HHS awards nearly $245M to support youth mental health

Bipartisan Safer Communities Act funding will help communities across U.S.

Addressing the mental health crisis is a top priority of President Joe Biden’s administration. To that end, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday announced it awarded nearly $245 million to support youth mental health, help the health care workforce address mental health needs and fund other critical mental health supports.

The funding from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — $185.7 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and nearly $60 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration — is a result of Biden’s Unity Agenda. This bipartisan legislation signed into law by Biden in June provided HHS with vital resources to help children and families across the country.

“Investments from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will support critical programs for youth and their mental health, including school-based programs that meet children and families where they are,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said. “Advancing youth mental health is a top priority for HHS and this administration, and we’re encouraged by the continued bipartisan support of these critical programs.”

SAMHSA’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act awards include:

  • $73.6 million for Project Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education (Project AWARE) to help develop and support school-based mental health programs and services;
  • $57.7 million in Mental Health Awareness Training grants to prepare and train school personnel, emergency first responders, law enforcement and others to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health challenges to enable early intervention;
  • $14.9 million for School Based Trauma-Informed Support Services and Mental Health Care for Children and Youth to increase student access to evidence-based and culturally relevant trauma support services and mental health care;
  • $19.5 million for the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative, to improve treatment and services for children, adolescents and families who have experienced traumatic events; and,
  • $20 million in Resiliency in Communities after Stress and Trauma grants to promote resilience and equity and prevent violence in communities that have recently faced civil unrest, community violence and/or collective trauma.

HRSA’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act awards include:

  • Nearly $60 million to support the integration of mental health training into the training of primary care clinicians, with a specific focus on preparing primary care providers to treat the mental health needs of children and adolescents.