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SAMHSA Awards $5.6 Million for Emergency Medical Services Training in America’s Rural Communities

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded $5.6 million to strengthen the role of emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in rural America.

SAMHSA’s Rural EMS Training Grant will fund the recruitment and training of EMS personnel in rural areas, with a particular focus on addressing mental health and substance use disorders in emergency settings.

“SAMHSA recognizes the urgent need for emergency services in America’s rural areas and the critical role EMS personnel serve throughout the Nation,” said Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., the U.S. Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, and the leader of SAMHSA. “For example, in cases of overdose or attempted suicide, EMS personnel provide critical response and life-saving supports.” 

In addition to training EMS personnel to meet licensing and certifications requirements, each grantee will ensure personnel are trained on mental health and substance use disorders and care for people with such disorders in emergency situations. Recipients of this funding will also acquire emergency medical services equipment, purchase FDA-approved opioid overdose antidotes, and train EMS personnel on the use of those antidotes in cases of opioid overdose emergency response. Thirty-two grantees are receiving a total of $5.6 million. Recipients of the Rural EMS Training grant can be viewed here.

People looking for treatment resources can call SAMHSA’s 24/7 National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357) or can visit http://findtreatment.gov.

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Reporters with questions should send inquiries to media@samhsa.hhs.gov.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes.

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