FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Highlights Strategy to Address the National Mental Health Crisis - The White House (2023)

As we markMental Health Awareness Month, our country faces an unprecedented mental health crisis among people of all ages. Two in five American adultsreportsymptoms of anxiety and depression, and more than half of parents expressconcernover their children’s mental well-being. Over forty percent of teenagersstatethey struggle with persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. These growing demands have exposed longstanding cracks in our care infrastructure while compounding many other domestic policy challenges, from criminal justice to homelessness to the labor shortage.

To address this crisis, as part of his Unity Agenda, President Biden has put forward acomprehensive national strategyto tackle our mental health crisis, and used his State of the Union Address to call for a major transformation in how mental health is understood, accessed, treated, and integrated – in and out of health care settings. Across the federal government, the Administration has already invested nearly $4 billion inAmerican Rescue Plan(ARP) funding to expand access to mental health and substance use services. The President’sFY23 budgetgoes further, by proposing over $27 billion in discretionary funding and another $100 billion in mandatory funding over 10 years to implement his national strategy and transform behavioral health services for all Americans.

This month, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking additional, new actions to advance the President’s mental health strategy across its three objectives: strengthening system capacity, connecting more Americans to care, and creating a continuum of support.

Strengthen System Capacity

(Video) Vice President Harris Delivers Remarks on Mental Health and Wellness

At the center of our behavioral health crisis is a severe workforce shortage. We do not have enough providers, and they are not located in the right places or providing the right services to meet Americans’ needs. Even where there are sufficient providers, the fragmentation and inconsistency of the current system can make it difficult for people to find the right level of care. To address these needs, this month, the Administration is takingnewactions to:

Promote the mental well-being of our frontline health workforce.Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, health worker burnout had reached“crisis”levels – affecting up to 60 percent of frontline providers. To respond, the U.S. Surgeon General isissuingthe first-ever Advisory on Health Worker Burnout, which lays out whole-of-society recommendations to advance health worker well-being.

Pilot new approaches to training behavioral health paraprofessionals.To better support veterans with substance use disorders, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is hiring 277 new Peer Specialists, employees in recovery themselves specifically trained and certified to help fellow veterans. The Department of Defense (DOD) is also hiring roughly 2,500 new personnel over the next 6 years to comprehensively address risk for conditions like mental illness and substance use.

Strengthen our crisis care and suicide prevention infrastructure.The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will expand access to mobile crisis services in high-need communities by launching a Mental Health Crisis Response Partnership Pilot Program. DOD will also strengthen suicide prevention services for service members, by establishing and training military health providers in new, standardized procedures to promote the identification, treatment, and tracking of patients at risk of suicide.

Build the capacity of long-term care facilities to deliver behavioral health care.HHS islaunchinga new, $15 million funding opportunity to establish a Center of Excellence for Building Capacity in Nursing Facilities to Care for Residents with Behavioral Health Conditions, which will work to strengthen behavioral health care in long-term care facilities by improving mental health literacy and combating stigmatization among staff.

Address our caregiving crisis.In partnership with theRAISE Family CaregivingandSupporting Grandparents Raising GrandchildrenAdvisory Councils, HHS’s Administration for Community Living will submit a National Caregiving Strategy to Congress outlining new recommendations for better supporting family caregivers, many of whom have been under great strain during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Video) White House Press briefing with Director of Communications Kate Bedingfield

This builds on prior Administration actions, including:

  • HHS invested nearly $400 million to help states prepare for the July launch of 988, the new three-digit code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. And the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)establisheda new state option for Medicaid coverage of qualifying community-based mobile crisis intervention services.
  • HHS awarded$250 millionacross 100 grants to increase access to Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers (CCBHCs), which provide 24/7, comprehensive primary and behavioral health care – including crisis care – to the most vulnerable Americans.
  • Bright Futures, a HRSA partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics,addeduniversal screening for suicide risk to its national guidelines for individuals ages 12 to 21.
  • AmeriCorps invested $8 million through its newPublic Health AmeriCorpsto fund the recruitment of new AmeriCorps members to support individuals with mental health and substance use challenges.
  • HHS invested$1 billionin the National Health Service Corps, Nurse Corps, and Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program, which has enabled these provider pipeline programs to amass the largest field strength in history.
  • HHS awarded$103 millionto 45 health care organizations to address burnout and strengthen resiliency among health care workers.
  • The President signed the bipartisan Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act into law, whichauthorized$135 million over three years to train health care providers on suicide prevention and behavioral health.

