Smith & Murkowski introduce bills on mental health & substance abuse

WASHINGTON (KVRR) – Senator Tina Smith introduces bills to fund mental health initiatives and help those with substance abuse.

The Stopping the Mental Health Pandemic Act would give federal money to states, tribes and communities to address behavioral health needs that may have gotten worse during the pandemic. Money would be used for training, technology upgrades and suicide prevention.

The Emergency Support for Substance Use Disorders Act would prioritize resources for areas with high overdose death rates and prevention and recovery efforts.

“It lets folks who are working either in local nonprofits or in local health centers or county hospitals or any local organization can apply for these dollars and they know best what is needed,” Smith said.

Republican Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is a co-author on both bills and both have a companion bill introduced in the House.

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