AHA today joined 27 other organizations that serve the mental, emotional and behavioral health of children in urging Congress to strengthen the pediatric mental health delivery system and infrastructure.  
 
“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health highlight the nation’s acute shortage of developmentally and culturally appropriate mental health services and the need to reinforce and expand the pediatric mental health delivery system and infrastructure,” the organizations wrote. “Congress must act now to promote access to necessary mental health care for children and adolescents by increasing immediate and long-term investments in the pediatric health care safety net, promoting comprehensive, integrated care, and building new and different national capacity to support care across the continuum.” 
 
The letter details a number of policy recommendations to address increased mental health needs for children, including bolstering the Medicaid program, extending telehealth capabilities, better care coordination and integration, promoting care in the appropriate setting and supporting the pediatric mental health workforce.
 

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