As noted in the President’s State of the Union address, the White House released a factsheet on the Administration’s strategy to address the national mental health crisis in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on children, young adults, and minority communities. The President’s mental health strategy also will seek to strengthen system capacity, improve access to care, and create a continuum of support and a healthy environment.
The strategy includes several provisions that will be included in the President’s FY 2023 budget request, including $700 million for programs like the National Health Service Corps and the Minority Fellowship Program, which provide training, scholarships, and loan repayment to mental health and substance use disorder clinicians. It also highlights the President’s commitment to the bipartisan Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act (H.R.1667) and notes that the Department of Health and Human Services will continue grant programs to support providers’ efforts to prevent frontline health care workforce burnout.
In addition, the House health committees of jurisdiction held hearings last week to hear from experts about addressing the national mental health crisis and bolstering the role of telehealth in behavioral health care. They also discussed ways to support health care workers’ mental health. On March 8, the House Energy & Commerce Committee sent a letter to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration leaders requesting information on the impact of previously allocated COVID-19 relief on behavioral health and how to address behavioral health workforce shortages. GNYHA will keep you updated over the next several weeks as House and Senate committees continue to hold hearings on mental health and behavioral health workforce issues.