December 10, Vice President Biden announced that $100 million will soon be available to increase access to mental health services and improve mental health facilities.
“The fact that less than half of children and adults with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need is unacceptable. The President and I have made it a priority to do everything we can to make it easier to access mental health services, and today’s announcements by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture build on that commitment.”
- $50 Million for Mental Health Services at Community Health Centers: The Department of Health and Human Services will issue a $50 million funding opportunity to help Community Health Centers establish or expand behavioral health services for people living with mental illness or addiction.
- $50 Million to Improve Mental Health Facilities: Because proximity to mental health services can be a unique challenge in rural America, the Department of Agriculture has a new goal: finance $50 million for the construction, expansion, or improvement of mental health facilities in rural areas over the next three years.
The Affordable Care Act expands mental health and substance abuse disorder benefits and federal parity protections for approximately 60 million Americans. The law also requires most health plans to cover recommended preventive services like depression screenings for adults and behavioral assessments for children at no cost to consumers. And starting in 2014, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage or charge individuals more due to pre-existing health conditions, including mental illnesses.
In addition, the President’s FY 2014 Budget proposes a new $130 million initiative to address several barriers that may prevent people from accessing help. The initiative proposes to train teachers to recognize signs of mental illness and refer students to mental health services when needed. It supports the training of an additional 5,000 mental health professionals. And it would give grants to states to implement innovative strategies to help young people ages 16 to 25 with mental health or substance abuse issues. The Administration calls on Congress to appropriate funds for these important purposes.
- A year after Newtown, Biden announces more mental health funding (news.yahoo.com)
- Vice President Biden Announces $100 Million for Mental Health Services – or Did He? (seliger.com)
- Millions in federal funds to help mental health services (wqad.com)
- VP Biden announces $100 million mental health services plan (pbs.org)
- Vice President Biden Announces $100 Million to Increase Access to Mental Health Services (namiwisconsinadvocacy.wordpress.com)
- Did Newtown change mental health care? (msnbc.com)