Spotlight on State Innovation: How Nevada Leveraged Medicaid for Community-Based Youth Mental Health Services

Across the country, communities are confronting a two-fold crisis as youth mental health needs hit unprecedented levels amid a severe national behavioral and mental health care workforce shortage.  In Nevada, state and nonprofit leaders collaborated to address both issues and improve outcomes for young people. Using federal COVID-19 relief funds, the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada worked with state government to quickly pilot mental health services via their trusted youth development settings and fast-track the process of Medicaid credentialing to sustain these supports in the long term.  This brief from the Forum distills actionable lessons to help state policymakers replicate this model to sustain effective supports for young people as our nation emerges from the public health emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic.