September 14, 2017
Contact: HRSA Press Office

HRSA awards $200 million to health centers nationwide to tackle mental health and fight the opioid overdose crisis

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Today, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded more than $200 million to 1,178 health centers and 13 rural health organizations in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin to increase access to substance abuse and mental health services.

“No corner of our country, from rural areas to urban centers, has escaped the scourge of the opioid crisis,” said HHS Secretary Tom Price, M.D. “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.”

Approximately $200 million will support 1,178 health centers to 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 our 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, Ph.D. "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.”

Rural states are more likely to have higher rates of overdose death, particularly from prescription opioid overdose. To address their unique needs, 496 of the health centers that receive The Access Increases in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (AIMS) awards are located in rural communities.

An additional nearly $3.3 million supports 13 rural health organizations to increase access to treatment and recovery services for opioid abuse under the Rural Health Opioid Program (RHOP) and the Substance Abuse Treatment Telehealth Network Grant Program (SAT -TNGP). 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.

The new RHOP provides approximately $2.5 million for 10 rural health organizations in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Ohio, and Virginia to help community members struggling with opioid abuse find locally available treatment options and support services through partnerships with local health care providers and other community-based groups.

The SAT –TNGP provides approximately $670,000 for three organizations to use evidence-based, telehealth programs and networks to improve access to substance abuse treatment in rural, frontier and underserved communities.

For more information about the impact of integrating mental health and substance abuse services at the community level, and a list of FY 2017 AIMS award recipients, visit:

To view a list of the RHOP and the SAT –TNGP award recipients, visit:

To learn more about the Health Center Program, visit:

To find a health center in your area, visit:

To learn more about the FORHP, visit:

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Last revised: September 13, 2017

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