The term “qualified mental health professionals” refers to providers of mental health services reimbursed under the medicare program carried out under title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.) who have additional training in the treatment of mental illness in children and adolescents or who have additional training in the treatment of mental illness in the elderly.
The term “telehealth” means the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration.
The Secretary, acting through the Director of the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth of the Health Resources and Services Administration, shall award grants to eligible entities to establish demonstration projects for the provision of mental health services to special populations as delivered remotely by qualified mental health professionals using telehealth and for the provision of education regarding mental illness as delivered remotely by qualified mental health professionals using telehealth.
The Secretary shall award the grants under paragraph (1) in a manner that distributes the grants so as to serve equitably the populations described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (a)(3).
In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that such grants are equitably distributed among geographical regions of the United States.
Not later than 4 years after October 26, 2002, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that shall evaluate activities funded with grants under this section.
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section, $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2002 and such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2003 through 2006.