The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded nearly $245 million in Bipartisan Safer Communities Act funding – $185.7 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and nearly $60 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) – to support youth mental health, help the health care workforce address mental health needs, and fund other critical mental health supports. Addressing the mental health crisis is a top priority of the Biden-Harris Administration, as part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda. The bipartisan legislation signed into law by President Joe Biden in June provided HHS with vital resources to help children and families across the country.
“Investments from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will support critical programs for youth and their mental health, including school-based programs that meet children and families where they are,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Advancing youth mental health is a top priority for HHS and this Administration, and we’re encouraged by the continued bipartisan support of these critical programs.”
SAMHSA’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act awards include:
- $73.6 million for Project Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education (Project AWARE) to help develop and support school-based mental health programs and services;
- $57.7 million in Mental Health Awareness Training grants to prepare and train school personnel, emergency first responders, law enforcement and others to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health challenges to enable early intervention;
- $14.9 million for School Based Trauma-Informed Support Services and Mental Health Care for Children and Youth to increase student access to evidence-based and culturally relevant trauma support services and mental health care;
- $19.5 million for the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative, to improve treatment and services for children, adolescents, and families who have experienced traumatic events; and,
- $20 million in Resiliency in Communities after Stress and Trauma grants to promote resilience and equity and prevent violence in communities that have recently faced civil unrest, community violence, and/or collective trauma.
HRSA’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act awards include:
- Nearly $60 million to support the integration of mental health training into the training of primary care clinicians, with a specific focus on preparing primary care providers to treat the mental health needs of children and adolescents.
“We are all concerned about the mental health of children and young people in this country,” said Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of SAMHSA. “The additional funding for youth mental health programs provided under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act helps SAMHSA develop and expand programs that help children, youth and their families get the support and care they need.”
“Often the first person you turn to when you or your kids need mental health support is your trusted primary care provider—yet for too long, we haven’t given those primary care providers the mental health training they need to help. With funding from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the Health Resources and Services Administration is investing in making mental health a part of primary care training so that there is no wrong door when your family needs support, said Carole Johnson, HHS Administrator of HRSA.”
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.
Anyone seeking treatment for mental health or substance use issues should call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357) or visit findtreatment.samhsa.gov.