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Reaching More Individuals Every Day

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) a grant for the Alabama Telehealth Expansion Project (AL-TEP), a strategic initiative to reduce health disparities prevalent in rural areas by targeting the delivery of treatment and services.

With the AL-TEP grant, the department aims to broaden telehealth treatment services for mental health conditions, substance use disorders (SUD) and opioid use disorders (OUD) through collaborative support from certified treatment providers, offering necessary services in the state’s rural communities.

“The Alabama Department of Mental Health is expanding access to care for all Alabamians every day,” said ADMH Commissioner Kimberly Boswell. “But we recognize the unmet demand for substance use disorder treatment, especially in rural areas of our state. This grant will help to reach underserved populations by delivering essential substance use treatment.”

“Exploring different endeavors to provide Alabama’s rural communities quality healthcare is an ongoing battle we are winning,” said Nivory Gordon, Jr., State Director, Alabama Rural Development. “Rural America is the fabric of our country, and opportunities like this one partnering with Commissioner Boswell and her Department’s initiatives to provide Alabamians every opportunity to flourish is exactly why Rural Development is here.”

Of the state’s roughly 4.9 million citizens, more than 43 percent reside in rural areas, with a significant number facing gaps in behavioral health care. Thirteen percent of rural counties lack behavioral healthcare providers. Even in counties where providers are present, the provider-to-population ratio is considerably lower than in urban areas.

The grant is expected to impact more than 37,000 Alabamians and demonstrates ADMH’s commitment to increasing the role of technology in expanding and coordinating comprehensive care, integrated services and clinical treatment while improving outcomes in rural mental health services.

The following agencies have been awarded funds to service the AL-TEP grant:

  • The Shoulder (Baldwin County)
  • Family Life (Formerly New Pathways in Blount County)
  • Highland Health Systems (HHS in Cleburne County)
  • SpectraCare
  • Midland City Co-Occurring (Dale County)
  • Abbeville (Henry County)
  • West Alabama Mental Health Center (WAMHC)
  • Butler (Choctaw County)
  • Eutaw (Greene County)
  • Greensboro (Hale County)
  • Livingston (Sumter County)
  • Kolbe Clinic (Elmore County)