CCBHC Funding and Other Wins in Recent COVID-19 Relief Bill from Congress

AFSCME members and United We Heal activists have been working hard for far too many months to help pass necessary additional COVID-19 economic relief legislation. Because the Republican-led Senate blocked every effort to include emergency funding for states, cities and towns in this time of crisis, AFSCME President Saunders called the overall bill “a slap in the face to front-line public service workers and communities across the country.”

But AFSCME did help to secure some positive proposals, especially for behavioral health workers, in the $2.3 trillion legislation that delivers $900 billion in new COVID-19 relief and $1.4 trillion to fund the federal government.

For example, the legislation extends the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) program ​for three fiscal years through September 30, 2023, a long-time UWH priority. ​The legislation also includes a long-needed policy change to strengthen enforcement of federal mental health parity laws as well as increasing and continuing funding for key programs like the Provider Relief Fund, Paycheck Protection Program, which help behavioral health care providers.

Important funding increases for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) include

  • $3.8 billion, an increase of $17 million, for substance abuse treatment, including continued funding for opioid prevention and treatment and for state formula grants.
  • $21 million for suicide prevention, including the Zero Suicide program, an increase of $5 million.
  • $24 million for the Suicide Lifeline, an increase of $5 million.

We won’t give up on getting the funding our communities need.