National Council for Mental Wellbeing

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Your source for the latest updates from Capitol Hill. We translate policy into practice so you can learn how policy trends will affect your work and how best to prepare.

988 Report to Congress, Upcoming Senate Hearing on Youth Mental Health

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Mollie Laird

Associate, Federal Policy

BREAKING NEWS Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two rulings on the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandates for the workforce. The Court upheld the rule from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that requires healthcare workers to be vaccinated if their employer receives Medicare or Medicaid funding. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) Emergency Temporary […]

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New Guidance for Medicaid Mobile Crisis Services, HHS Investments in 988

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Mollie Laird

Associate, Federal Policy

BY THE NUMBERS Suicide is now the 8th leading cause of death of children 5 to 11. According to a recent study, rates of suicide attempts and deaths among children have been increasing over the past decade. Researchers reviewed the characteristics of child suicide deaths and helped identify risk factors present as well as provide future avenues of intervention and research.   Main Stories: […]

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Build Back Better Act, HHS 2022 Regulatory Priorities

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Mollie Laird

Associate, Federal Policy

BREAKING NEWS  Yesterday, President Biden signed legislation that will raise the debt ceiling. The new limit is expected to last into 2023 without need for another vote.    Editor’s Note: Capitol Connector will return January 2022. Happy Holidays!    Main Stories: Build Back Better Act in the Senate HHS Releases Regulatory Priorities for 2022 MACPAC December Meeting New CMS Guidance and Physician […]

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Surgeon General Advisory, Medicare Telehealth Data

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Mollie Laird

Associate, Federal Policy

BREAKING NEWS  U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, issued an advisory this week on Protecting Youth Mental Health. The Advisory describes a decade-long increase of mental health challenges for youth and highlights the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children, adolescents, and young adults. Further, the Surgeon General issued recommendations to improve the mental health of youth through a “whole-of-society effort,” including actions and tools to recognize mental health challenges, educate, empower and promote access to […]

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Continuing Resolution Passed, CCBHC Webinar

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Mollie Laird

Associate, Federal Policy

  BREAKING NEWS  On Thursday, Congress passed a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. The continuing resolution, will extend current government funding levels to February 18, 2022, with limited exceptions.  The legislation now goes to the President for his signature.    Main Stories:      Webinar on the Impact of CCBHCs  House to Consider Opioid Legislation  Congressional Hearing on Combatting Fentanyl-related Substances   […]

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Webinar on Vaccine Mandates, New Workforce Issue Brief

November 19, 2021 | COVID-19 | Medicaid | Comments
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Malka Berro

Manager, Federal Policy

BY THE NUMBERS The National Center for Health Statistics released annual overdose data this week. In the one-year period between April 2020 and April 2021, 100,000 Americans likely lost their lives due to drug overdose. This is the first time overdose deaths in one year exceeded 100,000, despite increasing steadily and soaring during the COVID-19 […]

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Vaccine Requirement Announcements, Advocate for 988

November 12, 2021 | COVID-19 | Workforce | Comments
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Malka Berro

Manager, Federal Policy

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT This week, in observance of Veterans Day, we honor the brave people who have answered the call to military service, and we acknowledge the fight may not end after returning home. Research shows that veteran suicide rates – 6,000 per year – are at the highest level in recorded history. […]

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Hill Day 2021 in Review

October 22, 2021 | Hill Day | Comments
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Mason Lee

Intern, Federal Policy and Advocacy

QUOTABLE “We’re committed to achieving mental health parity, expanding access to mental health care, eliminating mental health stigma, and addressing substance use and mental health challenges.” – Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), during Hill Day at Home 2021.   CCBHCs: Achieving Nationwide Expansion and Adoption Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics […]

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Phase 4 Provider Relief/American Rescue Plan Funding

October 1, 2021 | COVID-19 | Comments
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Malka Berro

Policy Associate

BREAKING NEWS The Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force recently published its 2021 Legislative Agenda for the 117th Congress. The agenda includes key National Council priorities, including several Hill Day at Home asks, such as the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act of 2021; the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act; the Medication […]

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Provider Relief Fund FAQs, Register for Hill Day at Home

