Wisconsin DHS gets $2 million grant towards behavioral health response during the pandemic

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has been awarded a grant to support the state’s behavioral health response to the coronavirus pandemic, DHS announced in a press release Wednesday morning.

The two million dollar grant is from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In the release, the DHS said the state’s response has included services for people of all ages with mental health and substance use challenges, as well as health care workers.

DHS said it is partnering with the seven counties identified as having the greatest need for these services, including Brown County which will receive $140,930, $292,498 to Dane County, $270,000 to Kenosha County, $320,000 to Milwaukee County, $122,512 to Racine County, $212,702 to Rock County, and $168,833 to Waukesha County.

“While our primary focus during the COVID-19 pandemic has been on the physical well-being of our residents, we cannot overlook the impact this crisis has had on behavioral well-being, an essential part of overall health,” DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said. “We all are feeling a sense of uncertainty right now, and for those with mental health and substance use concerns and our health care workers, this has been an especially challenging time. This grant funding allows us to work with our community partners to open new pathways for people who need immediate help.”

The funding will go towards developing programs including expanding services for those at risk of or experiencing homelessness, providing telehealth services to young people, engaging people who have faced barriers to access care, among other efforts.

Mental Health America of Wisconsin was awarded $48,016 to provide telehealth services to health care workers, and Behavioral Consulting Services was awarded $58,203 to support staff at long-term care facilities.

For more information on the programs being developed through this funding, click here.

Copyright 2020 WMTV. All rights reserved.

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