March 18,2019

Press Contact:

Hank Stern, 503-326-7539

Wyden Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Expand Funding for Community Mental Health Services

Legislation builds on landmark 2014 Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act, one of the most significant steps forward in community mental health in decades

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden joined a group of bipartisan colleagues to introduce legislation that would renew and expand funding for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs).

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics were established in landmark 2014 legislation also cosponsored by Wyden. Funding for these clinics, which are required to provide a comprehensive set of mental health and addiction services, is set to run out starting on March 31, 2019.

“These are our friends, family and neighbors struggling to find their way out from substance misuse, depression and other conditions,” Wyden said. “Oregonians in need of behavioral health treatment, no matter their zip code or income, deserve the best care. I will always support investing in clinics that make a difference on the ground in communities across Oregon.”

Among the comprehensive set of services Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics must provide are 24/7/365 crisis services; outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services; immediate screenings, risk assessments and diagnoses; and care coordination including partnerships with emergency rooms, law enforcement and veterans groups.

The Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act, introduced last week, would expand the number of states eligible to participate in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Center demonstration from eight to 19 and give the eight participating states two years of additional funding.

The legislation is led by Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo. Other cosponsors include Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Cory Gardner, R-Colo., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Dan Sullivan, R-Ark., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.