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In recent years, there has been an increased need for support and resources devoted to mental health initiatives.

Nearly 1 in 5 adults experience mental health challenges, which is over 50 million people in the United States.

To address this critical need, the federal government has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars toward grants and funding for mental health organizations.

Mental Health Funding is Crucial 

In the past few years, mental health conditions in America have sharply declined. Several factors have contributed to worsening behavioral health in the United States. These include: 

COVID-19: The pandemic has increased stress, isolation, and financial hardship, all of which can contribute to mental health illnesses. 

The opioid epidemic: The opioid epidemic has led to an increase in addiction and overdose deaths, which can also have a negative impact on mental health. 

The rise of social media: Social media can be a source of stress and anxiety, leading to cyberbullying and other forms of harassment. 

The increasing cost of healthcare: The increasing cost of healthcare can make it difficult for people to access the mental health care they need. 

Key Findings: 

  • Over 50 million individuals in the United States experienced a mental health condition in 2019-2020, which amounts to 20.78% of American adults.
  • 54.7% of adults report experiencing a mental health condition, equivalent to over 28 million individuals, but are not receiving any treatment.
  • Of the 15.35% of adults with a substance use disorder (sometimes referred to as substance abuse) in the past year, 93.5% received no treatment.
  • More than  2.7 million individuals aged 12 to 17 have faced a significant depressive episode in the past year, with 11.5% of them experiencing severe major depression. This distressing statistic accounts for 16.39% of the adolescent population.
  • Over 12.1 million adults in the U.S. have reported severe thoughts of suicide, which is around 4.84% of the adult population.  

More than ever, organizations and agencies providing mental well-being support and programming need funding to achieve their missions.

Recent Federal Increases in Mental Health Funding

In February 2023, the U.S. Department of Education announced $188 million in funding for school-based mental health program schools. This will support programs that provide services to kindergarten through 12th-grade students.

Exym's mental health software for school social workers helps districts find funding by using comprehensive analytics to demonstrate that school programs meet grant requirements. If you are interested in using analytics to apply for mental health funding, visit our Schools page to learn more.

In September 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $300 million in mental health funding for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs). CCBHCs are community-based organizations that provide a wide range of mental health and substance use disorder services. If your agency needs substance abuse EHR software to manage client operations, billing, and funding, click on our Substance Abuse Providers page for more information.

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, signed into law in June 2022, includes $15 million in grants for mental health programs. These grants will support programs providing early intervention and prevention services for people living with mental illnesses. 


The Significance of Federal Funding for Mental Health 

The impact of additional federal funding for mental health includes: 

1. Improved Mental Health Accessibility

Currently, only 41% of Americans needing mental health support receive adequate care, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). It means millions of people remain without access to necessary treatments or therapies, which can devastate individuals and society, hence the need for additional mental health funding. 

2. Addressing Stigmatization

The stigma surrounding mental health disorders often keeps individuals from seeking help due to fear of judgment or repercussions from their peers or employers. Stigmatization worsens physical health outcomes and overall quality of life for those affected by these conditions.  

3.  Incarceration Rates

Incarceration rates in the United States have skyrocketed over the last few decades, as a direct result of policies such as mandatory minimum sentences and the War on Drugs. The rising incarceration rates have led to prison overcrowding, and prisons are often lacking adequate mental health resources for inmates, leading to increased behavioral health challenges.

Many inmates experience substance use disorder or mental health conditions before incarceration, and these conditions are often exacerbated in correctional facilities due to a lack of adequate resources. There is a compelling need for reform to ensure those in the criminal justice system have access to appropriate mental health treatment. 

The effects of incarceration on individuals, their families, and communities can be profound. This is particularly true for people with a history of mental health conditions or substance use disorder. 

4. Impact on Education

One of the most overlooked effects of behavioral health on our society is its effect on education. Mental health challenges are strongly associated with lower academic achievement, lower graduation rates, and higher dropout rates. In addition, students living with mental illnesses face significant barriers to accessing much-needed programs and support.  As a result, many students' education quality is significantly compromised. 

5. Economic Impact

Over the past few years, the impact of behavioral health on our economy has been worsening. The cost of mental health and addiction treatment has been rising steadily, increasing behavioral healthcare spending for individuals and families. 

Many employers struggle to find qualified staff members who can provide adequate care for their employees with behavioral health needs. This lack of availability strains the workforce, as employers are forced to pay higher fees for behavioral healthcare costs. 


Tips for Applying for Mental Health Funding 

Here are five tips to make the process of applying for mental health funding smoother and easier:   

1. Educate Yourself

Before you begin the application process, understand the available mental health funding opportunities and plan how to utilize the funds if awarded. Understand the eligibility requirements and any guidelines for applying. Complete the form below to receive a checklist of grants that may be available to your organization. 

2. Gather Your Supporting Documentation

Having all your documents in order before you start the application process will make it easier, and help ensure accuracy. Documents may include financial statements, 990s, letters of support, reports, and other relevant information like program data. 

3. Submit Your Application Early

Giving yourself plenty of time to complete your application can make it easier to do a thorough job. Make sure you submit all requested documents and answer questions completely to give yourself the best chance of being awarded federal funding for mental health. 

4. Follow Up on Your Application

After submitting your application, contact the funding agency to ensure they have received all required documents. The follow-up can ensure your application process is completed on time and there are no delays due to needing more paperwork. 

5. Do Not Give Up

Applying for funding can be an arduous process, but don't get discouraged!  

Investing in Mental Health Is Essential for Society's Well-Being  

The increasing need for mental health services means that additional mental health funding is crucial to supporting quality care. By taking advantage of federal funding for mental health, agencies can ensure that their clients receive the care they need and deserve.  

Exym EHR software provides a comprehensive system for behavioral health agencies, which can be a huge asset when applying for federal funds. For example, our customers can easily pull data from our Analytics module to help strengthen grant applications.  

"Exym has made pulling pertinent data that funders ask for when writing grants easier.”

- Development & Communications Manager, Amanecer Community Counseling Services 

Additionally, mental health billing software, like Exym, can help your agency streamline billing and coding so you can maximize reimbursements. Visit our Finance page to read more about the billing features that Exym has to offer.

Let us help your organization take advantage of grant funds! Complete the form below to receive a checklist of behavioral health funding opportunities.  


About Exym

Exym is a comprehensive EHR software solution designed specifically for behavioral health agencies. Trusted for 20+ years, our intuitive and customizable software empowers providers to improve client outcomes, manage revenue cycles, and increase agency efficiency. Exym allows you to spend more time on what matters most- the clients in your care. 

Jessica Carey
Post by Jessica Carey
July 12, 2023