Connect Americans to Care

Even when services are available, barriers like cost, cultural bias, and inconvenience prevent people from consistently accessing the care they need. On average, it takes11 yearsafter the onset of mental health symptoms for someone to seek treatment. It is critical that we make care affordable across all types of health insurance coverage, and integrate mental health services in ways that reduce stigmatization and access barriers. This month, the Biden-Harris Administration is takingnewactions to:

Advance behavioral health care for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community.To reduce behavioral health-related disparities, HHS isannouncinga nearly $3.5 million, five-year grant opportunity to launch a new AANHPI Center of Excellence, which will promote culturally and linguistically appropriate behavioral health practices while providing training and technical assistance on addressing the mental health impacts of hate and unconscious bias against the AANHPI community.

Lower barriers to behavioral health care among service members.To reduce concerns about potential negative impacts on military career progression, DOD is revising its policy that outlines requirements for notifying military commanders when service members seek mental health or substance use care.

(Video) White House Black History Month: Mental Health and Wellness in the Black Community

Ensure access to mental health support in schools, colleges and universities.The Department of Education isissuingnew guidance to colleges and universities on how to use ARP relief funds to provide mental health and substance use disorder services on campus, including by hiring mental health professionals, expanding virtual counseling support, offering stress-reduction activities, building peer support programs, and erecting student-staffed crisis hotlines.

Strengthen the federal government’s role as a model employer for behavioral health.In addition to facilitating access to comprehensive telebehavioral health benefits through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is working to reinvigorate Employee Assistance Programs provided by all federal agencies to better meet employees’ behavioral health needs, while disseminating best practices and new ideas for improving federal workplace mental health.

This builds on prior Administration actions, including:

  • In January, federal agenciesissueda detailed report about how to improve insurance company compliance with requirements related to mental health services. HHS also developednew resourcesto help patients and state regulators better understand how to enforce their rights.
  • ARP provided$122 billionin relief funds for schools to help them reopen safely and address the social and emotional needs of students. As of April, the number of social workers in public schools has increased by 67 percent, and the number of counselors has increased by 18 percent, since the years before the pandemic.
  • In March, HHS and the Department of Educationannounceda joint effort to develop and shareresourcesto ensure that children have access to school-based health services.
  • HHS invested $80 million in ARP funding into the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access program, which promotes integrating care for behavioral health needs into pediatric primary care settings.
  • The finalCY 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule ruleincreased access to telebehavioral health services, including by allowing certain services to occur via audio-only calls when video is unavailable, and by allowing Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers to report and receive payment for telebehavioral health services.

Support Americans by Creating Healthy Environments

No health problem can be addressed solely through the health care system. We must also invest in programs that can prevent mental health challenges and build environments that promote wellness and recovery. Decades of research show that coordinated prevention across settings can pay long-term dividends, including reductions in community violence. Similarly, when settings provide services and restorative programs that support individuals with mental health problems or other at-risk behaviors, they can promote broader social and economic gains. This month, the Biden-Harris Administration is takingnewactions to:

(Video) White House Press briefing with Director of Communications Kate Bedingfield

Train social and human services professionals in basic mental health skills.The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is launching a series of initiatives to improve mental health literacy among its partners and employees. It will give all public-facing employees who work with agricultural producers and grant recipients access to Mental Health First Aid Training and integrate more robust mental health messaging into its programs. And, it will support efforts to train 4-H volunteers and participants in social and emotional skills, help-seeking, and self-care.

Train tribal law enforcement personnel in mental health.The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services is implementing a Mental Health Crisis Instructor Training Program and a Resiliency Initiative to train officers on coping with stress; managing anxiety; providing psychological first aid; and identifying substance use disorder, depression, and post-traumatic stress in themselves and in colleagues.

Enhance school-based supports in Native communities.The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education is launching a Social and Emotional Learning Initiative for educators and staff, which will work to improve access to culturally relevant social and emotional learning supports at schools serving Native communities.

