National Strategy to Address Mental Health Crisis

Three strategy directives announced by the White House include: 1) Strengthen system capacity to expand the supply, diversity, and cultural competency of the mental health workforce, particularly in rural and underserved areas.  This effort will include training and opportunities for paraprofessionals such as community health workers and peer recovery coaches. 2) Connect patients to care by expanding and strengthening access to mental health and recovery services. The President’s budget for fiscal year 2023 will propose that all health plans cover robust behavioral health services with an adequate network of providers, including three behavioral health visits each year without cost-sharing. 3) Create healthy environments by addressing social determinants of health.  This will involve adjustment to standards and practices for online marketing and social media, expansion of early childhood and school-based intervention services, and mental health resources for incarcerated individuals. According to the 2020 results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 7.7 million nonmetropolitan adults reported having any mental illness, accounting for 20.5 percent of nonmetropolitan adults.  At HRSA, our work to implement this strategy means taking action.