Senator Carper Leads Action to Improve Mental Health Care Across the Country

U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) delivered remarks at the first-ever mental and behavioral health summit held in Delaware. Led by Lieutenant Governor and Chair of the Behavioral Health Consortium Bethany Hall-Long, the summit focused on bringing together local, state, regional, and national thought leaders, community advocates, business and labor leaders, and government officials to address the social and economic importance of mental and behavioral health.

“Mental health is in crisis, especially among youth, and we must do everything we can to provide the resources for our providers to help those in need,” said Senator Carper. “I am proud to have co-chaired the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s Youth Mental Health Working Group with Senator Cassidy last Congress, and together we passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to provide health care services for our students and promote better coordination between federal agencies. I look forward to continuing this work for Delaware to address the mental and behavioral health crisis head on.”

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, Senator Carper played a key role in recent events and legislation dedicated to finding new innovative solutions to expand and improve mental health care:

  • Senator Carper also introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Kickstarting Innovative Demonstrations Support (KIDS) Health Act of 2023, which would establish a holistic approach to children’s health care by integrating mental and physical health services for children and youth eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • Senator Carper co-sponsored the ASSIST Act to increase and retain mental health professionals in schools through a new Department of Health and Human Services grant program.

As a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee and co-chair of the Committee’s Youth Mental Health Working Group, Senator Carper has been a leader in the fight to address the health care needs of children across the country. His work to support children’s mental and physical health led to the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which will provide health care services for students and promote better coordination between federal agencies. As Governor, Senator Carper led the initiative to put a nurse in every public school and add a wellness center to every public high school. He also established the Family Services Cabinet Council to provide better mental and physical health care coordination for children and families in the First State.