Spur innovation in recovery support models.HHS islaunchingits first-ever behavioral health Recovery Innovation Challenge, which will disburse up to 10 awards totaling $400,000 to peer-run and community-based groups implementing innovative programs that advance recovery from substance use disorders.

Improve financial security among veterans.VA is launching a National Center for Veterans Financial Empowerment to provide veterans with education, tools, and resources to successfully navigate financial strain, which has been associated with increased risk of suicide.

Enforce workplace rights of the mentally ill.The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is increasing outreach to mental health providers to support protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is also committing to increase the accessibility of its technical assistance and guidance documents on mental health.

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Establish a federal research action plan on mental health.The underlying causes of most mental health conditions remain largely unknown.To fill this knowledge gap, theis leading an effort to establish several new cross-agency research priorities for mental health as part of a broader coordinating effort on brain health.
This builds on prior Administration actions, including:

  • HHS opened the first-everOffice of Recoveryat the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, dedicated to evaluating and initiating programs, policies, and services that center the needs and experiences of those in recovery.
  • HHS’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced newComprehensive Suicide Prevention Programfundingto support a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention with attention to disproportionately affected populations, such as veterans, rural communities, tribal, LGBTQ, and youth.
  • EEOC has actively used its enforcement authority to combat unlawful disability discrimination against individuals based on theirmental health conditions, their use of legally prescribedopioid medications, and their participation in substance use recovery programs. It has alsoconductedoutreach andeducationprograms foremployersemphasizing their obligations to treat employees with mental health conditions the same as those with any other disabilities.
  • USDA invested nearly$25 millionin theFarm and Ranch Stress Assistance Networkprojects which to strengthen programs that provide professional behavioral health counseling and other services to individuals in agricultural occupations.
  • The Department of Education releasedSupporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Healthto enhance the promotion of mental health and the social and emotional well-being among children and students.
  • CDC invested $15 million in the Healthy Schools program, whichworkswith states, school systems, and national partners to improve the well-being of K-12 students.
  • The Surgeon General issued a newAdvisoryto highlight the urgent need to address the nation’s youth mental health crisis – with particular attention to online harms and the impact of social media on young people’s mental health.
  • HHSannounced$2 million in funding to establish the new Center of Excellence on Social Media and Mental Wellness, which will develop and disseminate information, guidance, and training on the impact of children and youth social media use, especially the potential risks social media platforms pose to mental health.



What are 5 strategies for improving an individual's mental health? ›

5 steps to mental wellbeing
  • Connect with other people. Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. ...
  • Be physically active. Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. ...
  • Learn new skills. ...
  • Give to others. ...
  • Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

Is there a mental health crisis in the united states? ›

As we mark Mental Health Awareness Month, our country faces an unprecedented mental health crisis among people of all ages. Two in five American adults report symptoms of anxiety and depression, and more than half of parents express concern over their children's mental well-being.

What are some strategies for mental health? ›

Read 'Our best mental health tips'
  • Get closer to nature. ...
  • Learn to understand and manage your feelings. ...
  • Talk to someone you trust for support. ...
  • Be aware of using drugs and/or alcohol to cope with difficult feelings. ...
  • Try to make the most of your money and get help with debt problems. ...
  • Get more from your sleep.

What is the biggest challenge facing mental health solutions today? ›

Globally, the majority of those who need mental health care worldwide lack access to high-quality mental health services. Stigma, human resource shortages, fragmented service delivery models, and lack of research capacity for implementation and policy change contribute to the current mental health treatment gap.

What are the 5 elements of mental health? ›

There are five main aspects of personal health: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual.

What activities and solutions can you offer to avoid problems on mental health? ›

  • Value yourself: Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. ...
  • Take care of your body: Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. ...
  • Surround yourself with good people: ...
  • Give yourself: ...
  • Learn how to deal with stress: ...
  • Quiet your mind: ...
  • Set realistic goals: ...
  • Break up the monotony:

How can we solve mental health problems in America? ›

4 Big Ways We Can Change Mental Health Care in America
  1. From Mental Institutions to Prisons. ...
  2. Increase Mental Health Care Funding. ...
  3. Provide Better Care and Services in Jails and Prisons. ...
  4. Create More Community Centers and Inpatient Facilities. ...
  5. Provide Compassionate Care and Support. ...
  6. We're All Responsible for Mental Health Care.
Jan 27, 2015

When did the mental health crisis start? ›

It officially began in 1963 when the Kennedy administration implemented the Community Mental Health Act. This gave official credence to a movement that had been slowly developing and that kept developing afterward. The process has an official name and it's referred to as de-institutionalization.

