Walz’s office said the funds can be used to mitigate service interruptions and prioritize in-person services, buy critical care supplies, cover public health-related training costs and help address the behavioral health needs of communities of color and Native communities.
Funding will be awarded to eligible applicants by the end of November.
“Too many families suffered from mental health crises without knowing where to turn even before COVID-19,” said Walz. “More than ever, it’s critical that essential mental health services be readily available to our children and their families across the state.”
“Our children’s mental health and wellbeing is of utmost concern and we know that COVID-19 has made access to services more challenging, especially for students who receive mental health services through schools,” added Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “Mental health providers have struggled with increased costs associated with critical care supplies, appointment spacing, and social distancing of in-person treatment. At a time when we need mental health care more than ever, we must support them.”
DHS Commissioner Jodi Harpstead said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and families across Minnesota. These funds will provide additional resources for the renowned school-linked mental health program and the providers who are helping children and families cope with the isolation and stress brought on by distance learning and increased isolation they are experiencing.”