Audio File of Radio Address.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today delivered the Democratic Radio Address highlighting investments to expand access to mental and behavioral health support services and substance use treatment through a new pilot program using the hub-and-spoke model of care.

Hey there, folks. Governor Tony Evers here.

This past year presented uncertainty, isolation, and other significant changes to our daily lives.

We’ve seen the consequences of this pandemic play out with so many people experiencing increased stress, anxiety, depression, and challenges keeping up with their mental health. Additionally, and unfortunately, we’ve also seen a concerning increase in substance misuse and opioid-related tragedies in our state.

Even one life lost to opioid misuse is one too many, but in 2020 alone, opioid-related deaths took the lives of more than 1,000 of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones.

I’m proud we’re tackling this issue head-on with a new, evidence-based pilot program for something called a“hub-and-spoke” model of care here in Wisconsin which will help people have access to comprehensive healthcare resources while focusing on ongoing, long-term, and integrated treatment and support.

We also know that when it comes to substance misuse, early intervention is key. This week, we also announced a $2 million investment aimed at increasing mental health services for underserved communities through the Wisconsin United Coalition of Mutual Assistance Association.

We’ve invested $47 million of our ARPA funds to increase community-level support for people dealing with mental health challenges and working to overcome substance use disorder—with $22 million of these funds going towards Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Block grants.

These grants will assist counties and tribal communities in addressing their unique needs, such as expanding access to NARCAN, supporting medication-assisted treatment, and expanding recovery and peer-support services.

These are important steps forward towards ensuring everyone has access to quality, affordable healthcare, including mental and behavioral health services and treatment.

Thank you. 

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