Mass. Commission Recommends Behavioral Health Uses for $192M

Photo courtesy of Alexius Horatius

HYANNIS – Recommendations on how to utilize $192 million in federal funding for behavioral health causes across Massachusetts have been made by a panel of state lawmakers.

The members of the Behavioral Health Advisory Commission, which is co-chaired by Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr (D), made their unanimous suggestions to the legislature after beginning work in November.

The group said supporting healthcare providers and staff members was of paramount concern.

The most notable proposal by the commission is issuing $80 million to $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act money to the MA Repay Program, which reimburses health and human service professionals for their student loan payments.

The group said the program is a vital tool for recruiting and retaining members of the health workforce. Additional education-related initiatives, like money for scholarships and paid internships, are also included in the pitch.

Investments in expanding behavioral health programs within school and offering more support through providers is in the summary as well, along with covering practice costs and professional fees.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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