Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday awarded $7 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to support two programs of the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH). Of the funds, $1 million will be used for the ADMH’s Crisis and Recovery Services program and $6 million is for the Community Provider Reimbursement program.
“COVID-19 has taken a toll on Alabamians in many ways, and that certainly includes their mental health," Ivey said in a press release. "Like people around the globe, the people of our state are suffering, and I remain committed to providing the necessary support to get our state and her people back on our feet.
"These funds will go to support important mental health services that Alabamians are seeking in these difficult times. I am pleased to see the CARES Act funds continually being put to work for the people of Alabama.”
The ADMH’s Crisis Recovery Services program will develop a web-based/toll-free crisis hotline to help direct individuals, especially those impacted by COVID-19, to appropriate services. This hotline will be staffed by trained crisis specialists to determine the acuity of a crisis situation and determine the appropriate intervention needed to alleviate or stabilize the crisis.
The $6 million being funded for the Community Provider Reimbursement program will allow the ADMH to reimburse the nearly 300 provider agencies that offer essential services to individuals with mental illness, substance use disorders and developmental disabilities.
“We are deeply grateful for Gov. Ivey’s support of community providers and Alabamians with mental illness, substance use disorder and intellectual/developmental disabilities who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” ADMH commissioner Lynn Beshear said. “Through the Governor’s leadership in establishing this grant program, access to behavioral health services will be enhanced, and organizations that care for some of our most vulnerable citizens will be reimbursed for unexpected expenses related to the virus.”
Alabama received approximately $1.9 billion of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding to respond to and mitigate COVID-19. Alabama Act 2020-199 designated up to $300 million of the Coronavirus Relief Fund to be used to reimburse state agencies for expenditures directly related to the coronavirus pandemic.