“The fact that less than half of children and adults with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need is unacceptable,” Biden said. “The President and I have made it a priority to do everything we can to make it easier to access mental health services, and today’s announcements by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture build on that commitment.” The announcement was made just a few days short of the one year anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School that took 26 lives.
Biden said the $100 million in new funds will include $50 million for community health centers to establish or expand services for people with mental illness or addiction. The centers can use these funds, made available through the Affordable Care Act, for efforts such as hiring new mental health care professionals and adding mental health and substance abuse services.
Another $50 million will help finance construction, expansion, or improvement of mental health facilities in rural areas over the next three years. These funds, made available through the Department’s Community Facilities direct loan program, can be used to improve or construct mental health service facilities or put in place innovative tools such as telemedicine to expand access to mental health services at rural schools, community centers, hospitals, and other community-based settings.