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Posted February 22, 2022 | 3:26 PM

Hillsborough Approves Funding for Mental Health Services for Those Affected by COVID-19

24-hour Let's Talk line for behavioral health support and short-term counseling among services that will be available

The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners approved a nearly $2 million contract to provide mental and behavioral health services to help residents impacted by COVID-19.

The 30-month contract will be financed by funds Hillsborough County receives through the American Rescue Plan Act - Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (ARP Funds.)

Local company to provide mental health services

Commissioners unanimously approved the $1.99 million contract with Tampa Bay Thrives, a nonprofit mental health coalition. Tampa Bay Thrives will provide a behavioral program to help residents who are dealing with depression, anxiety, or substance abuse disorder, with a focus on improving early intervention, access, and awareness. The ongoing pandemic has created or exacerbated mental and behavioral health issues for millions of Americans, and the program will offer additional care and treatment to Hillsborough County residents.

Tampa Bay Thrives will provide a 24-hour Let's Talk line for behavioral health support and navigation, short-term counseling that will serve as a bridge to longer-term care if needed, and a research and awareness campaign focusing on addressing stigma towards mental and behavioral health in Hillsborough County. The organization will conduct an annual survey of county residents regarding mental health and substance abuse and the impact of COVID-19 to identify service gaps and create solutions. In addition, Tampa Bay Thrives will create a community-wide marketing campaign focused on reducing the stigma of mental and behavioral health, providing resources, and increasing residents' knowledge of existing resources.

The contract expires Aug. 31, 2024.

About the Hillsborough County American Rescue Plan Investment Plan

The Hillsborough County American Rescue Plan Investment Plan, approved by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on Sept. 1, 2021, provides a framework for investing the $285 million in federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds in the community. The funding will support vital projects throughout the county related to water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure; public health response; negative economic impacts; and revenue replacement for certain government services.

Projects funded by Hillsborough County must meet the guidelines established by the federal government while addressing the County's unique community needs and reflecting the BOCC's collective values in addressing residents' needs. The contract with Tampa Bay Thrives for mental and behavioral health services is one of the programs funded under this plan by the BOCC.

Learn more about Hillsborough County projects funded by the American Rescue Plan.

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