On Thursday, March 24th, 2022, Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, M.D. (IA-02) and Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08), the only two female doctors in Congress, introduced the Supporting Children’s Mental Health Care Access Act, a bill to reauthorize funding for children’s mental and behavioral health programs. This bill would help address the children’s mental health care crisis exacerbated by the pandemic.
“Over the last two years, schools across the country closed their doors and moved to virtual learning. The serious negative impact these closures had on our students is well-documented and must be treated seriously,” said Miller-Meeks. “As a physician, I know that care for mental health is important for every American, especially for those who are still developing. Reauthorizing the pediatric mental health care access grant program is an important step in ensuring that our students have equal access to quality mental health care.”
“As the only pediatrician in Congress, I have seen first-hand the challenges my patients faced as they were growing up. Whether they faced conflict in the home, difficulty at schools, or loss of a loved one, children need a supportive health network they can turn to. Yet even before the pandemic began, children’s mental health care was already facing a shortage of school counselors and health professionals, leaving kids untreated and underdiagnosed,” said Schrier. “This crisis demands action now. By providing urgent funding to proven grant programs, we can give pediatricians the tools they need to identify youth at risk of developing mental health challenges and intervene early and effectively.”
To read the full text of this legislation, click HERE.