New Federal Actions to Address Youth Mental Health

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced two new actions to strengthen school-based mental health services and address the youth mental health crisis. 1. Awarding the first of nearly $300 million the President secured through the FY2022 bipartisan omnibus agreement to expand access to mental health services in schools. Next week, the Department of Education will begin the process to disburse almost $300 million Congress appropriated in FY22 through both the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and the FY22 Omnibus to help schools hire more school-based mental health professionals and build a strong pipeline into the profession for the upcoming school year. In total, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will invest $1 billion over the next five years in mental health supports in our schools, making progress towards the President’s goal to double the number of school counselors, social workers and  and other mental health professionals.  2. Encouraging Governors to Invest More in School-Based Mental Health Services. In a letter sent today to Governors across the country, the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services highlight federal resources available to states and schools to invest in mental health services for students. The joint letter from Secretaries Becerra and Cardona highlights actions by the Biden-Harris Administration to improve the delivery of health care in schools and make sure children enrolled in Medicaid have access to comprehensive health care services, as required by law. The letter also previews forthcoming Medicaid guidance on how states can leverage Medicaid funding to deliver critical mental health care services to more students, including ways to make it easier to bill Medicaid for these services. You can read more (there is a lot more to read on this!) here.

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