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Ohio to receive more than $35 million for mental health services, behavioral health clinics, Sen. Sherrod Brown and Sen. Rob Portman announce

The grant money comes as part of a government funding measure Congress passed in December 2020.

WASHINGTON — Editor's Note: The above photo of Sen. Brown and Sen. Portman was taken on December 5, 2018. The above video aired on February 3, 2021.

Ohio is set to receive some substantial funds from the federal government to help the state's mental and behavioral health services. 

On Friday, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $32,387,851 in Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC-COVID) Expansion grants across Ohio. Ohio’s State Department of Mental Health and Addiction services also received $2,859,647 to provide crisis intervention services, mental and substance use disorder treatment, and other related recovery supports for children and adults impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The grant money comes as part of a government funding measure Congress passed in December 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder than ever for Ohioans with mental health and substance use disorders to get the care that they need,” said Brown in a statement. “This much needed investment will expand access to outpatient mental health services, crisis intervention services and substance use disorder treatment services that so many Ohioans rely on, alleviating the pressure faced by our health care system, which has been overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.”

This investment is a part of HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) response grants, which Brown and Portman fought for.

“The social isolation and increased anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated many of the issues Ohioans face that can negatively impact mental health and substance use disorders,” added Portman. “I’m pleased that HHS has awarded more than $35 million in Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics Expansion grants across Ohio thanks to the bipartisan COVID-19 relief package Congress enacted in December, which was based on the framework I helped negotiate. This funding will help vulnerable individuals across Ohio gain access to the resources and care they need.”

The grant program works to expand CCBHCs, which are designed to provide a comprehensive range of mental health and substance use disorder services to vulnerable individuals. CCBHCs are responsible for providing nine types of services, with an emphasis on the provision of 24-hour crisis care, utilization of evidence-based practices, care coordination and integration with physical health care.

The joint release by Ohio's U.S. Senators comes just over a week after Portman announced that he would not seek reeelction in 2022. 

“Rob and I have worked together on issues that matter to Ohioans, from protecting the health of Lake Erie, to better enforcing our trade laws, to helping Ohioans who are struggling with addiction," Brown said after Portman's announcement. "We’ve not always agreed with one another, but we’ve always been able to put our differences aside to do what’s best for our state. Connie and I thank Rob for his career of public service and wish him and Jane well.”

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Editor's Note: The below video aired on February 4, 2021

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