HHS awards $200M to health centers to increase access to mental health, addiction services

HHS has awarded $200 million to health centers across the U.S. to increase access to mental health and addiction services.

The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded more than $200 million to providers across the country to increase access to mental health services and addiction treatment. 

HHS announced that it would provide the funds to 1,178 health centers and 13 rural health organizations through the Health Resources and Services Administration. The included facilities represent every state, the District of Columbia and territories in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Pacific. 

The funding will support integration and expansion of mental health and addiction services, according to the announcement, and is a part of HHS’ five-point plan to tackle the opioid epidemic. 

“No corner of our country, from rural areas to urban centers, has escaped the scourge of the opioid crisis,” HHS Secretary Tom Price said in the announcement. “These grants from HRSA go directly to local organizations, which are best situated to address substance abuse and mental health issues in their own communities.” 

RELATED: HHS offers grants to tackle opioid crisis, while NIH outlines short-term and long-term goals to address addiction epidemic 

The Trump administration has made the opioid epidemic a key issue, and President Donald Trump has made plans to declare it a national emergency. Price has also said that the administration is taking "strong, decisive action" to curb the crisis. 

Trump created an opioid commission to provide recommendations on ways to reduce the spread of addiction, including mandatory prescriber education. 

A report released early this month from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 11.8 million people misused opioids last year.