Mental Health services have changed dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many service providers have lost significant revenue due to disruptions in service while incurring substantial additional costs for testing, personal protective equipment (PPE) and overtime. This week Governor Parson made available more than $37 million in CARES Act funding to help behavioral health and developmental disabilities services in five areas.
Approximately $20 million is available for more than 350 Medicaid providers for the Department of Mental Health (DMH) Division Developmental Disabilities. An allocation of $17.6 million is for providers of group home and individualized supported living (ISL) services, and $2.4 million for day habilitation and employment providers. These funds will help cover losses during the period of March 1 to December 30, 2020. Qualified providers will receive an application from DMH and must submit it by no later than December 30, 2020.
Community behavioral healthcare providers, which include mental health and substance use services, will have $10 million available. This funding can help with staffing, technology improvements, enhancing the ability to serve individuals through non-traditional means, and resources for responding to increased crisis calls. Qualified providers will receive instructions from the Division of Behavioral Health on how to apply for these funds.
A third investment is for $3.5 million for an Integrated Care Telehealth Training Center for both behavioral health services provided by DMH providers as well as primary care services offered by Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHCs). This is a critical investment to make sure the state’s safety net services for individuals with disabilities and low income families is equipped for the new environment of distance learning and audio/visual delivery of services.
The training center will allow both the Missouri Primary Care Association and the Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare to improve care for the nearly 500,000 citizens both systems serve. CARES Act funding will also be supplemented by these two organizations.
An additional $3.2 million is for telemedicine for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. DMH has partnered with StationMD through a contract for telemedicine services offered at no cost to all Medicaid Waiver participants through December 31, 2020. StationMD is available to approximately 15,000 individuals in DMH Waivers around the state. Find more detailed information on StationMD here.
Lastly, the CARES Act funding will extend the suicide prevention public education efforts. We recognize that COVID-19 has increased depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and other challenges which may lead to suicide and suicide attempts. By investing $620,000 into the current campaign we hope to reach all Missourians with information on resources to suicide prevention and especially citizens in suicidal crisis.