MAY 31, 2022 (Reprint from NYAPRS ENEWS)
As we mark Mental Health Awareness Month, our country faces an unprecedented mental health crisis among people of all ages. Two in five American adults report symptoms of anxiety and depression, and more than half of parents express concern over their children’s mental well-being. Over forty percent of teenagers state they struggle with persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. These growing demands have exposed longstanding cracks in our care infrastructure while compounding many other domestic policy challenges, from criminal justice to homelessness to the labor shortage.
To address this crisis, as part of his Unity Agenda, President Biden has put forward a comprehensive national strategy to tackle our mental health crisis, and used his State of the Union Address to call for a major transformation in how mental health is understood, accessed, treated, and integrated – in and out of health care settings. Across the federal government, the Administration has already invested nearly $4 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to expand access to mental health and substance use services. The President’s FY23 budget goes further, by proposing over $27 billion in discretionary funding and another $100 billion in mandatory funding over 10 years to implement his national strategy and transform behavioral health services for all Americans.
This month, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking additional, new actions to advance the President’s mental health strategy across its three objectives: strengthening system capacity, connecting more Americans to care, and creating a continuum of support.