LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – More money is headed to facilities in Arkansas looking to help people experiencing a mental health crisis.
On Tuesday, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and officials with the Arkansas Department of Human Services announced more funding was being allocated to four Crisis Stabilization Units that help people in crisis at mental health facilities around the state.
According to the DHS, CSUs are alternatives to jails and emergency rooms for people in crisis who encounter law enforcement. DHS officials said the purpose of the plan is so the CSUs can enhance their services and achieve financial stability over the next nine months.
For the 2023 state fiscal year, Sanders signed into law annual CSU funding of $3 million. Officials said the governor had initially agreed to supplement CSU funding for the first three months of the fiscal year.
A DHS release stated the new plan continues a $90,000 per month funding for the rest of the state’s fiscal year, paid for by redirecting Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant money to the CSUs. In return, DHS officials said the CSUs were asked to find ways to increase reimbursable services so they can continue operations when the funding ends on June 30, 2024.
Officials with the DHS said the CSUs were also asked to submit a plan to the DHS that improves their services with a focus on community collaboration and increased admissions, so the facilities can be financially solvent beyond next July.
DHS Secretary Kristi Putnam said the department was looking forward to working with the CSUs as they improve operations.
“I am confident the CSUs will implement changes that best reflect the communities they serve, and each plan will be unique in its scope and approach,” Putnam said. “We are looking forward to working with them as they optimize behavioral health services by maximizing resources and positioning themselves to succeed as critical community partners in the long term.”
More information about each of the state’s CSUs can be found on the DHS website.