Fact Sheet: Improving Access and Care for Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions

This Fact Sheet describes the various federal approaches being taken to address youth mental health and substance use. Even before the pandemic, demand for mental health and substance use services was increasing, especially for our nation’s young people. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation more challenging, subjecting many young Americans to social isolation, loss of routines, and traumatic grief.

To address barriers and expand the full continuum of prevention, treatment, and recovery services, as well as prioritize the integration of these services into settings where young people and their families can access them, the following initiatives are in motion:

  • Ensuring Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care, including connecting eligible children to Medicaid and CHIP and increasing health coverage options through HealthCare.gov
  • Investing in Community-based Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Care by dedicating American Rescue Plan funds to youth mental health, enhancing access to youth behavioral services via HHS, and preventing youth substance use
  • Increasing School-Based Behavioral Health Supports through American Rescue Plan resources, as well as creating mental health resources for schools through Department of Education resources, developing a CDC-funded K-12 mental health promotion toolkit, and establishing an interagency working group to strengthen coordination of vital school-based health services
  • Laying the Groundwork for Future Improvements in Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Prevention and Treatment, such as enhancing coordination across HHS and highlighting the pandemic’s impact on youth mental health through a U.S. Surgeon General initiative
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Topic Areas

Mental Health

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