Feds give state $7 million to help deal with lingering behavioral-health impacts of 2019 flooding in 21 Eastern Kentucky counties

Grant will help three southeastern regions, highlighted by roughly patterned area.

Kentucky is getting a $7 million federal grant to expand behavioral-health services in 21 Appalachian counties to help deal with the effects of severe weather in the region last February and March.

“Many counties in Eastern Kentucky suffered terrible loss in 2019 and continue to experience the impact of the flooding and mudslides there,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a news release.
The grant will fund crisis services, mental-health and substance-use-disorder treatment, recovery services and other related supports to about 3,000 people affected by the disasters in areas served by three community mental-health centers: Mountain Comprehensive CareKentucky River Community Care, and Cumberland River Behavioral Health.
“Natural disasters have a serious and often lasting impact on the mental health of communities, who experience large scale destruction, home loss, injuries, and often deaths,” Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander said in the release. “All of these things, coupled with the fear of disaster happening again, can take a toll on mental health. It is critical we have resources to adequately support our crisis response mechanisms in affected areas to assure we can mitigate the psychological impact of these often life-altering, tragic events.”
Efforts the grant will fund include:

  • Coordination and assessment of crisis-response capacity and behavioral-health services and development of a comprehensive plan to address those needs.
  • Prevention, counseling, mental-health and crisis services in schools.
  • Community education and outreach.
  • Mental-health and substance-use-disorder services for uninsured or under-insured adults, and expanded access to treatment.
  • Recovery support including housing, transportation and job services.
  • Support for quick response teams or enhanced crisis-response teams for assertive community outreach and engagement for individuals and families in crisis.
  • Expanded telehealth services.

The money will go from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to the state Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental, and Intellectual Disabilities.

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