Yolanda, 9, participates in one of her first virtual classes while studying from home in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Access to Mental Health Services in the U.S.

We applaud bipartisan efforts made by Congress in 2022 to prioritize children’s mental health. UNICEF USA will continue advocating for further investment in children's mental well-being.

Mental well-being for children and youth: a UNICEF priority

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poor mental health among children continues to be a substantial public health concern, particularly anxiety and symptoms related to depression among adolescents. In 2021, escalating mental health challenges led the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) to declare a National State of Emergency in Children’s Mental Health.

In 2022, Congress made significant investments in mental well-being for children and youth through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and the FY23 omnibus appropriations bill: The omnibus appropriations bill included $5.27 billion, an increase of $803.2 million, for mental health research, treatment and prevention.

We applaud the bipartisan efforts that were made by Congress to prioritize children’s mental health.

UNICEF USA will continue to work with Congress members in the 118th session and partner organizations to build upon this work and advocate for continued investments.

Every child has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing and safe environment, with supportive relationships and access to quality mental health and psychosocial support.

When you speak up for children, legislators will listen. Visit the UNICEF USA Action Center to learn more.