WASHINGTON, DC – Reps. Madeleine Dean and Lisa Blunt Rochester re-introduced the Community Health Center Mental Health Screening Act which increases federal funds for 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, many adults are experiencing depression and anxiety.
“We must commit ourselves to devoting more resources to mental health as it is long overdue that we treat mental health with the same seriousness we treat all other health,” Rep. Dean said. “And as the pandemic forces us to reimagine our society — this act is a first step ensuring we consistently fund mental health support in all our communities.”
The Community Health Center Mental Health Screening Act would work to ensure community health centers have the resources required to maintain their quality mental health services as mental health needs remain at an all time high.
The 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.
“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 re-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.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Community Health Center Mental Health Screening Act, will provide dedicated resources to support health centers– ensuring their patients continue to have access to quality mental health resources.