Administration Announces Efforts to Address Youth Mental Health Crisis
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) is encouraged by the recent actions taken by the Biden Administration and Congress to address the youth mental health crisis facing American families. While these are important steps which we commend, more is needed to ensure that all children can access the mental health services they need, when and where they need them.
As referenced in today’s announcement from the White House, more than 40% of teenagers state that they struggle with persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, and more than half of parents and caregivers express concern over their children’s mental well-being. The announcement includes awarding the first of nearly $300 million through the FY2022 bipartisan omnibus agreement to expand access to mental health services in schools and encourages governors to invest more in school-based mental health services.
These actions represent positive progression addressing the youth mental health crisis. School-based mental health services are critical for prevention and early intervention, and investing in the children's mental health workforce pipeline is essential to make that expansion possible.
We look forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress to pass bipartisan legislation and implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act which:
- Improves oversight of Medicaid’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment Benefit.
- Directs CMS to provide guidance to states on how they can increase access to behavioral health through telehealth under Medicaid and CHIP.
- Reauthorizes and expands the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access program into new settings, including emergency departments and schools.
- Establishes a technical assistance center to award grants to support schools in providing covered school-based health services under Medicaid and CHIP.
- And other provisions, to improve awareness of children’s mental health needs, increase access to school and community-based supports and services, and enhance the implementation of 988.
Children's hospitals look forward to continuing to work with the administration and with Congress to address the national crisis in youth mental health and to ensure our nations children receive the support to learn and grow.
For more information, visit: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Two New Actions to Address Youth Mental Health Crisis.