$4 million federal grant to expand Waco-area MHMR care | Local Govt. and Politics

A $4 million federal grant may accelerate the coordination of local mental health and substance abuse services for the Heart of Texas Region MHMR Center.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn’s office on Friday announced the awarding of a $3,974,241 Department of Health and Human Services grant to the regional MHMR center to fund services and staffing it anticipates offering as a state-certified community behavioral health clinic.

The Texas Health and Human Services Department is promoting the creation of community behavioral health clinics that coordinate and integrate various behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services. The clinics would make it easier to provide a greater holistic approach for client treatment and services. Presently, the state has 23 such clinics.

The HOT Region MHMR Center has applied for clinic certification, but the two-year federal grant would allow it to start offering such services and hire needed personnel earlier, center spokesperson Vince Erickson said.

“We’re on the cusp of certification, but this allows us to do and expand those services now,” Erickson said.

In his press release, Cornyn said it is important to continue providing mental health and substance abuse resources at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has increased mental health concerns. The grant comes through the HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.