May 01, 2020

Congressional Delegation Announces Approval of New Federal Funding for Maryland’s Mental Health Services in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON – The full Maryland congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone, announced the approval of new federal resources for the state of Maryland through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP). This is one of the forms of federal assistance that Maryland is eligible for through the Stafford Act as a result of the major disaster declaration that the delegation pushed to obtain swift approval for last month.

“This public health emergency is not only taking its toll on the physical health of thousands of Marylanders, but also increasing the need for mental health services. It is critical that the state of Maryland has the resources necessary to support our residents’ mental health needs stemming from this crisis. We will continue to work closely with state and federal emergency response and public health officials to ensure that federal resources are available to the state in responding to all aspects of this pandemic,” said the delegation.

This federal funding will enable Maryland to provide community-based outreach, counseling, and other mental health services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Crisis counseling seeks to prevent the onset of diagnosable disorders by helping survivors understand that they are experiencing common reactions to extraordinary circumstances.  Crisis counselors work closely with community organizations to familiarize themselves with available resources, and refer and link survivors to behavioral health treatment.  

The CCP is a short-term disaster relief grant for states, U.S. territories, and federally recognized tribes awarded after a presidential disaster declaration. Through an interagency agreement, the Emergency Mental Health and Traumatic Stress Services Branch of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) works with FEMA to provide technical assistance, consultation, and training for state and local mental health personnel. CMHS also is responsible for CPP grant administration and program oversight. Additional information can be found here.

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