(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that New Hampshire will receive $2,859,647 in federal grants allocated under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law last month. Specifically, the funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and will support efforts to combat the substance use disorder epidemic and bolster access to mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. During negotiations for the emergency COVID-19 relief legislation that passed Congress and was signed into law last month, Shaheen successfully fought for the inclusion of language providing $4.25 billion in funding for substance use disorder treatment and mental health care.
“We are experiencing an unprecedented challenge in New Hampshire as one public health crisis exacerbates another,” said Senator Shaheen. “Granite Staters struggling with substance use disorder are often also experiencing economic instability, increased isolation and reduced access to mental health and recovery services. Treatment providers are also facing severe financial difficulties that threaten their ability to stay open. These serious issues are why I fought for the inclusion of robust funding in the emergency COVID relief legislation that was recently signed into law to help patients and providers get through these extremely difficult times. Though I’m very pleased these federal dollars are being awarded, more is needed to bolster our response to the substance use disorder epidemic. I’ll continue to work in the Senate to secure the resources New Hampshire needs to turn the tide of this crisis.”
“New Hampshire is battling the dual crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and substance misuse, and both have taken a massive toll on our state,” Senator Hassan said. “I hope that Granite Staters and Americans across our country who are struggling with mental health challenges know that they are not alone, and that they deserve help. This $2.8 million grant will bolster our state’s behavioral health services, including for substance use disorder treatment, and it will make an important difference for those struggling in this uniquely difficult time. I was glad that we could secure this substantial funding in the December relief and government funding package, and I will keep working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to secure additional resources to bolster mental health and substance use disorder treatment and recovery services in New Hampshire and across the country.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for people struggling with substance use disorder and mental health challenges to get the support and treatment they need,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “This funding awarded to the NH Department of Health and Human Services will help expand access to substance misuse and mental health care – a win-win for those who are struggling, our communities, and our economy. I will continue my efforts to ensure all Granite Staters are able to access the care they need to recover and move forward with their lives.”
“Over the past year we have seen this pandemic dramatically increase the risk factors that contribute to substance misuse such as isolation and economic insecurity, while also forcing our providers to alter their care, and squeezing budgets across the board,” said Congressman Pappas. “This additional federal funding will play a critical role in allowing our treatment providers to meet this moment and provide Granite Staters with the services and support they need to get through these difficult times. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the impacts of COVID-19 on the substance misuse epidemic are never over looked and receive further support with appropriate flexibility in future legislation.”
Senator Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to combat the substance use disorder. In the final fiscal year (FY) 2021 government funding legislation that was signed into law, Shaheen successfully included $541.5 million for the Department of Justice anti-opioid and substance abuse grant programs. As a result of Shaheen’s leadership during negotiations for the emergency COVID relief signed into law last month, $4.25 billion in funding for substance use disorder treatment and mental health care was included in the final legislation. Last month, Shaheen introduced the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0, bipartisan legislation that would increase the funding authorization levels for the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) programs enacted in 2016 and put in place additional policy reforms to help combat the opioid epidemic that has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic.
As the Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds major anti-opioid programs, Shaheen helped secure the additional $3.3 billion to combat the substance use disorder crisis, including the $142 million set-aside for hardest-hit states FY2018 omnibus government funding bill. As a result of the New Hampshire congressional delegation’s efforts, New Hampshire received a more than ten-fold increase in opioid treatment funding through the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant program. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact New Hampshire, the congressional delegation has repeatedly called for additional funding for substance use disorder services in a COVID-19 relief package.