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New Initiative

Behavioral Health

The Commonwealth Fund supports independent research on health care issues and makes grants to promote better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency in health care—particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including people of color, people with low income, and those who are uninsured.

The health and socioeconomic challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the public’s longstanding challenges in accessing mental health and substance use services, treatments, and supports. The need for these services is critical: reported mental health problems have risen, and overdose deaths recently spiked to record levels. As illustrated by heightened policy activity at the congressional, federal, and state levels, there is new bipartisan interest in building a more effective and equitable behavioral health infrastructure across the care continuum—from upstream prevention to crisis response.

In response to these developments, the Commonwealth Fund is supporting a range of projects related to behavioral health in 2022, with the aim of informing the development and implementation of federal and state policy changes. The Fund is interested in supporting research and analysis focused on:

Current Projects

  • Building Capacity for State-Level Systems Reforms, Creation of a Behavioral Health Roadmap, and State Learning Collaborative (National Academy for State Health Policy)
  • Health Technology and Behavioral Health Integration (Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene)

For more information, email Rachel Nuzum, Vice President, Federal and State Health Policy, at [email protected], or Reginald D. Williams II, Vice President, International Health Policy and Practice Innovations, at [email protected].

2022 Program Funding Priorities

  • Exploring the role of telemental health in addressing disparities in access to behavioral health care 

  • Building a sustainable behavioral health workforce 

  • Identifying promising models of care integration and coordination for children and adolescents 

Our Experts

Rachel Nuzum

Senior Vice President, Federal and State Health Policy

Reginald D. Williams II

Vice President, International Health Policy and Practice Innovations

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