September 10, 2021 | Uncategorized | Comments
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Malka Berro

Policy Associate

BY THE NUMBERS 76% of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) participate in specialty courts, and 72% train law enforcement and corrections officers in mental health and substance use awareness, according to a new National Council report discussing how states and localities utilize the CCBHC model to partner with various divisions of the justice systems. […]

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Join Hill Day at Home, Budget Resolution Passed

September 3, 2021 | Uncategorized | Comments
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Malka Berro

Policy Associate

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Share your experiences, hear from peers and learn how to elevate your advocacy during Hill Day at Home, our annual advocacy event uniting thousands of people online to advocate on important legislation. Last year, Hill Day at Home resulted in 5,273 advocacy actions and 416 members of Congress being reached. […]

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Budget Resolution and Infrastructure Package Update, and More

August 20, 2021 | Federal Budget | Hill Day | Comments
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Malka Berro

Policy Associate

TAKE ACTION Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the Ensuring Medicaid Continuity for Children in Foster Care Act of 2021 (S. 2689). This bipartisan legislation would clarify existing law to ensure that the services provided for certain foster children in need of a higher level of care are covered by Medicaid. Please […]

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Act Now to Support CCBHCs, Register for Harm Reduction Webinar

August 8, 2021 | Uncategorized | Comments
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Malka Berro

Policy Associate

QUOTABLE “We’re also reconceptualizing what’s now a suicide hotline to be a mental health or behavioral health crisis line… We anticipate that as 988 gets put into place, as people begin describing it as a crisis hotline, that there will be more calls and we’ll need to shore up that entire kind of infrastructure.” – […]

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National Council Calls for Permanent Extension of Telehealth in Medicare, and More

July 30, 2021 | Uncategorized | Comments
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Malka Berro

Policy Associate

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the availability of $103 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to reduce burnout and support the mental health of the health workforce. Three funding opportunities are now accepting applications and will be open […]

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New CCBHC Grants, CARA 3.0

July 9, 2021 | Uncategorized | Comments
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Malka Berro

Policy Associate

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT On Wednesday, July 14, from 2-3 p.m. ET,  the National Council is hosting “Our Nation’s Wellbeing: Where Do We Go from Here?”, the next event in our “Wellbeing Wednesday” virtual learning series. This month, we are featuring a timely and powerful discussion between U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MPH, […]

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Presidential Budget Released, Block Grant Guidance

June 4, 2021 | Federal Budget | Comments
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Malka Berro

Policy Associate

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 95% of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) are engaged in one or more innovative practices in collaboration with law enforcement and criminal justice agencies (e.g., police, jails, and courts). Read more about how CCBHCs are leading a bold shift in mental health and substance use care in the May […]

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New Grant Funding for Mental Health and Substance Use, 988 Briefing

May 21, 2021 | Addictions | COVID-19 | Telehealth | Comments
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Malka Berro

Policy Associate

QUOTABLE “Behavioral health is a priority for the Department of Health and Human Services. The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear the need to invest resources in our nation’s mental health and address the inequities that still exist around behavioral health care.” – Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announcing the department’s new Behavioral Health […]

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COVID-19 Telehealth Grants, Updated Buprenorphine Guidelines

April 30, 2021 | Addictions | Telehealth | Comments
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Malka Berro

Policy Associate

In the week of April 26, the Census Bureau released the 2020 population counts for congressional apportionment over the next decade.

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Loan Repayment Applications Open, New CMHC Grant

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Malka Berro

Policy Associate

BREAKING NEWS This week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced a new Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) Grant Program to help providers bridge the service delivery gap. Read more and apply by May 21, 2021.   CARA 3.0 Introduced Senators Portman (R-OH) Whitehouse (D-RI), Capito (R-WV), Klobuchar (D-MN), and Shaheen (D-NH) recently […]

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PPP Extension Act, Take Action

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Malka Berro

Policy Associate

BREAKING NEWS The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that it is extending access to the Affordable Care Act Special Enrollment Period until August 15, 2021.   PPP Extension Act Signed into Law Small businesses will have more time to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan thanks to swift action […]

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