By WCCO-TV Staff

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) —  Gov. Tim Walz announced Friday $2.86 million to help Minnesota children experiencing a behavioral health crisis get the care they need, while also supporting the state’s hospitals as they continue to manage limited capacity due to COVID-19.

Hospitals all around the state have seen an influx of children with high behavioral health care needs during the pandemic and struggle to transition them to lower levels of care, according to the release.

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Walz’s proposal uses $2.5 million from the American Rescue Plan funding to maintain and expand capacity at psychiatric residential treatments facilities for children who no longer need care, said the release. The proposal also includes another $360,000 for intensive coordination services to help families and providers.

“Children in crisis deserve compassionate, appropriate care that helps them transition out of hospitals and back to their families and guardians when they’re ready,” said Walz. “This proposal uses federal funds to take quick action and help address mental health treatment for kids across the state.”

Many health treatment programs have reported reductions in capacity due to workforce shortages.

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Around $500,000b will be available to each children’s psychiatric residential treatment facility to cover costs such as retention bonuses, overtime costs, staff training, and activities related to hospital transfers, said the release.

President Biden’s American Rescue Plan provides $8.5 billion to Minnesota to support COVID-19 recovery efforts.

Details on Walz’s proposal are here.

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