Children’s mental and behavioral health continues to be one of the biggest concerns for parents, doctors, and educators across the country. Prior to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), as many as one in six U.S. children and teens between the ages of 6 and 17 had a treatable mental health disorder. Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a surge of anxiety and depression among young people, caused by added stressors like uncertainty, stress related to family and economic hardship, and grief due to the loss of loved ones. More than a third of high school students in the United States experienced poor mental health during the pandemic, with more than two out of five students feeling persistent sadness or hopelessness that caused them to stop participating in usual activities. Kids with poor mental health are more likely to struggle in school, have trouble concentrating, remembering information, and maintaining relationships with their peers. With support, families, children, and teens can navigate mental health challenges through treatment and access resources to aid in prevention and early intervention of mental illness.
Managing mental health in youth and teens is an ongoing journey, but when families have access to mental and behavioral health services, children can get the care they need. Early intervention and continued care are critical for improving mental health among youth. With free or low-cost health insurance through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), mental and behavioral health services are covered for kids and teens up to 19 years of age.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken a multifaceted approach to increase access to equitable behavioral health services and improve outcomes for people covered by Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and private health insurance, including efforts through the Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign. Campaign resources focused on mental health are available on InsureKidsNow.gov for organizations to use in their outreach, including short digital videos, live reads, social media messages, graphics, newsletter templates, and more.
Available Now – “Prioritizing Childhood Mental Health: Encouraging Use of Mental and Behavioral Health Benefits Covered Under Medicaid and CHIP” Webinar Recording
The recording, slides, and transcript of the Campaign’s May 4, 2022 webinar, “Prioritizing Childhood Mental Health: Encouraging Use of Mental and Behavioral Health Benefits Covered Under Medicaid and CHIP,” are now available at InsureKidsNow.gov.
This webinar featured speakers from CMS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of School and Adolescent Health (CDC DASH), the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). These experts discussed the impact of the Public Health Emergency on mental health among youth, strategies for improving access to and use of mental and behavioral health services, resources for suicide prevention, and practices to support mental health within schools.
Check out these resources mentioned on the webinar by speakers:
Current & Upcoming Observances: