WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18, 2021 – The American Psychiatric Association today applauded the Biden-Harris Administration for creating a Behavioral Health Coordinating Council within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Council will work across HHS to facilitate collaboration and strategic planning, and will ensure that millions of Americans receive prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery services for mental illness and substance use disorders.
HHS also announced that $3 billion will be made available from the American Rescue Plan approved by Congress for both the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Program and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program, which pass through funds to states and territories.
“In the wake of the pandemic an unprecedented, and as of yet untold, number of Americans are faced with mental health and substance use disorders, particularly in communities impacted by structural racism,” said APA President Vivian Pender, M.D. “With the creation of this Council and this investment in mental health, the administration is taking a huge step forward.”
“APA looks forward to continuing to work with the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and other HHS leadership on innovative and action-oriented approaches,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “This Council has great potential to ease the challenges we face as we begin to recover from the pandemic’s impact on our society, and APA looks forward to assisting in their efforts.”
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,400 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.