The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Administration for Children and Families, recently announced $206 million in grant awards toward youth mental health.

These awards will help expand access to mental health services for students in schools, bolster the behavioral health workforce and improve access to mental health prevention and treatment for children and youth in communities across the country.

The investments include the following:

  • SAMHSA is awarding $131.7 million in grant programs that connect youth and families to behavioral health services.
  • HRSA is awarding $55 million to expand access to mental health care for young people, including access to mental health care in schools.
  • ACF is awarding $20 million to improve the quality of mental health services provided to children involved in the child welfare system.
  • New Medicaid funding  that helps expand access to health services, including mental health services, for eligible children in schools.

You can see a full breakdown of where the funding is going in the news release.

Recent data confirms that young people need more support to address their mental health and substance use disorder challenges. The most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that nearly three in five U.S. teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021 – representing a nearly 60% increase over the past decade. It also found that 22% of high school students seriously considered attempting suicide during the past year.

Anyone seeking treatment for mental health or substance use issues should call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357). You can also visit this website.

For more information on ACF’s behavioral health initiatives and resources, please visit its website and refer to the full news release.