Program is part of Murphy’s bipartisan Mental Health Reform law
Grant will fund mental health and addiction services at Hartford, Waterbury &
Bridgeport health centers
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and author of the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act, on Monday applauded a five year, $10 million federal grant to the State of Connecticut from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The grant, which is part of the Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care program at SAMHSA, will promote integration and coordination between primary care services and mental health and substance use services. Murphy improved and bolstered the Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care program in his bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in December 2016.
While writing Mental Health Reform Act, Murphy hosted over 30 town halls and roundtable discussions in Connecticut, including many events with Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DHMAS) Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, to receive feedback on how to best fix the nation’s broken mental health system. Connecticut residents talked about a fragmented system and lack of communication with primary care physicians and behavioral health services, which led to Murphy adding additional support for the Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care program in the new law.
Specifically, the funding will help increase access to primary and behavioral health care for over 2,200 individuals in Hartford, Waterbury, and Bridgeport with substance use and mental health disorders. DHMAS will work with Charter Oak Health Center and Community Health Resources in Hartford, Optimus Health Center and Recovery Network of Programs in Bridgeport, Wellmore and StayWell Health Center in Waterbury to increase health literacy, promote health behavior change, and expand access to medication-assisted treatment.
“I started working on the Mental Reform Act four years ago because people in Connecticut told me they needed help. Mental illness and addiction do not discriminate, so our health care system shouldn’t either. I’m so proud to announce this $10 million grant, which will help people in Hartford, Bridgeport, and Waterbury access the care they need and prevent them from falling through the cracks,” said Murphy. “Washington can be a frustrating place. But after years of work with Republicans, I was able to pass a law that is making a real difference for people suffering from mental health and addiction in Connecticut. There’s a lot more we need to do, but in times of tight budgets, this grant will go a long way.”
“We are honored to have been chosen for this grant award,” said DMHAS Commissioner Delphin-Rittmon. “Connecticut has made inroads in improving the health outcomes of individuals diagnosed with mental health or substance use disorders by integrating physical health care. Mental health, substance use, and many health conditions can be well managed through the use of best practices and integrated care teams.”