Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $200 Million To Support Youth Mental Health
Builds on unprecedented investment through President Biden’s Unity Agenda to tackle the mental health crisis and support community-based behavioral health care and treatment.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), announced $206 million in grant awards towards youth mental health. Also today, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will make more Medicaid funding available for school-based health services in Virginia, improving health care access, including mental health services. Combined, these awards will help expand access to mental health services for students in schools, bolster the behavioral health workforce, and improve access to mental health prevention and treatment for children and youth in communities across the country. And they represent a key next step in President Biden’s Unity Agenda, which is making unprecedented investments to tackle the mental health crisis and transform how mental health is understood, accessed, treated, and integrated in and out of health care settings.
The investments include the following:
- SAMHSA is awarding $131.7 million in grant programs that connect youth and families to behavioral health services.
- HRSA is awarding $55 million to expand access to mental health care for young people, including access to mental health care in schools.
- ACF is awarding $20 million to improve the quality of mental health services provided to children involved in the child welfare system.
- New Medicaid funding that helps expand access to health services, including mental health services, for eligible children in schools.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is deeply committed to tackling the mental health crisis facing America, particularly among our young people. Expanding mental health care services to ensure that everyone who needs help can access care when and where they seek it is a key element of President Biden’s Unity Agenda,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We are transforming mental health and substance use treatment across the country by providing equitable access to services for all Americans. These tools and resources will help families struggling to meet the mental health care needs of their children.”
Recent data confirms that young people need more support to address their mental health and substance use disorder challenges. The most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that nearly three in five U.S. teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021 – representing a nearly 60% increase over the past decade. It also found that 22% of high school students seriously considered attempting suicide during the past year.
“These awards reflect the extraordinary commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration to addressing youth mental health,” said Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm. “The tools and resources that we are providing will help children who are struggling by meeting them and their families where they are, and ensuring there is no wrong door to behavioral health care.”
Supporting at Risk Youth and Families
$131.7 Million from SAMHSA to Support At-risk Youth and Families
- $5.7 million for Planning and Developing Infrastructure to Promote the Mental Health of Children, Youth and Families in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Communities,
- $5.5 million for Cooperative Agreements for School-Based Trauma-Informed Support Services and Mental Health Care for Children and Youth,
- $2.4 million for Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health (Project LAUNCH), $16.4 million for Healthy Transitions: Improving Life Trajectories for Youth and Young Adults with Serious Mental Disorders Program,
- $41.2 million for Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult and Family Treatment Drug Courts,
- $48.3 million for Grants for Expansion and Sustainability of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances (System of Care SOC Expansion and Sustainability),
- $1.8 million for Preventing Youth Overdose: Treatment, Recovery, Education, Awareness and Training,
- $8.7 million for Behavioral Health Partnership for Early Diversion of Adults and Youth, and
- $1.7 million for Family Counseling and Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex+ Youth and Their Families.
Expanding Access to Youth Mental Health Care
$55 Million from HRSA for Expanding Access to Youth Mental Health Care:
- $25 million to 77 HRSA-funded health centers to create new and expand existing school-based health centers,
- $19 million to 25 states and territories to train pediatricians in mental health care and provide real-time teleconsultation for pediatricians to get expert support from psychiatrists and other mental health providers to help them care for their patients’ mental health needs,
- $11 million to 23 organizations to train more behavioral health providers focused on serving children, adolescents, and young adults in underserved and rural areas.
Center to Support Mental Health Services in Child Welfare
$20 Million from ACF to Launch First National Center to Support Mental Health Services in the Child Welfare System:
- $20 million to the National Center to Support Mental Health Services in the Child Welfare System to provide technical assistance and evidence-informed training to strengthen coordination and capacity among child welfare and mental health professionals and systems to improve the quality of mental health services they provide to children, young adults, and their families who are involved in the child welfare system and who have experienced adoption.
Expanding School-Based Health Services
- CMS approved Virginia Free Care School Services State Plan Amendment 21-0017 to allow schools to bill Medicaid for a range of services including mental health, nursing services, and others provided to children in Virginia schools. This is the 5th state this year (and the 16th state overall) to receive “Free Care” SPA approval, and takes advantage of the flexibilities provided in the Delivering Services in School-Based Settings: A Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming released earlier this year.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.
To learn how to get support for mental health, drug, and alcohol issues, visit FindSupport.gov.
Anyone seeking treatment for mental health or substance use issues should call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357) or visit findtreatment.samhsa.gov.
For more information on ACF’s behavioral health initiatives and resources, please visit: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/behavioral-health.