Phoenix allocates $9M to expand mental health resources

Mar 26, 2022, 5:00 AM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved allocating $9 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding to expand mental health resources.

Mercy Care, the Regional Behavioral Health Authority in Maricopa County, will receive the funding to continue providing access to health care services for people who are uninsured or underinsured. These services include transitional housing, behavioral health screening, mental health counseling, substance use treatment and case management.

“We continue to see more residents requiring assistance to address mental or behavioral health challenges,” Mayor Kate Gallego said in a press release.

“With Mercy Care’s network of over 200 city-wide provider locations, we will assist up to 100 additional adults, children and families each month, many of whom are unsheltered or in danger of becoming unsheltered.”

More than half a million people in the state that are eligible for Medicaid get access to health care services through the not-for-profit Mercy Care, the city said, with the plan overseeing the county’s behavioral health crisis system.

“The pandemic created unprecedented mental and behavioral health challenges for so many people,” Tad Gary, Mercy Care Deputy CEO, said in the release.

“We appreciate the city’s confidence in Mercy Care, and we look forward to helping Phoenix residents get the care and services they need to deal with these challenges.”

The organization also collaborates with first responders, the city said, including Phoenix’s fire and police departments and human services department.

The additional funding goes along with the $15 million Phoenix has budgeted for its Community Assistance Program to provide similar services.

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Phoenix allocates $9M to expand mental health resources