “These new Affordable Care Act funds will expand the capacity of our network of community health centers to respond to the mental health needs in their communities.”

In addition, the president’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget includes a new $130 million initiative to help teachers recognize signs of mental illness in students and refer them to services, support innovative state-based programs to improve mental health outcomes for young people of all ages. It also provides funds to train 5,000 more mental health professionals.

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