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HHS Sending Funds to Florida Department of Health

This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will send $300,000 to the Florida Department of Health.

The funds are going to states from which “will help pediatricians meet children’s mental health needs, strengthen children’s mental health services in emergency departments and schools.” The funds will ho through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

“This funding will offer timely mental health support to children and adolescents by training pediatricians and other children’s health care providers in treating mental health conditions and by providing tele-consultation to bring mental health expert support directly to pediatric primary care providers,” HHS noted.

“President Biden has made strengthening the nation’s mental health a top priority, and, with this funding, we’re taking new steps to deliver,” said U.S. HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra. “Thanks to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and the American Rescue Plan, we are doubling down to invest in strengthening children’s mental health services in hospitals and schools. Our children are our future and they deserve expanded access to care.”

“There should be no wrong door when it comes to children accessing the vital mental health services they need. For that to happen, we need to support pediatricians and other health care providers in recognizing and treating mental health conditions – that is what today’s investments are about,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “This work is critical not only to ensuring timely access to care, but also to expanding the reach of the mental health workforce.”

Almost 50 agencies in other states and territories will also get $300,000 each from HHS and HRSA. The federal government will also send $5.4 million to eight organizations.

“The nation is facing an unprecedented mental health crisis, particularly among children. Even before the pandemic, rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts were on the rise, with up to one in five children ages 3 to 17 in the U.S. having a mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral disorder. The pandemic only exacerbated these issues, with increased isolation and disrupted learning, relationships, and routines. More than 40 percent of high school students – struggle with persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness,” HHS noted. “Funding to grow the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access program was included in both President Biden’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and the American Rescue Plan. In addition, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act expanded the reach of the program to allow grantees to serve emergency departments and schools in addition to pediatricians.

“Through the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access program, pediatric primary care providers consult virtually with pediatric mental health specialists to better diagnose, treat and, when necessary, refer children and youth to services for mental health conditions. The program supports a range of pediatric primary care providers, including pediatricians, family medicine physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Thanks to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the program also can now support school-based health providers and emergency department providers who often are on the frontlines when children are in need,” HHS added.


  • Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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