The Montgomery County Commissioners Court unanimously agreed to allow $6 million of the funding it received from the American Rescue Plan Act to be used by Tri-County Behavioral Healthcare for mental health services during an Aug. 10 meeting.

Precinct 4 Commissioner James Metts said the funding will remain available through Dec. 31, 2022, and will help re-establish mental health services in east Montgomery County.

Evan Roberson, Tri-County Behavioral Healthcare executive director, said the clinic will have some discretion on the use of the funds within the confines of the final regulations and the interlocal agreement it is working on with the county.

"We are very grateful to Judge Keough and the Commissioners Court for their willingness to invest into the behavioral health system of care in Montgomery County," Roberson said in an email. "Many of the focus areas above were developed in collaboration with our community partners including the Montgomery County Behavioral Health and Suicide Prevention Taskforce that is led by Judge Wayne Mack."

According to Roberson, some of the ways the ARPA funds can be used are for:

  • premium pay for low- and moderately paid essential workers that work in direct contact with the persons Tri-County Behavioral Healthcare serves;

  • crisis services enhancement and funding to cover losses in crisis services related to hospitalization and the Crisis Stabilization Unit;

  • expanded access to treatment which includes additional intake positions and a behavioral health services navigation project;

  • enhanced child and youth treatment; and

  • systems of care planning.

Roberson said the interlocal agreement with Montgomery County is anticipated to be finalized in September, after which Tri-County Behavioral Healthcare can begin utilizing the funding.