COVID Relief Fund to Boost Vermont Mental Health Services | Vermont News

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MONTPELIER, Vermont (AP) – The state of Vermont will use $ 4.6 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to help improve mental health services in the state, officials said on Friday.

The Department of Mental Health will use federal funds to help local mental health agencies and other services deliver services, the state said.

As part of the program, Vermont is investing $ 600,000 in a one-year pilot project to ease pressure on services in Rutland County, which has the highest average number of emergency room visits in the state for children and youth with mental health needs.

The program will be up and running on October 1, by which time any family in Rutland County can request immediate support, and a team from Rutland Mental Health Services will respond.

“It’s a way to give families support where and when they need it, before a mental health crisis or more intensive hospital services are needed,” said Mental Health Commissioner Emily Hawes .

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An additional $ 4 million will be distributed later this year to expand existing housing and community mental health services across the state or to bring facilities into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It would be hard to overstate the importance of these updates,” Hawes said.

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