March 11, 2021
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS), today announced that Missouri will receive a total of $38.8 million in funding from the Mental Health Block Grant ($13.9 million) and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant ($24.9 million) programs. As the Republican leader on the Labor/HHS appropriations committee, Blunt has led efforts to prioritize funding to expand access to mental health and addiction treatment services.
“Treating mental and behavioral health like all other health is more important than ever,” said Blunt. “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 1 in 4 Americans suffered from a mental health or addiction issue, but less than half were getting the care they need. The situation is even more dire today. There has been a double digit increase in the number of people reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression and drug overdoses are surging. We have made tremendous progress in our physical health response to the pandemic, we have to do the same on the mental health front. These resources will help our state meet the needs of Missourians during this crisis, and continue building on the success we have had in becoming a national leader in closing the mental and behavioral health treatment gap.”
The funding announced today was provided in the most recent Blunt-led COVID-19 emergency funding bill, which was signed into law in December. The bill included $1.65 billion each for the Mental Health Block Grant and the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant programs.
The annual appropriation for the Mental Health Block Grant increased by 57% under Blunt's six-year chairmanship of the Labor/HHS appropriations subcommittee.