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News Release

September 25, 2012

Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

Health care law increases number of mental and behavioral health providers

Affordable Care Act grants also help military personnel, veterans and families

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced a new program, made possible by the Affordable Care Act, which will boost the number of social workers and psychologists who work with Americans in rural areas, military personnel, veterans, and their families.

Through the Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training grant program, $9.8 million is being awarded to 24 graduate social work and psychology schools and programs for three-year grants. The grants will help eligible institutions of higher education – including accredited schools of social work and psychology and accredited psychology internship programs – to recruit students and provide support for clinical training in mental and behavioral health.

“Mental health services are critical for those dealing with posttraumatic stress and other severe problems,” Secretary Sebelius said. “Increasing the number and quality of providers to care for these individuals is a major step forward in addressing these challenges.”

Mental health conditions are among the top five chronic illnesses in the United States.  This program addresses a critical need for more mental and behavioral health providers, especially those trained in trauma and abuse, combat-related stress, substance abuse, and the needs of chronically ill people and their families.

To view awardees, visit  For information on HRSA’s health professions programs, visit  To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, visit

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), part of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable.  For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit


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Last revised: September 25, 2012