Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon, the U.S., and the first Medicaid mobile crisis intervention services program will be introduced. on Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services said.
Officials from the Biden-Arrison Administration made the announcement with Brown and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Through the American Rescue Plan, a new Medicaid option was developed with the goal of improving behavioral health care delivery.
It would enable Oregon to link individuals facing mental health and drug use crises to a behavioral health professional every day of the year, around-the-clock, in order to deliver community-based stabilization treatments.
The first state to apply for and receive permission for the new Medicaid option was Oregon. 20 state Medicaid agencies were able to construct these initiatives with the aid of planning funding totaling $15 million from the American Rescue Plan. HHS implores additional states to imitate Oregon’s example.
The Biden-Harris administration has made resolving our country’s mental health crisis a top priority. As a result of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, Oregon can now better offer its citizens the support and stabilization services they require when facing a crisis, according to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.
The new initiative will help Medicaid recipients, especially those with mental health or drug use issues, access community-based mobile crisis intervention services.
The mobile crisis intervention services will identify and evaluate those who are in need of help. De-escalating crises and directing individuals to health and social services, such as those that offer life skills training and information on the effects of medicine, will both be made easier by this.
Through the initiative, the Oregon Health Authority will collaborate with neighborhood partners to assist and treat those who are going through a mental health crisis.
“A behavioral health crisis should be treated with a behavioral health response,” Brown said of Oregon’s concept for community-based mobile crisis intervention teams. “This investment will be a game changer for our state, allowing us to deliver mental health services that will reach Oregonians in communities all over the state and that are culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate,” said one official.
As social workers or mental health counselors, law enforcement is required to perform these duties much too frequently, according to HHS, which interferes with their ability to carry out their primary duty of policing. By enlisting specialists in mental health and substance use to assist those going through crises, the Biden-Harris administration seeks to reduce the strain on law enforcement.
To diffuse and minimize a crisis, the community-based mobile crisis intervention services will employ targeted behavioral and rehabilitative approaches.
If necessary, Brown said, 988 call centers will send teams of community-based mobile crisis intervention services. The National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline can be reached at that number. The mobile crisis intervention teams won’t be limited to particular places or areas.
States can now choose the new Medicaid option starting in March 2022. It’s one method HHS is attempting to carry out President Biden’s plan to deal with the country’s mental health issue.
In the early days of trained professional responses to persons going through mental health crises, Oregon was a pioneer. The Portland Street Response squad was founded in 2021 and has been modeled after Eugene’s CAHOOTS team as a model for similar initiatives.
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