S 3796, the Mental Health Professionals Workforce Shortage Loan Repayment Act, would address the workforce shortage of mental health professionals by creating a loan repayment program. The bill proposes creating this program such that individuals who agree to serve as a mental health professional in an area with a shortage of that workforce can enter into an agreement in which the federal government will repay part of the principal of and interest on eligible accrued loans. The maximum for these payments is $250,000. Eligible loans include educational loans for the study of mental health or a related field and federal loans. Individuals could participate in this program for up to six years of employment.
Within five years of enactment of S 3796, the Health Resources and Services Administration, within the Department of Health and Human Services, would be required to submit a report to Congress detailing the number of individuals who qualified for loan repayments under this program, the location of those individuals, and the impact of increased availability of mental health providers.