Minnesota announces $2 million COVID-19 grant for mental health support

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WKBT) — Minnesota has received a $2 million federal grant to support mental health services throughout the state.

Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday that the state received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding will be used for health care providers, first responders, and those with serious mental illness and substance use disorders who have been impacted by COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an incredible toll on Minnesotans, including our mental health and wellbeing,” said Walz. “I am grateful for this funding from the federal government, which will go directly to Minnesotans in need of mental health care, including our health care and first responder heroes, as well as those with serious mental health needs who are unable to pay for their care due to the hardships of the pandemic.”

The Minnesota Department of Human Services will distribute the money to seven certified community behavioral health clinics across the state.

“Our state’s health care providers and first responders have been through so much this past year, and we owe it to them to ensure mental health care is affordable and accessible,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “We also know that the COVID-19 pandemic has made those living with serious mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders even more vulnerable. This funding will be critical to ensuring those Minnesotans can continue to receive the care and support they need.”

With 40 locations across the state serving 27 counties and adjacent to or neighboring seven Tribal Nations, those community health clinics provide integrated mental health and substance use disorder services and coordinate with physical health care and social services. They are designed to serve individuals of all ages, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay.

“This grant will help the State support health care providers and first responders who have experienced tremendous stress since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “It also will allow us to provide services to individuals with serious mental illness and substance use disorders who have been impacted by COVID-19 and people at risk of developing a mental health condition because of the pandemic.”