McConnell announces more than $21.4 million to strengthen mental health and substance abuse treatment programs in Kentucky

Published 7:00 am Saturday, October 9, 2021


News release

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced Oct. 1 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will award more than $21.4 million to five Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) across Kentucky. The funding will be used to address the needs of individuals who have serious emotional disturbance or serious mental illness, as well as a substance use disorder.

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These federal resources were made available through the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplement (CRRS) Act. As Senate Majority Leader, Senator McConnell championed these two bipartisan funding bills and led them to passage in the Senate in 2020.

“While Kentuckians worked to contain the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year-and-a-half, we also saw a tragic rise in mental health and substance abuse disorders. That’s why, when I led several major rescue bills to passage last year, I prioritized funding for treatment programs to combat these twin crises,” said Senator McConnell. “As we work to put the pandemic behind us, we must also address the rise in mental illness and addiction that has occurred alongside it. With today’s grant announcement, we are helping provide revolutionary prevention, treatment, and mental health services that will benefit the whole Commonwealth.”

“The COVID pandemic has had a significant impact on individuals’ mental health and overall well-being. This funding will allow for expansion of services to ensure accessibility of mental health and substance use treatment and recovery services as we continue to move forward. Leader McConnell played an instrumental role in securing this funding and we are deeply grateful for his help,” said Ashley Felts Boze, Executive Director of Pennyroyal Regional Mental Health.

“SAMHSA’s announcement of Community Mental Health Center funding is encouraging news for Mountain Comprehensive Care Center (MCCC),” said Promod Bishnoi, President/CEO. “We thank SAMHSA, leader McConnell and the Biden-Harris administration for this investment which establishes MCCC’s Eastern KY CMHC Project – an initiative designed to restore the delivery of clinical behavioral health services that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Eastern KY CMHC Project will expand access to treatment and support for a population that has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, improving outcomes for persons having serious emotional disturbance (SED), serious mental illness (SMI), and co-occurring SED/SMI and substance use disorder (COD) in Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin, Pike, Knott, Leslie, Letcher and Perry counties.”

“The CMHC grant is especially important as the pandemic has continued to dramatically impact the sense of well-being and mental health of our community in Northern Kentucky. It is our sincere hope to support the restoration and recovery of our community by making mental health and substance abuse services more readily available with an emphasis on providing more mobile services available at the door of clients or through expanded telehealth services. We express our sincere gratitude to Senator McConnell for his efforts in providing this grant funding to the Northern Kentucky community,” said Dr. Owen Nichols, CEO of NorthKey Community Care.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so many Kentuckians are finding themselves in a time of crisis — from job loss, to substance use and more,” said Abby Drane, President & CEO of Seven Counties Services / Bellewood & Brooklawn. “This is one of the greatest challenges facing our communities today and it takes collective efforts from all facets of society to provide assistance. We’re grateful for this grant from SAMHSA that allows us to extend our reach to more people who need treatment for mental health and/or addiction, and for Leader McConnell’s support of the critical work we’re doing to restore lives.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, both our rural and urban communities have seen increased mental health needs and a surge in overdose deaths. New Vista is grateful for this funding opportunity that will be utilized to address gaps in care and ensure that those most vulnerable have access to behavioral health, substance use and integrated health care services,” said Dee Werline, New Vista President and CEO.

The following organizations received funding through the SAMHSA program:

• Pennyroyal Regional Mental Health, Hopkinsville, $4,873,355

• Mountain Comprehensive Care Center, Prestonsburg, $4,000,000

• NorthKey Community Care, Covington, $5,000,000

• Seven Counties Services, Louisville, $4,999,942

• New Vista of the Bluegrass, Lexington, $2,557,077