CounselorsEmpowerACA Government Affairs Blog

The ACA Government Affairs team strives to keep the counseling community connected with important legislative news, updates, and announcements that affect the profession. Questions? Want to get involved in our advocacy efforts? Email us at 


Dec 17, 2019

Senate Finance proposal could extend funding for Community Behavioral Health Clinics

The Senate Finance Committee recently proposed to extend and expand the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) program. If enacted, the legislation would extend funding for the CCBHC program for an additional two years and expand the successful CCBHC program, increasing access and capacity for high-quality mental health and addiction services. 

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics provide:

  • Around-the-clock crisis services,
  • Outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment, including immediate screening,
  • Risk assessment and diagnosis,
  • A coordinated service partnership with emergency rooms, law enforcement and veterans programs.

Initially, eight states received funding through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for CCBHC demonstration programs. Those initial states were Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

With the help of congressional leaders, and due to tireless advocacy efforts from mental health organizations including the American Counseling Association, additional states running CCBHCs currently include California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Texas.

For many years, the American Counseling Association has partnered with the National Council for Behavioral Health, which represents CCBHs. Together, we have pushed for the extension of CCBHC program funding, as well as for Medicare reimbursement for Licensed Professional Counselors working in CCBHCs.

The Senate Finance Committee action is just a first step in a long process, but with your help, we can get this bill to the finish line!

Reach out to your legislators and urge them to cosponsor the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act, H.R. 1767 in the House of Representatives and S. 824 in the Senate.

It is crucial that the delivery of critically needed mental health and substance abuse treatment is not disrupted—and that CCBHC programs and services continue to have a positive impact on the lives of those in need of their help.


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