Human Services awarded emergency grant to support behavioral health response to COVID-19; agency is seeking proposals to provide behavioral health services

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The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division has been awarded a $2 million grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support the state’s behavioral health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Emergency Grant to Address Mental and Substance Use Disorders during COVID-19 program focuses on meeting the needs of individuals with serious mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and/or individuals with both serious mental illness and substance use disorders. The program will also support individuals with less severe behavioral health needs, including health care workers, first responders and other frontline personnel.

“The COVID-19 pandemic impacts have been significant for many North Dakotans,” said Behavioral Health Division Director Pamela Sagness. “This grant provides an opportunity to increase vital behavioral health services.”

Today, the division made available informal requests for proposals (RFP) seeking two addiction treatment providers and one mental health provider to develop and implement comprehensive plans of evidence-based mental and substance use disorder treatment services for individuals impacted by the pandemic. The informal RFPs are available online at www.behavioralhealth.nd.gov/covid-19. The deadline to respond to both opportunities is June 10, 2020, at 4 p.m. Central Time.

The division continues to make available new resources to support North Dakotans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new resources touch on a variety of topics including using gratitude as a tool for reducing stress and building resiliency, finding virtual mental health and substance use disorder recovery support programs and the importance of staying socially connected. These resources can be found online at www.behavioralhealth.nd.gov/covid-19.

For parents and caregivers, Parents Lead has new age-appropriate resources on coping with COVID-19, co-parenting during a pandemic and recognizing signs of anxiety. These resources and more are online at www.parentslead.org/COVID-19.

The division is responsible for reviewing and identifying service needs and activities in the state's behavioral health system to ensure health and safety, access to services and quality services. It also establishes quality assurance standards for the licensure of substance use disorder program services and facilities and provides policy leadership in partnership with public and private entities. For more information, visit www.behavioralhealth.nd.gov.

For more other resources and information on the North Dakota Department of Human Services response to COVID-19, visit www.nd.gov/dhs/info/covid19/index.html.

For details on the state’s COVID-19 response, visit www.ndresponse.gov.

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