Five ways states and community providers should use American Rescue Plan funds to build future capacity and address behavioral health needs.
While the nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) touches almost every facet of the US economy impacted by COVID-19, behavioral health is a central feature of the legislation.
The Biden administration and Congress have targeted nearly $5 billion in supplemental funding for existing behavioral health programs and services, as well as new value-based initiatives. Although this is one-time funding, it will be allocated over a period of years and affords states and providers a financial bridge to build their capacity for services into the future.
ARP funding for behavioral health is targeted in several key areas: block grant funding, workforce, and local community provider services, as well as new value-based models to promote expansion of community crisis services.
States and providers should use the funds to address immediate needs exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also build a roadmap for the future.
Some state officials, provider leadership, and stakeholders alike are concerned about the one-time injection of ARP funds and the sustainability of the service expansion into the future. However, with the right strategy, ARP funding can be used to build internal capacity for providing services and as a bridge to sustainable funding options.
Five ways to capitalize on this one-time funding opportunity
Obtaining maximum benefits from ARP behavioral health funding will ultimately be tied to careful planning and close coordination with other ARP funds, such as its state and local recovery funding stream.
Guidehouse is helping states and community providers obtain and leverage ARP funds to develop strategic behavioral health plans. Learn how.
Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Block Grants
Behavioral health workforce recruitment and training
Local community-based needs
Value-based crisis services