Thursday the White House announced hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding to expand, improve and support mental health services across the country.
The announcement, which comes on May's Mental Health Day of Action, lays out how the administration plans to expand the capacity of mental health services, connect more Americans to care, and create a "continuum of support," or an environment that both promotes mental wellness and prevents mental health challenges in the first place.
$200 million in new funds will be allocated to improve the nation's 988 suicide and crisis lifeline, along with other resources for school-based mental health.
The White House said the Department of Education has allocated over $280 million in funds to improve what it calls the "pipeline of mental health services" in U.S. schools. $95 million of it will be grants to 35 states to bolster access to school-based mental health services.
Other initiatives will enhance crisis response, so young people experiencing crisis will get faster access to trained health care professionals. The administration wants to reduce disparities in postpartum mental health outcomes for women from underserved backgrounds. The administration has also launched FindSupport.gov, a free public website where Americans can connect with resources and help to address mental health, drug and alcohol issues.
The new announcements come as the U.S. government says it is working to tackle what it sees as a growing mental health crisis in the United States.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that in 2021 it found that two in five adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of anxiety and depression, with 44 percent of high school students reporting having struggled with persistent feelings of sadness.
Amb. Susan Rice, a Domestic Policy Advisor for President Joe Biden, said, "The nation's mental health crisis is even more acute among young Americans. I see the urgency of tackling our youth mental health crisis not only as a White House official, but also as the mother of two young adults."
Amb. Rice said, "These investments are critical, but this crisis demands further action… The President is continuing to deliver on his commitment to transform mental health care in this country, especially for our youth."
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