Durbin Holds Virtual News Conference To Discuss Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Treatment

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met virtually with Illinois mental health and addiction treatment experts to discuss how the American Rescue Plan (ARP) will help provide care and treatment for mental health, trauma, and substance use disorders, which have only been compounded across Illinois by the COVID-19 pandemic—especially within communities of color. Illinois has already received $63 million through the ARP in substance abuse block grant funding and $29 million in mental health block grant funding that will be allocated to community providers, with tens of millions of additional dollars expected.

“Even before COVID-19 strained our communities, we had been in the midst of the worst drug overdose crisis in our nation’s history and seen skyrocketing rates of suicide. Similar to the coronavirus, mental health and addiction challenges can occur in any family, or any neighborhood—though they have had a disproportionate ferocity among communities of color,” Durbin said. “Illinois has already received $92 million in block grant funds through the American Rescue Plan that will be distributed to community partners, and additional money is on the way for school mental health and trauma-informed counseling, community-based addiction treatment, and to help our frontline health workers cope with the burden of this past year.”

The ARP provides nearly $4 billion in mental health and addiction treatment grants nationwide, including:

  • $40 million in mental health funding for frontline health care professionals;
  • $80 million in grants directly to community-based behavioral health providers
  • $60 million for school mental health and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network

The ARP also expanded health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, COBRA, and Medicaid, and includes Durbin’s bipartisan plan to increase the availability of health care – including behavioral health treatment – by providing $1 billion in scholarship and loan repayment awards through the National Health Service Corps to health professionals who agree to serve in needy areas.