What Title V MCH Program Staff Need to Know: Federal Investments in Youth Mental Health
November 26, 2021

Earlier this month, the Adolescent & Young Adult Health National Resource Center hosted a webinar highlighting HRSA’s Pediatric Mental Health Care Access (PMHCA) program, which promotes behavioral health integration in pediatric primary care by supporting the development of new or improved statewide or regional telehealth access programs. The webinar helped inform the second cohort of the Adolescent & Young Adult Behavioral Health CoIIN about the PMHCA programs and highlighted opportunities for how Title V can partner and coordinate to accelerate positive behavioral health outcomes for young people. For those states and jurisdictions that do not currently receive PMHCA funding, the webinar shared practical tips for building capacity to apply for the next round of funding, which is forecasted to be available in early 2022.

The PMHCA program is one of many federal investments that provide an opportunity for Title V MCH to align efforts for improving behavioral health outcomes for young people. Recently, the White House released a fact sheet titled “Improving Access and Care for Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions.” The fact sheet opens with a summary of the critical need for these investments, reviews the White House’s strategy for supporting youth mental health, and highlights current and proposed investments in improving access to care.

The White House’s strategies for improving mental health outcomes for young people across the country include:

  • Ensuring access to quality, affordable healthcare
  • Investing in community-based youth mental health and substance abuse care
  • Increasing school-based behavioral health supports
  • Laying the groundwork for future improvements in youth mental health and substance use prevention and treatment
  • Enhancing coordination across the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
  • Highlighting the pandemic’s impact on youth mental health

Below are the key investments that all Title V programs should familiarize themselves with because they present opportunities to partner, synergize, and accelerate improved mental health outcomes among young people:

American Rescue Plan Investments:

$190 Billion of Investments by The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS):

Project Linking Action for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health (LAUNCH) Seeks to promote the wellness of young children ages birth-8 by addressing the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of their development
The Children’s Mental Health Initiative (also known as The Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families Program) Seeks to improve mental health outcomes for children and youth, from birth to age 21
The Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Grant Program Seeks to improve outcomes for young children (from birth to age 12)
The Native Connections Grant Program Seeks to help American Indian and Alaska Native communities identify and address the behavioral health needs of Native youth
The Statewide Family Network Seeks to support statewide, nonprofit, family-run organizations supporting families with children with serious emotional disturbance
The Youth and Family TREE (Enhancement and Expansion of Treatment and Recovery Services for Adolescents, Transitional Aged Youth, and their Families) Grant Program Seeks to enhance and expand comprehensive treatment, early intervention, and recovery support services for adolescents (ages 12–18), transitional aged youth (ages 16–25), and their families/primary caregivers with substance use disorders and/or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders

Title V programs are well-positioned to serve as key partners for many of the investments listed aboveTo learn if your state or jurisdiction is an awardee for any of the programs mentioned above, check the links in the table below:

Finally, the Biden Administration has also proposed the following discretionary budget updates for fiscal year 2022: