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HHS Funds Expansion of Pediatric Mental Health Care

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HHS Funds Expansion of Pediatric Mental Health Care

The Department of Health and Human Services has earmarked $14.2 million for the integration of telehealth into pediatric mental health care.

The Health Resources and Services Administration will use the funding to expand Pediatric Mental Health Care Access projects into new areas, including tribal territories, HHS said Thursday.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, a 2021 Wash100 winner, said the funding will make mental and behavioral health care more equitable for children and their families.

“Children are struggling with a range of emotional and behavioral challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those in families with lower incomes or who face other obstacles to health care,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra,” Becerra added.

HHS cited research showing that about 22 percent of children ages three to 17 are suffering from a type of mental, emotional, developmental or behavioral condition. According to the research, only a fifth of children who need specialized care receives it.

HRSA Administrator Diana Espinosa said PMHCA’s expansion will close out disparities in access and improve the delivery of care in underserved communities.

The United States currently has 21 PMCHA projects. Once the expansion is completed, more territories will have enhanced access to mental health care teams providing teleconsultations, training, technical assistance and care coordination.

The program’s mental health care teams will include child and adolescent psychiatrists, licensed mental health professionals and care coordinators for pediatric primary care providers.

Teams of pediatric primary care providers can include pediatricians, family physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and care coordinators.

Applications for the PMHCA expansion funding opportunity are due July 6, according to a notice posted on Grants .gov.

Category: Federal Civilian