AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE POLICE: NEW FUNDING IS AVAILABLE FOR MENTAL HEALTH MOBILE CRISIS TEAMS
The new COVID-19 relief bill – the American Rescue Plan, H.R. 1319 – provides new federal funding, as part of the Medicaid program, to support the expansion of mental health mobile crisis teams (see section Section 9813). Mental health mobile crisis teams are highly effective, both as an alternative to the police responding to individuals with mental illness and as a way to meet the urgent needs of individuals with mental illness or substance use disorder. Settlement agreements negotiated by the Bazelon Center and the U.S. Department of Justice to implement the community-based service mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead, 527 U.S. 581 (1999), routinely include requirements to expand mobile crisis services. To access this resource, the State must file an amendment to its Medicaid plan or seek or amend a waiver to secure the additional funding. The bill provides funding for grants to states to help them with developing an amendment. Learn more by reading the Bazelon Center’s resource (PDF) here.