Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced three funding opportunities to strengthen mental health and substance use services for individuals at risk for or living with HIV/AIDS. Totaling $43.7 million dollars, the funding opportunities reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to providing accessible, evidence-based, culturally appropriate substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery services to all as part of HHS’s new Overdose Prevention Strategy. Funding will be awarded in the fall.
“We remain committed to providing people at risk for, or living with HIV/AIDS, with the support and services they need to thrive – no matter who they are or where they live,” said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra. “This funding will ensure people who simultaneously face mental health and substance use challenges – and are at risk for or living with HIV/AIDS – will receive the support and treatment that they need.”
“We must increase supports and services for those who are at risk for or living with HIV/AIDS and have mental health and substance use needs,” said Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, PhD, HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of SAMHSA. “This means connecting them to easy-to-access, culturally appropriate prevention, treatment, and recovery services.”
The grants, which are being deployed to help underserved communities, are supported by the Minority AIDS Initiative and align with the Administration’s priority of health equity. The funding targets areas of the country with the greatest disparities in HIV-related health outcomes and aligns with the National HIV AIDS Strategy.
The three grant programs are:
Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Racial Ethnic/ Minority Populations at High Risk for HIV/AIDS: This program increases care for racial and ethnic minority individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health challenges who are at risk for or are living with HIV/AIDS and receive HIV primary care and other services. This grant will fund up to $30.5 million over five years for up to 61 grantees.
Substance Abuse and HIV Prevention Navigator Program for Racial Ethnic Minorities: This program provides training and education around the risks of substance use and HIV/AIDS, as well as the integration of a range of services for individuals with HIV/AIDS. The program uses a navigation approach – working through community health workers, neighborhood navigators, and peer support specialists – to expedite services for these populations. This grant will fund up to $4.5 million over five years for up to 18 grantees.
The Minority AIDS Initiative – Service Integration: This program reduces the co-occurring epidemics of HIV, Hepatitis, and mental health challenges through accessible, evidence-based, culturally appropriate treatment that is integrated with HIV primary care and prevention services. The grant will fund $8.7 million over four years for up to 18 grantees.
Anyone seeking treatment for mental health or substance use issues should call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357) or visit findtreatment.samhsa.gov.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.