Biden Announces $95 Million for Student Mental Health Services

The funding will be used to increase access to school-based mental health services and hire additional mental health professionals.

Biden Announces $95 Million for Student Mental Health Services

Photo: VectorBum, Adobe Stock

The Biden-Harris Administration announced Monday more than $95 million in awards across 35 states to increase access to school-based mental health services and strengthen the pipeline of mental health professionals in high-needs school districts. The awards were funded by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), which President Biden signed into law on June 25, 2022.

The administration says it will help advance its efforts to tackle the mental health crisis in schools as part of the National Mental Health Strategy. The Department of Education previously awarded $286 million across 264 grantees in 48 states and territories to boost the training, hiring, and diversification of mental health professionals through two grants — the School-Based Mental Health (SMBG) grant program and the Mental Health Service Professional (MHSP) grant program. Grantees estimate these funds will help add 14,000 new mental health professionals to U.S. schools, according to a press release.

Monday’s announcement of 93 additional MHSP awards, following the awarding of $46 million to 67 grantees in December, “means that the Department will fund a total of 160 MHSP grantees across the country who will train and place thousands of diverse and certified mental health providers in schools with the most need.” Approximately 45% of grantees proposed a partnership with a Minority Serving Institution, Historically Black College or University, or Tribal College or University.

The Department is also announcing up to $2.6 million in funding for a new Mental Health Personnel Technical Assistance Center to support MHSP and SBMH grantees in meeting the goals of their grant. This center will help identify and develop resources both for SBMH and MHSP grantees to support grantees in addressing the social, emotional, and mental health needs of PK-12 students and staff. The center will also provide support to the field more broadly by disseminating best practices in recruiting, training, placing, and retaining school-based mental health services providers.

“Over the next five years, the Department will invest the remainder of the $1 billion provided by BSCA in mental health professionals for schools through the MHSP and SBMH programs, helping advance the President’s goal, as part of his Mental Health Strategy, to double the number of school counselors, social workers, and other school-based mental health professionals,” says the administration.

Read the full press release to see the list of new MHPS Demonstration Grant awardees.

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