(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced with U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that $500,000 in federal grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is heading to the Lakes Region Mental Health Center (LRMC) to support mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness.
Specifically, these funds will support the hiring of a dedicated staff member at LRMC to perform outreach to homeless individuals living with mental health challenges and SUDs and help facilitate treatment options.
“As the substance use disorder crisis continues to impact communities across New Hampshire, I’m glad to see these funds headed to Lakes Region Mental Health Center to support outreach services,” said Senator Shaheen. “Investing in treatment and outreach is essential to eradicating these illicit substances and addressing the mental health crisis. I’ll continue working to ensure Granite State communities have the resources they need to combat this epidemic.”
“Everywhere I go in New Hampshire, people talk to me about devastating impacts of the opioid crisis and the need to do more to address the mental health crisis,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad to announce this federal grant that will help people in the Lakes Region who are struggling with mental health challenges or opioid misuse. I will continue working to address these pressing issues with the seriousness that they deserve.”
“Every life lost to substance use disorder is a tragedy – we must do more to ensure our communities can access the treatment they need to heal and thrive,” said Congresswoman Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. “I’m proud to help announce these resources heading to the Lakes Regional Mental Health Center to support our neighbors and expand access to mental health care. I will continue working to address the substance use disorder and mental health crisis and eliminate the stigma around treatment.”
“We must continue to invest in a multi-pronged approach to combat the addiction crisis, including increasing access to mental health care,” said Congressman Pappas. “This funding will support efforts in New Hampshire to address the mental health crisis, prevent substance misuse, and help those suffering from addiction. I will keep fighting to deliver resources to organizations in New Hampshire working to support those in need and combat this epidemic.”
“Lakes Region Mental Health Center is thrilled to receive this grant from SAMHSA to benefit homeless individuals and families in the Lakes Region Service area. The project will provide those who are experiencing homelessness with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders increased access to services, in a comprehensive system of supports in partnership with our community service partner organizations. Working together during the five-year grant period, we will provide critical linkages improving recovery outcomes and resulting in healthier communities,” said Maggie Pritchard, LRMHC CEO.
“The number of people in our area experiencing homelessness has risen dramatically from pre-pandemic levels. In partnership with area service providers and treatment organizations, this SAMHSA funding will enable Lakes Region Mental Health Care to increase access and availability of services and with a high focus on outreach and engagement, in an effort to avoid people falling through the cracks. Services we will be able to offer through this funding will include integrated behavioral health care, and substance use disorder recovery support services. Financial support for recovery housing, childcare, and transportation will help to reduce barriers that may have been preventing this population from receiving the care that they need for recovery,” said Beth Vachon, LRMHC Director of Development & Public Relations.
Senator Shaheen and Senator Hassan have led efforts in the Senate to address the substance use disorder epidemic. Senator Shaheen’s bipartisan FENTANYL Results Act, signed into law as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), increases global cooperation in the fight against synthetic drug trafficking. Shaheen and Senator Marshall lead the Cooper Davis Act, which is a bipartisan bill to hold social media companies accountable for reporting to law enforcement all illicit fentanyl activity occurring on their platforms. In the FY 2023 government funding legislation, Shaheen secured $608 million in federal grants to help communities and first responders across the nation to respond to the substance misuse crisis. Shaheen also included in the FY 2023 government funding bill language to authorize increased funding for the State Opioid Response grant program, which gives local communities resources to better combat the opioid and substance use disorder epidemic. Last year, Shaheen and Hassan led efforts to prevent a steep cliff in SOR funding, securing a commitment to protect New Hampshire funding from Health and Human Services Secretary Becerra. Since 2018, Senators Shaheen and Hassan have secured approximately $140 million from these grants for New Hampshire to combat the opioid epidemic in the state. As a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), Shaheen recently questioned Biden administration officials on what can be done to hold social media platforms accountable for enabling fentanyl sales that target youth and fuel this crisis.
Senator Hassan has also worked on additional bipartisan efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Senator Hassan successfully passed into law her bipartisan Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act, to increase the number of medical professionals authorized to prescribe the gold standard of opioid treatment. Recently, Senator Hassan and a bipartisan group of Senators called on the DEA to take further action to remove barriers to this treatment. Earlier this year, Senator Hassan visited Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras as part of a bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip where she spoke with foreign officials about the need to crack down on fentanyl and other drug trafficking. Senator Hassan also worked with her colleagues to pass into law the bipartisan INTERDICT Act, which has provided critical tools to Customs and Border Protection to help detect and intercept fentanyl and other illegal synthetic opioids.