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Mills proposes additional $19 million in state funds for behavioral health

Gov. Janet Mills is proposing to spend an additional $19 million in state funding to bolster behavioral health services.

In a written announcement, Mills says the funding is needed to address increased demand for mental health treatment that's causing some people with behavioral health challenges to turn to hospital emergency departments for help.

The funding is also intended to strengthen Maine's mental health system in the long term. Mills' proposal would provide one-time payments rates for a range of community-based and residential services for children and adults, as well as higher reimbursement rates for certain key services.

If the additional state funding is approved in Governor Mills' supplemental budget, it would leverage $17 million in federal dollars for a total of nearly $37 million.