November 15, 2022
Over the past few months, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced hundreds of millions in funding to support and expand mental health services across the country to help address the country’s mental health crisis.
“The California Medical Association (CMA) is thankful for the Biden Administration’s commitment to addressing our chronically underfunded mental health care system,” said CMA President Donaldo Hernandez M.D. “I applaud the tireless efforts of mental health professionals, including our psychiatrists who have worked hard to fill in gaps that chronic underfunding has created, but it is time to finally give our mental health care system the attention it deserves for the sake of the millions of Americans who are suffering with mental illness.”
The new mental health funding includes:
- $27 Million to Expand Support for Pediatric Mental Health Care: HHS announced awards of nearly $27 million to expand support for mental health care for children nationwide. This includes a $300,000 grant to UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Hospitals Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Portal. The funding will be used to provide timely mental health support to children and adolescents by training pediatricians to treat mental health conditions. Additionally, it will allow providers to implement telehealth options to expand access to mental health care.
- $315 Million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics: HHS provided $315 million in funding from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act for new and existing Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics across the country.
- $100 Million for Mental Health Emergency Preparedness: HHS has also announced it will be providing more than $100 million from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act funding to states and territories for mental health emergency preparedness, crisis response, and the expansion of 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline services.
Over the past five years, California has also committed to investing billions of new dollars to improve mental health services across all delivery systems.
Mental health is one of CMA’s top priorities, and was declared one of the major issues discussed at the association’s 2022 House of Delegates. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on our nation’s mental health crisis, CMA has long advocated for additional funding and support for behavioral health services, including screening, prevention and treatment.
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