Hassan, colleagues call for support

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and 19 additional colleagues in calling for robust funding for children’s behavioral health care in upcoming COVID-19 response legislation.

The Senators discuss the toll that the pandemic is having on young people’s mental health. “As families struggle and suffer, so do the children. It is an unrealistic expectation for children to seamlessly adapt to their families’ and society’s new way of life without guidance and support,” wrote the Senators. “It is essential to provide behavioral health support through the pandemic, and it is essential to include child-specific care. Parents and caregivers must be able to find support and guidance to help their children and adolescents cope positively.”

In particular, the Senators point to the need for increased funding for telehealth programs that children can use to receive the mental health care that they need. They are also calling for increased funding for suicide prevention and for programs that address the impact of trauma on children.

Senator Hassan has previously advocated for increased behavioral health support amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She recently joined her colleagues in calling for increased investments in mental and behavioral health, including for substance use disorder, and urged the Trump administration to allocate CARES Act funding to behavioral health centers that provide mental health and substance misuse treatment to Granite Staters and all Americans. In addition, during a recent virtual roundtable discussion, New Hampshire law enforcement officials and first responders told Senator Hassan that they are seeing an increase in behavioral health cases, further emphasizing the need to get resources to behavioral health care providers.