Sept. 1, 2021: The Office of Behavioral Health is seeking public comment on Colorado’s combined mental health and substance use federal block grant application for Federal Fiscal Year 2022-23.
Mandated by Congress, the noncompetitive block grants provide funding to states for substance use and mental health services. Colorado submits a combined behavioral health assessment and plan every two years, which outlines the services for both the mental health and substance use block grants. The Office of Behavioral Health is the agency responsible for establishing Colorado’s behavioral health plan and applying for the block grant.
The money is distributed through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. States are required to use block grant program funds for prevention, treatment, recovery supports and other services that will supplement services covered by Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance.
OBH receives approximately $14 million through the mental health portion of the grant and approximately $29 million through the substance use portion of the grant.
SAMHSA requires that OBH provide public notice on the proposed use of block grant funds every two years and interested stakeholders are invited to comment. The feedback form will be open for 30 days, or until Oct. 1. OBH will meaningfully consider all comments and requests that are allowable uses of the funds within state and federal regulations (i.e., cannot purchase housing).