Take Action to Boost the Pediatric Behavioral Health Workforce Now

Take Action to Boost the Pediatric Behavioral Health Workforce Now

America must invest in a specialized, pediatric behavioral health workforce now to ensure that children can receive the care they need.

A robust, diverse, pediatric behavioral health workforce is needed to meet children’s unique mental, emotional, and behavioral health care needs across the full continuum of care. To ensure that children can receive culturally competent, developmentally appropriate care, in suitable settings for their needs, America must invest in a specialized, pediatric behavioral health workforce now.

America faces a national crisis in children and teens’ mental health.

Children cannot afford to wait any longer for action that will better connect them with critical mental health services and support.

Children’s hospitals recommend:

  • Improving access to care through increased reimbursement rates for pediatric behavioral health services in Medicaid and CHIP to keep currently enrolled providers engaged in the program and to encourage more providers to participate.
  • Tailored federal investments to grow and enhance the pediatric behavioral workforce through support for the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce across pediatric behavioral health professional fields, including both clinical and nonclinical roles.
  • Robust funding for the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education program, which supports the training of half the nation’s pediatricians and the majority of pediatric specialists, including child and adolescent psychiatrists.

To address the youth mental health crisis, both immediately and for the long-term, it is essential to strengthen the capacity and reach of our existing pediatric behavioral health care workforce while also investing in recruiting and training the next generation of pediatric mental health professionals.

Children’s hospitals nationwide call on Congress to respond now with targeted policies to advance children’s mental health, by investing in children’s access to care through Medicaid and CHIP and bolstering the dedicated pediatric workforce which serves our nation’s children.


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About Children's Hospital Association

Children’s Hospital Association is the national voice of more than 200 children’s hospitals, advancing child health through innovation in the quality, cost and delivery of care.

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