Statement on President Biden's State of the Union Address to the Nation
For more information, contact Elleni Almandrez
WASHINGTON, DC — Tonight, President Biden will give his State of the Union address and acknowledge the increasing mental health crisis for all Americans, especially for our children and youth. The president will also present a national mental health strategy to strengthen system capacity, connect more Americans to care and create a continuum of support.
Children’s Hospital Association applauds the Biden Administration for these critical first steps in responding to a longstanding mental health crisis which, for our kids, accelerated into a national emergency due to the pandemic. Our children need help now, and we call on the president and Congress to take actions specifically targeted to alleviating the pediatric boarding crisis and improving pediatric mental health care:
- Increase critical investments in pediatric behavioral health services, such as Medicaid parity with Medicare payment rates for similar services
- Increase investments to support the recruiting, training, mentorship, retention and professional development of a diverse pediatric workforce
- Invest in a more robust pediatric mental health infrastructure for high-acuity patients
- Facilitate greater access to pediatric mental health services through telehealth
- Bolster community and school-based systems of care for children and families
- Strengthen implementation and oversight of mental health parity requiring comparable reimbursement of mental health and physical health services
On behalf of the nation’s children’s hospitals, we look forward to working with the president and Congress to making our mental health care system work for the unique needs of our children.