April 20, 2020

Hawaii to Receive $2 Million in Funding to Support Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment During the Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced today that the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division of the Hawaii State Department of Health received $2 million in emergency grant funding from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to expand and strengthen access to substance abuse and mental health treatment.

“The stresses of the coronavirus pandemic are driving additional demand for mental health and substance abuse treatment in Hawaii and across the country,” Senator Hirono said. “This funding will support the Hawaii State Department of Health’s ongoing efforts to assist Hawaii residents in need, and I will continue to advocate for funding to support crucial mental health and substance abuse treatment in the weeks and months ahead.”

The State Department of Health is expected to use the funding to bring a highly promising pilot substance abuse treatment program to Hawaii Island, increase telepsychiatry services in collaboration with the University of Hawaii’s School of Medicine, expand access to behavioral health services to the homeless community, and assist healthcare workers at the front line of fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

The $2 million in emergency grant funding was part of a $110 million initiative to assist states in addressing the growing need for mental health and substance abuse treatment during the pandemic that Congress included in the third coronavirus relief legislation that passed in March.

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