Arizona AHCCCS recieved $2.4 million crisis counseling grant extension

Arizona’s Medicaid Department received a grant extension on September 3 to help them continue serving eligible individuals with crisis counseling. 

After receiving the original $532,804 crisis counseling grant in June 2020, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) was approved the $2.4 million grant extension in August for continued assistance with crisis counseling for affected residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. 



The Federal Emergency Management Agency extended $118,651 for AHCCCS’ Immediate Services Program (ISP) through September, and the remaining $2.29 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to the Regular Services Program (RSP) through June 2021.

Heidi Capriotti, Public Information Officer for AHCCCS, said this will ensure funds are available consistently for crisis counseling through next year.

“The Immediate Services Program Grant provided funding through September 2nd, 2020 and, with the Regular Services Grant Notice of Award, the RSP takes over the funding on September 3rd, 2020 and will extend funding through June 2nd, 2021. The funding is rolling over from one grant to another,” she said.

All $2.4 million will go towards crisis counseling through different options including telehealth, telephonic, and in-person services provided social distancing guidelines are followed. 

The funding is distributed between the ISP and RSP based on need, as the ISP was created to be a short-term, immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the RSP is a longer-term solution and assistance program.

“The Immediate Services Program is in response to the COVID-19 emergency and was meant to provide funding immediately to set up the crisis counseling services. The Regular Services Program provides funding for the crisis counseling services to continue during the COVID-19 Emergency and beyond,” Capriotti said. “The $2.2 million extends the program another 9 months to ensure services continue to be available to assist those impacted by the pandemic.”

According to an AHCCCS press release, the Crisis Response network will continue to use to provide free crisis counseling services to any Arizona resident affected by COVID-19, with services in English and Spanish. 

AHCCCS contracted with the Crisis Response Network, Capriotti said, to implement crisis counseling services in Arizona using this funding. 

“Crisis counselors help enhance social and emotional connections to others in the community, and promote effective coping strategies and resilience. The counselors also work closely with community organizations to familiarize themselves with available resources to then refer and connect individuals and families to other necessary services.”