Policy Issue

Policy Watch: President Biden Puts Focus on Mental Health in State of the Union Address

March 15, 2022

A highlight of President Biden's State of the Union address earlier this month was the administration's commitment to addressing mental health issues in the United States. Experts note that this is the first time since the late 1970s that the federal government has signaled a robust and concerted effort towards addressing a nationwide mental health crisis. President Biden framed the strategy as one with bipartisan support that will address issues that existed prior to the pandemic and that have been exacerbated to unprecedented levels over the past two years.

The strategy will provide better support to Americans of all ages, and youth in particular, by strengthening system capacity; connecting Americans to care; and creating healthy environments online, in schools and correctional facilities, and in other settings. Some highlights include the launch of a nationwide crisis hotline - "988"; investment in the behavioral health workforce pipeline via training programs and formalized certifications; providing parity for behavioral health care benefits; expanding access to virtual care options; integrating mental health support into schools, colleges, and primary care settings; improving system navigation resources; and limiting the harmful effects of online search and social media tools.

Click here for details on the President's plan.

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