June 12, 2024

Biden-Harris Administration Takes Action to Address Nation’s Mental Health Crisis: New Investments and Resources Announced

President Joe Biden, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Beccera and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, delivers remarks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Friday, July 8, 2022, prior to signing an executive order protecting access to reproductive healthcare services. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

The Biden-Harris Administration has announced new actions to address the mental health crisis in the nation. These actions come in response to the alarming rise in mental health challenges experienced by people of all ages, exacerbated by factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, social media, and gun violence.

In 2021, approximately two in five American adults reported symptoms of anxiety and depression, while forty-four percent of high school students expressed persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Biden-Harris Administration has committed to tackling this crisis head-on.

As part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda, a comprehensive national strategy has been released to transform the understanding, accessibility, treatment, and integration of mental health across healthcare settings. Significant investments have already been made through the President’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) to expand access to mental health services. The proposed FY24 budget aims to allocate additional funding to transform behavioral health services for all Americans.

On the Mental Health Day of Action, and throughout Mental Health Awareness Month, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing crucial actions to advance the President’s mental health strategy across three key objectives: strengthening the mental health workforce and system capacity, connecting more Americans to care, and creating a continuum of support.

To strengthen the mental health workforce and system capacity, the Administration is taking the following actions:

  1. Increasing the size and diversity of the behavioral health workforce: The Department of Education (ED) has allocated over $280 million in funding to enhance the pipeline of mental health professionals serving in schools and expand school-based mental health services and supports. Recently, ED awarded $95 million in grants across 35 states to increase access to school-based mental health services and strengthen the pipeline of mental health professionals in high-needs school districts. It is projected that these funds will create more than 14,000 new mental health professionals in U.S. schools.
  2. Expanding access to peer support: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will soon release the National Model Standards for Peer Support Certification. These standards aim to improve consistency and promote quality in peer certifications to support the growing number of peer workers across the nation.
  3. Enhancing crisis response: SAMHSA has made available over $200 million for states, territories, call centers, and Tribal organizations to strengthen 988 operations. This funding will ensure that individuals in crisis have access to vital services. SAMHSA will also announce over $9 million in awards for community crisis response partnerships, supporting mobile crisis response teams to provide faster access to trained mental health professionals for adults and youth in high-need communities.
  4. Expanding proven models of care: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has granted 15 one-year state planning grants to help states develop the necessary capacity to participate in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) Medicaid Demonstration. CCBHCs provide comprehensive 24/7 behavioral health care, including crisis care, to vulnerable Americans regardless of their ability to pay.

To connect more Americans to care, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking the following actions:

  1. Making it easier to find help: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched FindSupport.Gov, a free online resource that offers easy access to information and support for mental health, drug, and alcohol issues.
  2. Providing mental health services in schools: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Education (ED) have released updated guidance and proposed rules to simplify Medicaid billing for health services provided in schools under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Additionally, the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) has initiated the Behavioral Health and Wellness Program to provide trauma-informed behavioral health and
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments