Following President Joe Biden's State of the Union, on March 2, 2022, Secretary Becerra kicked off the National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health to address the mental health challenges that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including substance use, youth mental health, and suicide. Since kicking off the tour, Secretary Becerra and HHS leaders have been traveling across the country to hear directly from Americans about the mental health challenges they're facing and engage with local leaders to strengthen the mental health and crisis care system in our communities. This tour is part of HHS' ongoing efforts to support the Biden-Harris Administration's whole-of-government strategy to transform mental health services for all Americans—a key part of the President's Unity Agenda that is reflected in the President's Fiscal Year 2023 budget.
Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month 2022
Learn about efforts made to address the nation’s behavioral health crises over the past year.
Follow along the #HHSTour as officials from across the Department visit different cities engaging with partners, local leaders, and elected officials.
May 25, 2022
Joint Behavioral Health Roundtable
HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson
CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure
Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon
ACF Assistant Secretary January Contreras
CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director Debra Houry
May 18, 2022
A Conversation on Youth Mental Health
Mental health activists from across the country gathered for the first ever Mental Health Youth Action Forum, a partnership between HHS, the White House, and MTV. HHS Secretary Becerra addressed participants about what HHS is doing to confront our country’s mental health crisis.
Radio Media Tour: Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Connecting Kids to Coverage Mental and Behavioral Health Initiative
Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Chief Medical Officer Dr. Aditi Mallick
May 11, 2022
New York, New York
Visit to Children of Bellevue
Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine toured Bellevue, a pioneer in mental health services, to hear about their efforts as we work on a strategy to transform care. From left: Marcia Peters, COO, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue; ADM Rachel Levine; Tom Colichhio, Chef; Jennifer Giasone, Chairperson, Children of Bellevue; William Hicks, CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue; and Sarah Beth Lardie, Executive Director, Children of Bellevue. Photo credit: NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue
May 3, 2022
Health Insurance, Business Leaders Discussion
Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra (right) and Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh (left) met with health insurance and business leaders to discuss mental health parity laws in Washington on May 3, 2022. The conversation focused on how group health plans and insurers can provide mental health treatment coverage in parity as required by law.
Los Angeles, California
Expanded Support for School-Based Health Services Discussion
HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson visited Los Angeles announcing a new federal investment in school-based health care that includes 19 California school-based health centers.
April 28, 2022
Mental Health Roundtable at St. Luke’s University Hospital
From left: Jody McCloud-Missmer, St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Administrator; Dr. James James, Interim Chief of Psychiatry; Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine; Dr. Denise Johnson, Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General; Dr. Richard Anderson, President, and CEO, St. Luke’s University Health Network.
April 26, 2022
Mental Health Roundtable with Historically Black Colleges and Universities at Morehouse School of Medicine
HHS partnered with the African American Behavioral Health-Center of Excellence at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia to host a roundtable event on the mental health of students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
April 19, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
Launch of 988 and Investing in Youth Mental Health
Secretary Becerra visited HELP of Southern Nevada to tour the facility, hear from youth living at the shelter, and meet with local leaders.
April 4, 2022
HHS Region 10 Director Ingrid Ulrey met with leaders from Oregon Health and Science University to discuss behavioral health.
San Diego, California
Youth Mental Health Roundtable with YMCA
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy
March 25, 2022
Mental Health Roundtable
Secretary Becerra attended a mental health roundtable in Denver as part of the National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health. Colorado leaders have established the state’s new Behavioral Health Agency – an important step in Colorado’s fight to protect its youth.
March 22, 2022
Mental Health Roundtable at International Community Health Services
Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Levine meeting with a patient at the International Community Health Services in Seattle, Washington.
March 10, 2022
Union City, California
Mental Health Roundtable
Secretary Becerra met with local leaders to discuss the importance of youth mental health and all the ways that telehealth has been game-changing for young people and communities of color.
March 9, 2022
Mental Health Roundtables
Secretary Becerra hosted a roundtable with Congresswoman Katie Porter and Mayor Farrah N. Khan on what the city of Irvine is doing through their Mobile Crisis Response team and the Irvine Police Department Mental Health Unit – and how we can replicate their success nationwide.
March 4, 2022
Manchester, New Hampshire
Health Center Tour and Roundtable on Strengthening and Streamlining Mental Health Services
The Boys and Girls Club of America has been an important partner to HHS, they offer a safe space for children that’s so critical to their mental health. Secretary Becerra and Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Levine were happy to stop by on Friday with Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig to say hello and check out some great art work.
March 3, 2022
Visit to Nationwide Children’s Hospital
HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson and HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine joined Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff on a visit to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. There, the three of them toured the hospital’s behavioral health treatment and research center where they talked to patients and healthcare workers.
