Biden Administration Strengthens School-Based Mental Health Services

 Permanent link   All Posts

Biden Administration Strengthens School-Based Mental Health Services

On Thursday, the Biden-Harris Administration announced two new actions to strengthen school-based mental health services and address the youth mental health crisis.

The Department of Education (ED) and Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) also announced that they are planning to release the significantly overdue re-write of the Medicaid program in the next 6-8 weeks! We will keep you updated as learn more.


In addition, next week, ED will begin the process to disburse almost $300 million Congress appropriated in FY22 through both the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and the FY22 Omnibus to help schools hire more school-based mental health professionals and build a strong pipeline into the profession for the upcoming school year. In total, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will invest $1 billion over the next five years in mental health supports in our schools, making progress towards the President’s goal to double the number of school counselors, social workers and other mental health professionals. This funding is allocated to two critical programs:   

  • The Mental Health Service Professional (MHSP) Demonstration Grant Program. In FY22, this program will provide over $140 million in competitive grants to support a strong pipeline into the mental health profession, including innovative partnerships to prepare qualified school-based mental health services providers for employment in schools.
  • School-Based Mental Health (SBMH) Services Grant Program. In FY22, this program will provide over $140 million in competitive grants to states and school districts to increase the number of qualified mental health services providers delivering school-based mental health services to students in local educational agencies with demonstrated need. This will increase the number of school psychologists, counselors, and other mental health professionals serving our students. Some schools will gain mental health staff for the first time. Others will see this critical workforce expand. By increasing the number of qualified mental health professionals in our schools, and thereby reducing the number of students each provider serves, this program will meaningfully improve access to mental health services for vulnerable students. 

ED will be partnering to provide districts with as much TA as possible on how to apply for this funding as well as the $1 billion that will be distributed competitively to States/districts through the Title IV program. Stay tuned for information on a forthcoming webinar on how to apply for these critical funds.