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American Rescue Plan Act: Funding for Mental Health and Substance Use Services

More than $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds are being used to transform Wisconsin's system of mental health and substance use services.

Projects supported by state and local fiscal recovery funds

Governor Tony Evers has directed $67.5 million in funds allocated to Wisconsin by the U.S. Department of Treasury to the following efforts related to mental health and substance use services.

Behavioral health workforce - $9.1 million

UW-Whitewater is using this funding to support qualified treatment trainees and build educational pathways for students seeking careers in behavioral health.

Behavioral telehealth services - $5 million

  • Five organizations shared $2.5 million of this funding to recruit and retain psychiatrists trained to serve children through telehealth. See the list of grantees. (PDF)
  • Twenty-seven organizations shared $2.5 million of this funding to remove location and technology barriers to care by establishing telehealth stations at community centers, food pantries, homeless shelters, libraries, schools, and similar places. See the list of grantees. (PDF)

Comprehensive health and wellness initiative - $5 million

This funding was used by the Wisconsin National Guard to support mental health services offered to members and their families.

Cultural competence initiative - $1 million

Ten organizations are using this funding to build behavioral health provider capacity to offer services that respect and respond to the beliefs, practices, and needs of diverse communities through trainings focused on specific populations.

Enhanced youth mental health services - $5 million

Children's Wisconsin is using this funding to expand services at the Craig Yabuki Mental Health Walk-In Clinic and start a pediatric psychology residency program in partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Get kids ahead K-12 mental health initiative - $31 million

Every public school district and independent charter school was eligible to opt-in to receive a share of this funding to support school-based mental health services. This initiative was managed by the Department of Public Instruction.

Milwaukee County Mental Health Emergency Center - $4.5 million

This funding supported the development and initial operations of the joint venture between Milwaukee County and the county's four health systems to offering 24/7 crisis mental health assessment, stabilization, treatment, and transition care management for all ages.

Project Resiliency - $2 million

The Wisconsin United Coalition of Mutual Assistance Association used this funding to support their work providing mental health services to the Hmong population. This includes the first-ever phone line staffed by Hmong people with lived experienced in the mental health and substance use services system trained to provide support to members of the Hmong community experiencing substance use and mental health concerns. This service can be reached at 800-293-7080 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

UW System student mental health support - $5 million

The University of Wisconsin System used this funding to expand mental health offerings for students.

Projects supported by supplemental block grant funds

With the approval of Governor Tony Evers and the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, we have allocated $46.6 million in supplemental Community Mental Health Services Block Grant and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant funds to the following efforts related to mental health and substance use services.

Substance use prevention activities

  • This funding is supporting the development and implementation of messages and products related to the Real Talks Wisconsin (all substances) and Dose of Reality (opioids) initiatives through a partnership with KW2, a Madison-based marketing agency.
  • This funding also will be used to support strategies to reduce opioid overdoses in communities disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic. Applications for this funding were due in September 2022. The grantees will be announced soon.

Statewide warmline

Mental Health America of Wisconsin is using this funding to support a phone service staffed by people with mental health and substance use experiences trained to support others with similar life experiences. UpliftWI can be reached at 534-202-5438 from noon to midnight daily, with 24/7 coverage expected by the end of 2023.

Early serious mental illness programming

This funding is being used to support community agencies in their exploration of whether they have the capacity to implement Coordinated Specialty Care services.

Substance use harm reduction

This funding is being used to expand access to NARCAN®, the opioid overdose reversal drug, and fentanyl test strips through partnerships with community organizations, including health and human services providers and law enforcement.

Substance use crisis services

This funding is being used by the Hospital Sisters Health Systems-St. Joseph's in Chippewa Falls and Tellurian in Madison to develop and operate withdrawal management centers. These locations are expected to open soon.

Mental health crisis services

  • This funding is being used by Elevate, North Central Health Care, Tellurian, and Waukesha County to develop and operate crisis stabilization facilities for adults. These facilities are expected to open in phases beginning in 2023. They will serve specific regions.
  • This funding is also supporting state infrastructure related to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, including the 988 Wisconsin Lifeline, which is managed by Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin.

Children's system of care development

This funding was used to advance the wraparound model of care for children with mental health and substance use needs.

Substance use treatment for people who identify as female

This funding is being used to expand access to substance use treatment services for people who identify as female. Grants were awarded to Bethany Christian Services, Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin, and Lutheran Social Services.

Mental health and substance use recovery supports

This funding will be used to support the operations of peer-run respites in La Crosse and Milwaukee and peer recovery centers in La Crosse, Manitowoc, and Wautoma. This funding will also be used to support additional substance use recovery coaches for hospital emergency rooms.

Local mental health and substance use services

This funding will be used by tribal nation and county agencies to enhance local mental health and substance use treatment services based on community needs.

Substance use data dashboards

This funding is being used to develop a system to more timely collect and provide data related to Wisconsin's opioid epidemic.

State operations

This funding is being used to cover the salaries and benefits for additional staff to support grantees.

Last revised August 26, 2023