Press Releases

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $1,398,428 in federal funding for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to expand access to mental health care in Virginia. The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Community Mental Health Services Block Grant program. This program allocates funding to states to provide comprehensive, community-based mental health services to adults and children with significant mental health conditions. 

“Every Virginian deserves access to high-quality, affordable mental health care,” said the senators. “The last few years have underscored the importance of access to mental health services, and we’re glad this funding will help more Virginians reach the care they need.”

States may distribute funds from this program to local government entities and nongovernmental organizations to provide community mental health services. The funding was made possible by the (BSCA), which the senators helped pass. In Fiscal Year 2023, Virginia has received over $25 million in federal funding through the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant program.

Warner and Kaine have long supported efforts to expand access to mental health care. Warner and Kaine are sponsors of the CONNECT for Health Act, which would expand coverage of telehealth services, including mental health treatment and treatment for substance use disorders. Warner has additionally successfully pressed the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to finalize long-delayed regulations allowing doctors to prescribe controlled substances, including those that treat opioid use disorder, through telehealth. Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced legislation to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions among health care professionals, which President Biden signed into law last year. Last year, the senators announced $1 million in federal funding through the BSCA to expand and enhance the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline in Virginia. Kaine has also introduced legislation to support children’s access to mental health care, which was included in last year’s government funding bill that the senators helped pass.