In New Hampshire, Secretary Becerra Highlighted the Importance of Family Planning and Mental Health Funding

Today, March 4, 2022, in Manchester, New Hampshire, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra visited a community health center for youth and families and led two panel discussions highlighting the Biden-Harris administration’s support for family planning programs. and mental health services. Throughout the trip, he spoke with state and federal leaders and healthcare workers who have supported their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secretary Becerra began his day at the Boys and Girls Club of Manchester, where he toured the facility with Mayor of Manchester Joyce Craig, State Senators Lou D’Allesandro, Kevin Cavanaugh and Donna Soucy, Deputy Secretary to health, Admiral Rachel Levine, and leaders of the club. The Boys & Girls Club of Manchester has been an important community resource and has provided local young people with a safe place to thrive, which is essential to their well-being and mental health.

Later in the day, Secretary Becerra visited Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE), where he spoke with patients and providers about the Biden-Harris administration’s unwavering support for family planning programs under X. Following the PPNNE visit, he led a roundtable with Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, Congressman Chris Pappas, Assistant Secretary of Health Admiral Rachel Levine and PPNNE stakeholders, where the group stressed the importance of protecting access to health care, including reproductive health care and the peace of mind that goes with it. Secretary Becerra heard directly from a patient who had gone to Planned Parenthood for years to access reproductive health services because she trusted them to provide empathetic, science-based care.

In October, HHS updated the previous administration’s family planning rule, which kicked Planned Parenthood and other health centers out of the Title X program, stifling access to reproductive care. As a result of this update, Title X family planning funding was restored to PPNNE and other health centers across the country.

Secretary Becerra reiterated the HHS constant support to protect access to safe and legal abortions and highlighted the reinvestments HHS has made in family planning under the Biden-Harris administration. As a recipient of a federal Title X Family Planning Program grant, PPNNE received $500,000 to meet urgent needs for family planning services in January 2022. This funding represents a portion of the largest $298 million HHS and the Biden-Harris administration have allocated to strengthen the Title X Family Planning Program, which is dedicated to providing comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services, including breast and cervical cancer screening uterus, contraceptive counseling and care, and STI/HIV screening.

“The Biden-Harris administration understands that our nation’s family planning clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, play a critical role in achieving the goals the president set out on Tuesday,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said.

Secretary Becerra concluded the trip with a visit to Amoskeag Health, a federally licensed health center focused on behavioral health services, the first of many stops on his recently announced nationwide tour to strengthen mental health. In Amoskeag, the Secretary participated in a roundtable with Congressman Chris Pappas, Mayor Joyce Craig, Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Addictions, Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, and other state leaders and clinic staff. . The roundtable discussed new and innovative ways to address the mental health crisis, including Amoskeag’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team (ACERT) – a team comprised of a police officer, an emergency services advocate and a behavioral health professional who is deployed to serve children who have been exposed to violence. Before the end of the roundtable, Secretary Becerra emphasized that mental and behavioral health is a priority at HHS, a priority that received a record $3 billion investments in recent months thanks to the American Rescue Plan.

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