SAMHSA Emergency Funding Opportunity: SAMHSA recently released a grant funding opportunity announcement (FOA) entitled, “Emergency Grants to Address Mental and Substance Use Disorders During COVID-19”. The short title for this program is “Emergency COVID-19” and applications are due no later than Friday, April 10, 2020. The purpose of this program is to provide crisis intervention services, mental and substance use disorder treatment, and other related recovery supports for children and adults impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding will be provided for states, territories, and tribes to develop comprehensive systems to address these needs. The program is specifically designed to address the needs of individuals with serious mental illness, individuals with substance use disorders, and/or individuals with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Additionally, the program will also focus on meeting the needs of individuals with mental disorders that are less severe than serious mental illness, including those in the healthcare profession. **Note: SAMHSA has shortened the application timeline due to the acute need in many areas for immediate funding. If SAMHSA does not receive applications for the full funding amount available within this timeframe, the application period will be extended. Each entity will only receive one award from this announcement. Funds will be distributed on a rolling basis.
SAMHSA has collated resources onto its Coronavirus (COVID-19) page. This page has resources and information, guidance for Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs), and additional federal guidance from agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Digital Peer Recovery Support Services for People with Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders
SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) is hosting a webinar (Thursday, April 9, 2020 from 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EDT) about providing digital peer recovery support services for people with mental illness and substance use disorders. The event will explore the practical aspects of using technology to offer peer recovery support services, including assessing which platform to use; how to engage people with technology; digital communication skills; technology literacy and usage skills; and consent, privacy, and confidentiality. During the webinar, experts will offer practical advice, resources, and lessons learned from their collective experience developing, evaluating, and providing various forms of digital peer recovery support services. Register for the virtual event
SAMHSA Training and Technical Assistance
SAMHSA has a list of Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19 that discusses available products and resources, recorded webinars, and upcoming webinars that touch on both providing services and also self-care within the office.
SAMHSA Guidance - SAMHSA has issued:
Updated FAQs for Opioid use disorder prescribing and dispensing in the COVID-19 emergency dated March 19, 2020 gives information about prescribing methadone and buprenorphine for the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in the COVID-19 emergency.
COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Response and 42 CFR Part 2 Guidance discusses the rules on disclosing substance use disorder records and notes when a medical emergency exists.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights has created a page about HIPAA, Civil Rights, and COVID-19 that provides guidance to help explain civil rights laws and how the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Privacy Rule allows patient information to be shared in the outbreak of infectious disease and in order to assist patients in receiving the care they need. This page has notifications about enforcement discretion, discusses the disclosure of private health information to first responders, has a section on frequently asked questions on HIPAA and telehealth, and provides links to bulletins on this issue.
The National Council for Behavioral Health has created a site with Resources and Tools for Addressing Coronavirus (COVID-19). The site has a large amount of information and highlights new resources and events, resources for behavioral health organizations, general behavioral health resources and guidance for behavioral health residential facilities.
Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network (MHTTC) has begun hosting Telehealth Learning and Consultation (TLC) Tuesdays which is a weekly online series for providers who are unfamiliar with telehealth. During this series, Technology Transfer Center (TTC) Network specialists will devote the first segment of each hour-long session to a specific topic, then address questions submitted by TTC Tuesday registrants. Recordings of the presentations as well as additional resources will be posted on this page as they become available. You must register separately for each TLC Tuesdays session.
The American Psychological Association’s APA PsycNET page posted a commentary entitled “The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak: Amplification of Public Health Consequences by Media Exposure”. This commentary reviews research suggesting that repeated media exposure to community crisis can lead to increased anxiety, heightened stress responses that can lead to downstream effects on health, and misplaced health-protective and help-seeking behaviors that can overburden health care facilities and tax available resources; draws from work on previous public health crises; and offers recommendations on effective communications during a public health crisis.
Washington Post: “People in Addiction Treatment are Losing Crucial Support During Coronavirus Pandemic” March 27, 2020.