Why are mental health issues increasing? ›

Mental health conditions are increasing worldwide. Mainly because of demographic changes, there has been a 13% rise in mental health conditions and substance use disorders in the last decade (to 2017). Mental health conditions now cause 1 in 5 years lived with disability.

What should be done to improve mental health concentration? ›

  1. Train your brain. Playing certain types of games can help you get better at concentrating. ...
  2. Get your game on. Brain games may not be the only type of game that can help improve concentration. ...
  3. Improve sleep. ...
  4. Make time for exercise. ...
  5. Spend time in nature. ...
  6. Give meditation a try. ...
  7. Take a break. ...
  8. Listen to music.
Aug 7, 2019

What are the three biggest barriers to treatment for mental illness? ›

(1) Common barriers to mental health care access include limited availability and affordability of mental health care services, insufficient mental health care policies, lack of education about mental illness, and stigma.

What are the common causes of mental illness? ›

What causes mental health problems?
  • childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect.
  • social isolation or loneliness.
  • experiencing discrimination and stigma, including racism.
  • social disadvantage, poverty or debt.
  • bereavement (losing someone close to you)
  • severe or long-term stress.
  • having a long-term physical health condition.

How can you overcome challenges in facing problems or situation in your life without affecting your mental health? ›

10 Ways to Overcome Challenges in Life
  1. Make A Plan. While you don't know what is going to happen in the future, you can always plan ahead. ...
  2. Know You're Not Alone. Every person in this world has their low points. ...
  3. Ask For Help. ...
  4. Feel Your Feelings. ...
  5. Accept Support. ...
  6. Help Others. ...
  7. Think Big. ...
  8. Positive Mindset.
Mar 30, 2020

What are the four elements of mental health? ›

The "elements," classically described in humoral theory as Fire, Water, Earth, and Air, all may impact our mental health.

What are the three components of mental health? ›

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.

What are the 4 parts of mental health? ›

These are:
  • Emotional. This includes self-acceptance, self-esteem, resilience, and the ability to manage strong emotions.
  • Social. Friends are important because they bring companionship, support and enrichment to our lives. ...
  • Financial. ...
  • Physical.
May 29, 2019

What is the current state of mental health in the US? ›

21% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2020 (52.9 million people). This represents 1 in 5 adults. 5.6% of U.S. adults experienced serious mental illness in 2020 (14.2 million people). This represents 1 in 20 adults.

What is the current state of mental health in America? ›

Nationwide, almost one in five people (47.1 million) in the U.S. are living with a mental health condition. That number increased by about 1.5 million over last year's report. About 10% of youth in the U.S have severe depression. This was highest among youth who identify as more than one race, at 12%.

What is the biggest mental health problem in the United States? ›

The most common are anxiety disorders major depression and bipolar disorder. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, this disorder is highly treatable, but only around 37 percent of those affected actually receive treatment. It is common to be diagnosed with both anxiety and depression.

What is the current state of mental health? ›

There is a Mental Health Crisis in the United States

In 2019 alone, almost 20 percent of the United States population, nearly 50 million people, were diagnosed with a mental illness.

What country has the most mental illness? ›

China leads in various categories tracked by the World Health Organization.

What are the 5 most common mental disorders? ›

Below are the five most common mental health disorders in America and their related symptoms:
  • Anxiety Disorders. The most common category of mental health disorders in America impacts approximately 40 million adults 18 and older. ...
  • Mood Disorders. ...
  • Psychotic Disorders. ...
  • Dementia. ...
  • Eating disorders.
Jan 30, 2020

Who is most affected by mental health issues? ›

Young adults aged 18-25 years had the highest prevalence of SMI (9.7%) compared to adults aged 26-49 years (6.9%) and aged 50 and older (3.4%). The prevalence of SMI was highest among the adults reporting two or more races (9.9%), followed by American Indian / Alaskan Native (AI/AN) adults (6.6%).


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