State receives $3.5 million grant to enhance mental health services amid pandemic

Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– The pandemic is taking a serious toll on mental health for people of all ages, so on Thursday Governor Ned Lamont announced plans to enhance mental health services in Connecticut.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded the state a $3.5 million five-year grant to enhance a range of suicide prevention activities that will be coordinated among several agencies.

RELATED: CDC grants Connecticut $3.5 million for suicide prevention

The grant, which will run through Aug. 2025, was awarded to the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), but will be a joint effort between the DPH, the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), and UConn Health.

Officials say the grant will work to prevent suicide across all age ranges, but with a focus on several populations that are being disproportionately impacted by suicide or attempted suicide, which includes middle-aged adults, as well as adolescents and young adults.

“This grant will enable us to enhance our suicide prevention efforts and link those impacted to appropriate treatment. Mental health issues continue to be a growing concern across our country, impacting people of all backgrounds, and we have strong partnerships in Connecticut among many organizations to connect people to adequate support. I strongly encourage anyone in need of help to call 2-1-1 any time and speak to trained staff for assistance.”

Governor Lamont

Members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation, including Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and Representatives John Larson, Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro, Jim Himes, and Jahana Hayes, released the following joint statement:

“Many of our fellow Americans are struggling with depression as a result of job loss, social isolation, and a disruption in normalcy that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. This grant will help those who are in a suicidal crisis or emotional distress receive appropriate services. As a delegation, we will continue to fight to ensure Connecticut agencies are provided with the financial assistance to help those in need throughout this pandemic.”

Officials say that Connecticut has one of the lowest rates of suicide in the country at 10.5 deaths per 100,000 people, and is ranked 45th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information regarding suicide prevention or if you or someone you know is in crisis, call 2-1-1 or visit www.preventsuicidect.org.

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