WASHINGTON — Reps. Dean, and Blunt Rochester introduced the Community Health Center Mental Health Screening Act. This legislation works to increase federal investment in mental health screenings and services in community health centers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified mental health issues. With increased isolation, the economic crisis, and stress from the pandemic, nearly 40% of adults have experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety (up 11% from a year ago according to the Washington Post).
“We know folks are struggling with their mental health during this time -- and it’s understandable given the current political and economic climate coupled with the pandemic,” Rep. Dean said. “This is why we need more federal dollars to address the alarming statistics. I urge my colleagues to support the Community Health Center Mental Health Screening Act, so that we can instill this new grant program and help those struggling.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a serious toll on mental and behavioral health, and in Delaware and around the country, community health centers are working hard to make sure patients have access to the health care services they need, Rep. Blunt Rochester said. “I’m proud to join Rep. Dean in introducing legislation that will help community health centers detect cases sooner and ensure they not only have the tools and providers to deliver this critically important care, but that patients can afford to access it.”
This bill authorizes $50 million per fiscal year for a new grant program applicable for federally qualified health centers to:
Hire and train personnel to conduct mental and behavioral health screenings and provide mental health services.
Purchase equipment and supplies to conduct mental and behavioral health screenings and provide mental health services.
Assist patients with out-of-pocket costs associated with such mental and behavioral health screenings and mental health services.
?As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, health centers need the dedicated resources to support their programming – ensuring their patients continue to have access to quality mental health resources.