SALEM, Ore. — Last week the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) announced awards totaling $9.7 million to six counties and five tribal governments. The funding will help people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders get the treatment they need, and avoid frequent and costly visits to Oregon emergency departments and involvement with the criminal justice system.

Oregon has one of the highest rates of people with behavioral health needs in the United States. In July 2019 Governor Kate Brown signed legislation creating a grant program to support counties and tribal nations in developing stronger community based continuums of care. The Improving People’s Access to Community-based Treatment, Supports, and Services (IMPACTS) grant program is expected to help reduce millions in local and state expenditures resulting from jail admissions and an overwhelming number of court orders for people to competency restoration at Oregon State Hospital.