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Biden-Harris announces $46.8 million in behavioral health funding

Biden-Harris announces $46.8 million in behavioral health funding

The US Department of Health and Human Services, via SAMHSA, announced $46.8 million in funding opportunities to bolster youth mental health.


What happened? 

On May 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the availability of $46.8 million in funding opportunities to promote youth mental health, grow the behavioral health workforce, improve access to culturally competent behavioral care, and strengthen peer recovery support. The funding supports the Biden-Harris Administration's efforts to address mental health and overdose crises and furthers HHS's Overdose Prevention Strategy

The grants fuel strategic priorities for the agency, including preventing substance use and overdose, enhancing access to suicide prevention and mental health services, promoting resilience and emotional health for children, youth, and families, integrating behavioral and physical health care, and strengthening the behavioral health workforce. The funding opportunities include the following: 

  • Minority Fellowship Program, 
  • Cooperative Agreements for the Garrett Lee Smith State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Program, 
  • Addiction Technology Transfer Centers Cooperative Agreements, and the 
  • National Center for Mental Health Dissemination, Implementation, and Sustainment Cooperative Agreement. 

These programs are making historic investments in addressing mental health and substance use needs across America.


What was said? 

“We are pleased to announce nearly $50 million in funding opportunities, a significant investment in strengthening the quality of and access to behavioral health services and supports across the country,” said Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of SAMHSA. She further emphasized that the funds “will improve the quality of care for underserved populations, support suicide prevention and early intervention strategies for young people, make significant contributions to the integration of primary and behavioral health care, and provide essential training and technical assistance to those working in the field.”

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said that “continuing to invest in informed and equitable approaches to mental health and substance use is essential to the health and well-being of individuals and families.” He further said, “These grants directly impact the behavioral health of communities around the nation and are a critical part of the commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration to enhancing accessibility of evidence-based, effective behavioral health care services.”

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By the numbers

  • According to Johns Hopkins University, “an estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older—about 1 in 4 adults—suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.” Awareness of the variety of mental disorders may improve these states by ensuring that more people are educated about mental health and therefore encouraging them to seek professional care to help them deal with the disorders. 
  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the United States experience a severe mental illness, including conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. 
  • 13% of the burden of disease in adolescents aged 10 to 19 comes from mental disorders, affecting one in seven young individuals.
  • Common mental health disorders in adolescents include:
    • Anxiety disorders
    • Depression
    • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
    • Eating disorders

See alsoUsing email for mental health support among healthcare workers


Why it matters 

May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month in many countries around the worldIt's a time dedicated to raising awareness and understanding about mental health issues, reducing stigma, and advocating for support and resources for those who are affected by mental health conditions.

The importance of Mental Health Awareness Month lies in several factors:

  • Destigmatization: Mental health conditions are often accompanied by stigma and misconceptions. This month provides an opportunity to challenge stereotypes and promote acceptance and understanding.
  • EducationIt's a chance to educate the public about the signs and symptoms of various mental health disorders, as well as the importance of seeking help and support.
  • Support: Mental Health Awareness Month encourages individuals to reach out for support if they are struggling with their mental health. It also highlights the importance of providing support to friends, family members, and colleagues who may be experiencing mental health challenges.
  • Advocacy: The month serves as a platform for advocacy efforts aimed at improving mental health care access, funding, and policies.
  • Prevention: By increasing awareness and understanding of mental health issues, the hope is to prevent crises and promote early intervention and treatment.

RelatedUsing HIPAA compliant emails to overcome mental health stigma



What is mental health?

Mental health refers to your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how you think, feel, and act and helps determine how you handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.


Is it normal to experience mental health challenges?

Yes, experiencing mental health challenges is common and can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Mental health issues are not a sign of weakness, and seeking help is a sign of strength.


Where can I find help for mental health issues?

There are many resources available for individuals seeking help for mental health issues, including mental health professionals (such as therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists), support groups, hotlines (such as suicide prevention hotlines), and online resources (such as informational websites and mental health apps).


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