HHS Announces $25 Mil For School-Based Health Services

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On May 3, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced via a press release that it awarded nearly $25 million to enhance and reinforce access to school-based health services. The awards will support local partnerships between schools and health centers to deliver children and youth physical and mental healthcare.

The release states that “Today’s awards were made to 125 HRSA-funded health centers that deliver comprehensive, high-quality primary healthcare services to individuals and families through school-based sites in underserved communities.”

Moreover, “Health centers will use this funding to reduce disparities and improve access to care by increasing the number of young people receiving essential health care, including mental health services. Health centers will also use these funds for activities such as community and patient outreach, health education, and translation support.”

“A recent HRSA study published in the American Medical Association’s journal JAMA Pediatrics exit disclaimer icon found that between 2016 and 2020, the number of children ages 3-17 years diagnosed with anxiety grew by 29 percent and those with depression by 27 percent,” the release adds. “As HHS recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month in May, this investment will help provide critical mental health services directly to students on site at their schools.”

The $25 million builds on the $5 million investment for school-based care that HRSA awarded to health centers in September of 2021.

One in nine children, according to the release, in the U.S. accesses primary healthcare services through HRSA-funded centers.  Forty-one percent of health centers provided services to children and youth at more than 3,200 school-based sites in 2020.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra was quoted in the release saying that “When students are healthy, they are able to learn, grow, and thrive. Our nation’s youth have endured many challenges navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are committed to ensuring they have the support they need. Today we’re investing in school-based health care to meet families where they are and make sure children have easy access to care—including mental health support.”

The health centers receiving awards can be found at the bottom of the press release.



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