Children’s Hospitals, Experts Urge Congress to Address Children’s Mental Health Crisis
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, over 80 executives and leading mental health experts from children’s hospitals across the country traveled to Washington, D.C. to call on Congress and the administration to comprehensively address the mental health emergency in our children and youth. They met with Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, congressional committees' leadership and members of Congress.
The discussions come at a time when bipartisan mental health solutions are top of mind for many in Congress working to enhance support for children’s mental health and follows the Surgeon General’s advisory last year stressing the urgent need to address issues impacting our children’s mental health. Children’s hospital leaders shared frontline experiences of patients, families and staff and explained the resources still needed from congressional and HHS leaders.
“Children’s hospitals continue to put a priority on finding effective solutions for the children and families in crisis in their communities,” said Amy Wimpey Knight, president of CHA. “Working with pediatricians, community services and schools, we are committed to providing and connecting families to the resources they need. Secretary Becerra and Surgeon General Murthy have been crucial in raising awareness of the crisis’ scale and seriousness.”
One area of focus will be on strengthening the pediatric behavioral health workforce, including community-based and professional resources. The Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program, created 20 years ago, is a vital national investment in strengthening the pediatric workforce and expanding timely access to care for children in communities large and small. It represents just 2% of total federal spending on graduate medical education (GME).
The sobering realities of the pediatric mental health crisis will be balanced by the recognition of six members of Congress with Champion for Children’s Health awards, recognizing their steadfast commitment to advancing legislative solutions which benefit the physical and mental well-being of children across the country. The 2022 recipients include:
- Senator Bob Casey, D-Pa.
- Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La.
- Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del.
- Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas
- Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif.
- Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.