U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken announced that a $982,373 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant has been awarded to the Minnesota Department of Human Services to support community-based mental and substance use disorder health clinics. This grant, which was awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will help strengthen community-based mental and substance use disorder clinics by integrating behavioral health with physical health care, utilizing evidence-based practices on a more consistent basis, and improving access to high-quality care.
“All across Minnesota, there are people suffering from untreated mental illness and addiction,” Klobuchar said. “It is critical we do everything we can to support these Minnesotans and their families on the path to recovery. By investing in community health clinics in our state, this grant will help ensure access to the quality mental health and substance use disorder services they deserve.”
“Too many Minnesotans face mental health and substance abuse crises without getting treatment or services,” Franken said. “As a member of the Senate Health Committee, I’ve been working hard to bring critical—and often life-saving—resources to Minnesotans who need support. This new grant will allow Minnesota’s community health clinics to improve not only the level of care provided but also how the care is delivered, and I am proud to support it.”
Klobuchar has long led local and national efforts to curb prescription drug abuse and improve mental health care. Klobuchar helped introduced the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act that would help combat drug addiction and support recovering addicts. In September 2014, the DEA implemented Klobuchar’s bipartisan Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act. Under the legislation, consumers are being provided with more safe and responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medications and controlled substances.
Klobuchar has also introduced the Anna Westin Act which would help combat eating disorders by clarifying the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 to ensure that patients with mental health and substance use disorders receive the same quality of treatment and coverage that patients suffering from physical illnesses receive.
Franken has long fought to support mental health programs in Minnesota and across the country. He authored the Mental Health in Schools Act, and was able to get funding into the Senate budget for the past two years to support programs similar to those in his bill. Since arriving in the Senate, Franken has continued former Senator Paul Wellstone’s legacy as a champion for mental health parity, which is the principle that mental health services should be covered to the same extent as other medical services.