The Senator Also Emphasizes Importance of Home- and Community-Based Care for Individuals with Disabilities and Older Americans
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan today pushed for additional resources to address children’s mental and behavioral health challenges during a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing.
To watch the Senator’s questioning, click here.
“I have heard heartbreaking firsthand accounts from K-12 students in New Hampshire about their own struggles with mental health during the pandemic or their worries about their friends,” Senator Hassan said.
The Senator went on to discuss how many young people have not been able to access the mental health supports that they need during the pandemic, such as primary care visits or in-school mental health specialists.
When asked what Congress can do to better support young people experiencing mental health challenges, Dr. Leon McDougle, President of the National Medical Association, emphasized the importance of continuing funding for telehealth, as well as prioritizing training for social workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists.
“A strong message needs to be sent to our medical schools, our health professions schools, that this is a national crisis that we all need to step up to,” said Dr. McDougle.
Last week, Senator Hassan met with students, teachers, and administrators from Epping School District to hear how they are working to meet students’ social and emotional needs amid the pandemic. Senator Hassan also recently introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) to encourage schools and communities to implement evidence-based policies to reduce the risk of youth suicide.
Additionally, Senator Hassan highlighted the need for Congress to pass long-term funding for home- and community-based services. Senator Hassan led efforts to secure more than $12.6 billion in dedicated emergency funding for State Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) in the American Rescue Plan.
“Congress must make long-term, sustainable investments in the home-health and community-based workforce to ensure access to quality, comprehensive health services for older adults and individuals with disabilities who choose to remain in their homes,” Senator Hassan said.