Legislation Would Invest in Kids' Mental Health

Legislation Would Invest in Kids' Mental Health

The bipartisan Health Care Capacity for Pediatric Mental Health Act supports pediatric behavioral health care integration and coordination, workforce training, and increases investments in infrastructure.
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Quick Takes

S. 4472 is a bipartisan bill that creates grant programs that would:

  • Expand the availability of pediatric mental health services across the country.
  • Increase support for critical mental health infrastructure at children's hospitals.
  • Strengthen the pediatric health care workforce's capacity to deliver mental health care.

Introduced by Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa. and Bill Cassidy, R-La., the bipartisan S. 4472, Health Care Capacity for Pediatric Mental Health Act of 2022, legislation takes concrete steps to support pediatric behavioral health care integration and coordination, workforce training, and increases investments in the pediatric behavioral health infrastructure.

The Health Care Capacity for Pediatric Mental Health Act (S. 4472) will establish three new grant programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) uniquely focused on urgent needs with pediatric mental and behavioral health care. Together these grants:

Improve access to community-based services and support.

  • Strengthen community-based pediatric mental health services by enabling communities to implement or develop new programs and policies tailored to meet the mental and behavioral health needs of children.

Support training to enhance the pediatric mental health workforce.

  • Bolster the capacity of the current pediatric health workforce, through expanded mental and behavioral health training and support for pediatric mental health professionals.

Invest in critical pediatric mental health infrastructure.

  • Expand and enhance critical pediatric mental health infrastructure to improve our national capacity to deliver appropriate care for children with more intensive treatment needs, including inpatient psychiatric care and step-down care, such as day programs or intensive outpatient services.
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