Funds Available for Families Needing Short-term Mental Health Services

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

In the face of the growing need for mental health and substance abuse treatment, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds can be used to help families in need of short-term mental health or substance use treatment services.
The TANF Emergency Fund is a provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The TANF block grant provides states and tribes federal funds and wide flexibility to develop time-limited assistance programs, employment services for parents and an array of specialized services, including mental health and substance abuse services, for struggling families in their communities. For example, a jurisdiction can use federal TANF funds to provide appropriate short-term counseling services such as mental health services.

"Now is a time of great stress for low-income families, putting those already vulnerable to mental health and substance abuse issues at even greater risk," said Carmen R. Nazario, Assistant Secretary for Children and Families with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "We recognize that the challenges facing families looking for a job are complex, and we are committed to building as many partnerships as possible in providing support to Americans in crisis."

"[The Administration for Children and Families] and [the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration] are working together to help ensure that TANF funds are available to states to support substance abuse and mental health services," said Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. "These funds can be used to provide relief to families coping with these disorders and trying to achieve self-sufficiency. All too often mental and substance use disorders are overlooked and go untreated, which undermines the potential for recovery."

More information on the Office of Family Assistance's Welfare PeerTA Web site.

Contact:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Press Office
202-690-6343

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
September 17, 2010