Obama Releases 2015 Budget Request
President Obama this week released the first installment of information about his 2015 budget request. The request includes $3.568 billion in funding for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration programs, a decrease of $63 million from FY 2014.
While full details on all budget line items will not be available until the comprehensive Congressional Justifications are released later this week, information has emerged about several key substance abuse and mental health priorities:
Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant
The President’s budget requests $1.8 billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, the same level as in FY 2014. SAPTBG funds are used to implement evidence-based treatment and prevention strategies nationwide and maintain the nation’s public substance abuse treatment infrastructure. The block grant represents 32 percent of total substance abuse agency funding nationwide.
NEW: Integrating Primary Care and Addiction Services
The budget provides $20 million in new funding to bring primary care services to community substance abuse treatment provider sites. By co-locating primary and specialty care medical services, this program will improve the rate at which substance abuse treatment patients are successfully referred to primary care services. This effort draws on lessons from the successful and ongoing Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration program, and will fund implementation, technical assistance, and evaluation efforts, including dissemination of successful approaches.
NEW: Responding to the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic
The budget proposes a total of $26 million in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and SAMHSA to address prescription drug misuse, abuse, and overdose. Within SAMHSA, this collaborative effort will invest $10 million in grants to states to enhance, implement, and evaluate strategies to prevent prescription drug misuse and abuse, and to improve collaboration on the risks of overprescribing and the use of monitoring systems between states’ public health and education authorities, and pharmaceutical and medical communities.
Substance Abuse Treatment Programs of Regional and National Significance, SBIRT
The budget includes $297 million for Programs of Regional and National Significance within the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, a decrease of $64 million from FY 2014. Most details on program-level funding within the PRNS were not available as of Wednesday; however, SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde noted at an afternoon briefing that the CSAT budget includes reductions of $17 million for Screening Brief Intervention Referral and Treatment (bringing the FY 2015 total down to $30 million) and $50 million for Access to Recovery (effectively eliminating the program).
Substance Abuse Prevention Programs of Regional and National Significance
The budget includes $186 million for Programs of Regional and National Significance within the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, an increase of $10 million from FY 2014. Details on program-level funding within the PRNS were not immediately available as of Wednesday afternoon.
Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, early intervention activities
The President’s budget requests $484 million for the Mental Health Block Grant, the same level as in FY 2014. The budget maintains the 5% set-aside enacted in the 2014 budget that directs block grant funding to programs for early intervention in serious mental illness. MHBG funds are used to implement evidence-based treatment and prevention strategies nationwide and maintain the nation’s public substance abuse treatment infrastructure. The block grant represents 1 percent of all state and federal spending on mental health care in the United States.
Now Is The Time (Project AWARE, Mental Health First Aid, Peer Professionals Workforce, Behavioral Health Workforce Development)
Funded for the first time in FY 2014, this initiative was formulated in response to the tragic Newtown shooting. The FY 2015 budget requests $40 million for Project AWARE (grants to help states and communities implement behavioral health services for students and young people), $15 million for Mental Health First Aid training grants, and $20 million for Healthy Transitions (strategies supporting transition-age youth and their families), all level to FY 2014. The 2015 budget also includes a new request of $10 million for Peer Professionals (a workforce program to increase the number of trained peers and recovery coaches) and a new request of $1 million for Behavioral Health Workforce Data and Development (a program to develop a consistent data set to define and track the behavioral health workforce, a capacity which does not currently exist).
Mental Health Services Programs of Regional and National Significance, primary-behavioral health integration
The budget includes $355 million for PRNS within the Center for Mental Health Services, a decrease of $23 million from FY 2014. Most details on program-level funding within the PRNS were not available as of Wednesday, however; SAMHSA Administrator Hyde noted at her afternoon briefing that the CMHS budget includes a reduction of $24 million for Primary-Behavioral Health Care Integration (bringing the total down to $26 million and funding it entirely through the Prevention and Public Health Fund). The CMHS budget also includes $34.6 million for Project LAUNCH, $55 million for suicide prevention programs, and $45.7 million for the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative.