WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, announced $1,769,200 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health services across the Commonwealth. The funding will go toward the improvement and expansion of treatment programs designed to address substance use disorders.
“We’re pleased to announce these federal funds to support treatment services and improve awareness for mental health resources across the Commonwealth,” the Senators said. “This funding will give those suffering from addiction a better chance at recovery. We will continue working in Congress to improve access to health care across Virginia.”
Senator Kaine has been a champion for promoting mental health services, especially for health care providers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. His bipartisan legislation to prevent burnout, suicide, and mental and behavioral health issues among health care workers, the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, passed the Senate last month and now awaits action in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation, supported by Sen. Warner, is named after a Charlottesville-born physician who died by suicide in April 2020 while working on the frontlines of the pandemic in New York.
Senators Warner and Kaine have been leading voices in the Senate in addressing the opioid and substance use crisis that has harmed Virginia communities. Last year, Kaine sent a letter urging House and Senate leadership to increase the federal investment for state, local, and tribal governments as well as treatment providers who are leading our nation’s response to the ongoing opioid and substance use epidemic. In 2018, both Warner and Kaine played a critical role in the passage of a comprehensive bill to better address opioid and substance use disorder treatment and prevention.
A breakdown of the funding is below:
- The Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board in Hampton will receive $525,000 to expand and enhance access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services for people who have opioid use disorder (OUD).
- The Region Ten Community Services Board in Charlottesville will receive $124,200 to improve mental health awareness and referral support for hard-to-reach communities in the region.
- The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services in Richmond will receive $995,000 to expand and improve screening, referral, and treatment for substance use disorder.
- The Piedmont Regional Community Services in Martinsville will receive $125,000 to improve mental health awareness in the region.