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Biden-Harris administration announces two new actions to address youth mental health crisis

The Biden-Harris Administration provided new strategies to tackle youth mental health crisis by adding funding to help employ school-based mental health staff.

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Mental health crisis continues to be a major issue among young people. Prior to the pandemic, the rates for depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts were on the rise, something the pandemic exacerbated. The disruption to everyday life, learning, relationships, and the increasing isolation cause the mental deterioration in young people. According to the Department of Education “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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on April 1, 2022 stating the lack of adequate resources at home to combat mental health during the COVID-9 pandemic. 

As a result, “President Biden put forward in his first State of the Union a comprehensive national strategy to tackle out mental health crisis, and called for a major transformation in how mental health is understood, accessed, treated, and integrated—in and out of health care settings,” as stated by the U.S. Department of Education. 

On July 29, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced two new actions to address the youth mental health crisis and how to provide the resources needed in school. 

In the first place, the Department of Education will begin the process to disburse almost $300 million to help schools hire more school-based mental health professionals. This will consist of The Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant Program (MHSP), School-Based mental Health (SBMH) Services Grant Program, fostering trauma-informed services in school, expanding mental health services through full-service community schools, and responding to childhood trauma associated with community violence. 

The second is persuading governors to invest in school-based mental health services through:

  • Inhaling delivery of school-based mental health 
  • Expanding community based behavioral health services
  • Improving oversight of medicaid’s early and periodic screening, diagnostic and treatment benefit. 
  • Increasing access to children’s mental health services
  • Expanding training for pediatric providers
  • Supporting community and first responders mental health training
  • Building awareness of and access to mental health series 
  • Providing support after traumatic events
  • Inhaling the 9-8-8 suicide and crisis lifeline
  • Improving conditions for student learning
  • Expanding access to out of school programs 

For more information about Biden-Harris new actions to address youth mental health crisis, click here.

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