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La Red receives $175K to tackle mental health and fight opioid overdose crisis

September 21, 2017

The Health Resources and Services Administration awarded $527,100 to three health centers in Delaware to increase access to substance abuse and mental health services. La Red Health Services in Georgetown will receive approximately $175,700. In Wilmington, Westside Family Healthcare Inc. and Southbridge Medical Advisory Council Inc. will each receive approximately $175,700.

"No corner of our country, from rural areas to urban centers, has escaped the scourge of the opioid crisis," said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, MD. "The Trump administration is taking strong, decisive action to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic. These grants from HRSA go directly to local organizations, which are best situated to address substance abuse and mental health issues in their own communities."

Funding will support expansion and integration of mental health services and substance abuse services. These services focus on the treatment, prevention and awareness of opioid abuse in the primary care setting by increasing personnel, leveraging health information technology and providing training.

The expanded funding is part of the Department of Health and Human Services five-point strategy to fight the opioid epidemic by:

  • Improving access to treatment and recovery services.
  • Targeting use of overdose-reversing drugs.
  • Strengthening understanding of the epidemic through better public health surveillance.
  • Providing support for cutting-edge research on pain and addiction.
  • Advancing better practices for pain management.

"Nationally, about half of all care for common mental health conditions happens in the primary care settings," said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, PhD. "In health centers, where people are often most comfortable, staff with varied expertise have a unique opportunity to provide mental health and substance abuse services to patients who wouldn't otherwise seek or have access to treatment."

Nationwide, HRSA awarded more than $200 million to 1,178 health centers. And, since rural states are more likely to have higher rates of overdose death, particularly from prescription opioid overdose, 496 health centers located in rural communities will receive the Access Increases in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services award. An additional nearly $3.3 million will support 13 rural health organizations across the nation to increase access to treatment and recovery services for opioid abuse under the Rural Health Opioid Program and the Substance Abuse Treatment Telehealth Network Grant Program. The organizations will use these awards to advance evidence-based opioid use disorder interventions to overcome challenges in rural communities, such as longer emergency response times and lack of access to substance abuse treatment providers.

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