HHS Launches New Maternal Mental Health Hotline
May 6, 2022
As Part of President Biden’s Mental Health Strategy, HHS Awards Nearly $105 Million to States and Territories to Strengthen Crisis Call Center Services in Advance of July Transition to 988
April 19, 2022
ACF is thrilled to partner with colleagues across HHS to advance President Biden and Secretary Becerra’s vision to transform mental health. We have learned so much from our grantees and partners – and most importantly from youth, parents, and kinship caregivers – about the value of integrating mental health support through ACF programs. We are excited for Secretary Becerra’s National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health and look forward to continuing to learn from communities about ways HHS and ACF can advance mental health supports across ACF programs. Transforming mental health provides an enormous opportunity and responsibility to advance equity. We are committed to centering equity in this work so that all children, youth and families can access the support they need to thrive.
-Jennifer M. Cannistra
Acting Assistant Secretary at Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
It is abundantly clear that mental health is an essential component of overall health and that the pandemic has resulted in so many challenges for our mental well-being. At CDC, we continue to support innovative solutions that address mental health and improve access to mental health care. We are proud to be an integral part of the HHS wide approach to improve mental health and ensure that the needs of Americans in all communities are being met.
-Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH
Director at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The pandemic has taken a significant toll on the mental health of our health care workers, families, children, and people across the country. At the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, we are focused on addressing systemic barriers that hinder people with Medicaid & CHIP, Medicare, and Marketplace coverage from getting mental health care services. We also want to encourage health care facilities to make sure their workers can access the help and support they need. Behavioral health care is essential health care. During the national tour, we are eager to hear from those on the ground about the challenges they are experiencing as we work to advance mental health supports for the American people.
Administrator at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Addressing the nation's mental health and behavioral health crises is critically important and the FDA is committed to supporting this work by ensuring those impacted have access to the tools and resources needed to improve their health and well-being.
-Robert M. Califf, M.D.
Commissioner at Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
I applaud Secretary Becerra and the Biden-Harris Administration for taking on the mental health crisis we are currently facing. I look forward to joining this national tour to strengthen mental health. With behavioral health cases skyrocketing during COVID-19, this is a vital step towards helping our nation heal.
-Admiral Rachel L. Levine, M.D.
Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Our country faced a mental health pandemic long before the COVID-19 pandemic began, and it was exacerbated by the traumatic effects of the past two years. That's why, last December, I issued a Surgeon General's Advisory on protecting youth mental health – because it will take policy, institutional, and individual changes alike to reframe and address this crisis with the urgency it deserves. I am grateful to Secretary Becerra and the Biden-Harris Administration for recognizing this, and for their commitment to work with communities across the country to strengthen and protect mental health.
-Vivek Murthy, M.D.
Surgeon General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
At the Health Resources and Services Administration, we stand with the Secretary in his commitment to unity in our national response to mental health needs and know that for the millions of Americans living with a mental health condition or caring for a loved one with a mental health condition, the time for action is now. The trauma and loss of COVID-19 has heightened long-standing needs and inequities in our mental health system, and the Secretary’s National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health will help us chart a path forward to address these gaps so that all Americans can thrive. At HRSA, we will work to dramatically expand the supply, diversity, and cultural competence of the mental health and substance use disorder workforce through our health professions training, scholarship and loan repayment programs; increase the number of community health workers and peers providing behavioral health services; launch new programs to support the mental health and well-being of our heroic health care workers to reduce burnout; expand access to substance use disorder treatment in rural communities, and bolster the work of HRSA-funded community health centers.
Administrator at Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Across Indian Country the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the lives and mental health of many American Indians and Alaska Natives. The National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health will allow the Secretary and leaders across the Department to hear from our communities about the most important issues affecting Native people and provides an opportunity to demonstrate the commitment of IHS, tribes, and urban Indian organizations to deliver culturally-centered and evidence-based behavioral health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Acting Director at Indian Health Services (IHS)
At the National Institutes of Health, we know first-hand that it takes an integrated, collaborative approach to solve the nation’s most pressing health issues. We are proud to partner with staff across government to ensure that we are meeting the mental health needs of all Americans.
-Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Acting Director at National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The challenges of the past two years have brought the ongoing mental health needs of millions of Americans into stark relief. At the National Institute of Mental Health, we have been working hard to understand and address these needs—through investments in research on suicide prevention, early intervention, and mental health disparities—and we stand ready to support the administration’s initiatives to strengthen the nation’s mental health.
-Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.
Director at National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Too many people in our country are experiencing mental health crises without the support and care they need. As we work to transform our crisis care system across America, we must do so in a way that engages those we’re here to serve and ensures equitable access to the services people need—when and where they need them.
-Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use at Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)