Biden Administration Commits Over $10M to Fund Pediatric Mental Health Assistance

Federal help is on the way for children experiencing stress and anxiety, as the Biden administration has issued funding to expand pediatric access to mental health services.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has committed $10.7 million to youth mental health by incorporating telehealth services into care. The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan — which is President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package — and will be made through the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program, which is overseen by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Through the federal expansion, the program’s reach will jump, as it will grant 45 funding awards in 40 states. That’s up from 21 funding awards currently available in 20 states, with the expansion also applying to Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Pacific island country of Palau. The Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program also provides support to the Chickasaw Nation and the Red Lake Band of the Chippewa Indians.


Palau is part of the Compact of Free Association, an economic and military treaty group that includes the US as well as the sovereign Pacific countries of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. An independent nation, Palau recognizes the American dollar as its official currency.

More children across the country have experienced adverse mental health conditions since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020 — a year that also brought about nationwide social unrest following the death of George Floyd.

As the year progressed, 31% of parents said that their children’s mental health had worsened during the pandemic, according to a survey from the JED Foundation, a youth suicide prevention organization. The survey also found that 6 out of 10 parents in October 2020 had a child that experienced mental or emotional health challenges.


“Primary care providers strive to address the many mental health challenges children and families are experiencing due to the pandemic, but they need more support,” HRSA Acting Administrator Diana Espinosa said in a press release. “Expanding the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access program offers new opportunities for providers to offer families the mental and behavioral health services they need but that often aren’t easily accessible.”